I couldn’t find the topic where we were recently discussing this so I decided just to start over. I was feeling frustrated because spring temps just weren’t cooperating to give me a nice stretch of weather in the 70’s for grafting peaches. Then Bob tells us he got great results grafting much earlier than I thought would be optimum and preceding much cooler weather than Scott has been suggesting for successful peach grafting the last couple of years.
Finally, around the third week of May we got a couple days of 70’s and I had some time so I did my grafting but then for the next 3 weeks it was mostly wet and cool but then got very hot- into the 90’s. If I had the time and energy I would have followed Scott’s advice and made some foil bonnets to deflect the sun from the still dormant grafts. Now a few days after the heat wave I had the time to check the grafts and almost all are growing and look fine.
What I’m learning is how little I know about how to best time spring grafting of peaches- beyond that they should be in active growth.
I wouldn’t say “great results”,maybe “much, much better than last year”. The success rate was still in the 50-70%- I’ll take stock this weekend and report. But, that’s a lot better than grafting when it is too hot and getting no takes.
I think you did OK because of 2 reasons:
1.) There was a 3 week period of relatively cool temps for the trees to callus (and they were already actively growing when you grafted)
2.) You’re probably better at it than me, getting good contact, so you have more wiggle room.
I’m interested to hear from anyone who grafted close to the warm temps we got. @mamuang?
I think it was in this thread:
Alan, looking at the timing, there were 3 days in the 88-93 range from 5/17-5/19. Did you graft before/during this time, or right after? The 3 weeks after weren’t really that cold (yours could be a few degrees cooler, but I bet they were close):
It was after the hot spell, but I had been hoping for a longer stretch of 70’s- plus I was worried about all the rain and what affect that might have. That’s something we haven’t discussed, but it does create an energy deficit in the trees so seemed like it might reduce callous formation- maybe it did. Seemed to take a long time for the grafts to bud out.
The reason I have better success than you may be because my trees are growing more vigorously than yours. I always have much more success with grafting to vigorously growing trees and my nursery trees, where I put most grafts, are pumped for max growth. I give them a good dose of 90 day sulfur coated urea at first growth. Combined with the rain, they are growing with amazing vigor.
That makes sense. Just off the top of my head, I remember most of my grafts (not too many, maybe 4?) to peaches on citation (very dwarfing for me) failing this year. I don’t mind most of my peaches not being quite as vigorous- they already grow pretty big. But I should probably give the ones on citation an extra shot of fertilizer in the spring, as I wouldn’t mind if they were a bit bigger.
Agreed on the importance of vigor. My main peach graftings all worked except one stock which I discovered had a bad borer infection after grafting on it. These were on big trunks; a vigorous water sprout off a big trunk is even better.
Re: temps, even a couple days of 70s weather will be OK. I did some later grafts in a cool spell, they did have a few warmer days in the first week and eventually took. But, I didn’t cover them when it got hot a few weeks in and they fried and died with less than an inch growth on them…
I am finding that my peach T-buds and rind grafts do best- especially when placed on the shady north side of the tree. I immediatley prune anything above the graft off, and I tip prune many of the other competing branches to check their vigor.
Here’s your John Rivers nectarine grafts. Highly placed T-bud on left. Rind graft on right.
I suspect that humidity helps them survive heat. I think this is why feeble growing bench grafts of apples do reasonably well in a green house where humidity stays high.
I did have a few peach grafts starting to grow when we got hit by the last heat wave- well into the 90’s. So far theylook fine even without any protection- if that changes I will post it.
One thing I do have going is lots of wood to choose from so I get fairly close to exact diameter between scion and tree shoot. I also never need to use tiny wood, which doesn’t work as well with the splice graft I need to use. I don’t have time for anything fancier.
My peach graft is on a branch that was shaded by new growth. I did a stupid thing. I removed the new growth that shaded my graft without thinking about the 90 + F heat wave that started the day after. My graft had less than 1"growth, very young. The sudden high heat fried it. I was so mad at myself.
Next time if my new grafts are shaded, I will let them be for a long while.
Was your scion wrapped with parafilm? One thing I’ve noticed is that growing buds tend to push the parafilm away from the top scion cut, which might lead to dehydration. I put a dab of pruning putty over the parafilm at the scion tip, but I’m finding that when the growing bud pushes against the parafilm, it pushes off the putty as well. I then remove the dab of putty from the para and reapply it to the cut. Next year the putty goes down first and the parafilm last. It is strange that it seems like in the past the buds tended to push through the parafilm without lifting it off the cut. I’m using very thin stuff that I pay a premium for so that growth can pass through it easily. I think it’s called buddy tape from AMLeonard. Been using it for years and this is the first time I’ve noticed this. Maybe I’m paying closer attention.
Doing a search “Peach graft” brings up several (I stopped counting at 8) topic on the subject. If others have poor success as I do I can understand why.
The first two years of failure I attributed to my novice status but now, at year three, I believe it’s other factors. Apples, pears, plums, cherries, and apricots I have decent success using several techniques. My peach grafts fail.
5/2 I did 4 bark grafts. They showed some green and then died a week later. 6/4 I cut them off and tried again. I see a small amount of green on 2 of the 4 but now on 6/19 nothing is happening. Clef grafts have also failed. I’ll know in the next two weeks if there is some success. When I have to time I need to read all the threads and try to figure this out.
OK, I didn’t get to it last weekend, but I’ve checked my grafts and now have the following to report.
It’s conceivable that some of the late ones will still leaf out, though it is probably more likely that some of the late ones that did leaf out will die. This data shouldn’t say that late grafting can’t work- just that with my skills and approach it doesn’t work all that well. I know I’ll be doing a greater proportion of them earlier next year.
Caveat: Dates rounded by up to 2 days, so that I could better group results. For example, I didn’t want to have 3,4, and 3 when I could report 10 for the middle date.
I excluded grafts to new rootstocks. If I had not, there would be an extra 2 takes in 5 graft on 5/6.
With you skill at your site. My grafts made around May 20th seem to mostly be fine- some growing more than others, but none have stopped growing and died- I’ve never had a peach graft do that. A lot of apple grafts in my nursery look terrible, but the trees roots were disturbed quite a bit in spring. Apple grafts on older trees not disturbed all took just fine. I made at least 50 peach grafts, by the way.
E. plum grafts were being hit by aphids and leaf hoppers and were looking poor (as well as apple grafts) and psyla has already slowed my pear grafts but I put some Assail on them and all look much improved.
Good point- all my peach/nectarine grafts were at a single site. I only had a handful of other grafts at different locations.
I agree, though it isn’t a huge sample size. One other factor is that for the later grafts, the scionwood has been sitting around for another month. And whenever I graft, I use whatever looks best at the moment, so, it is likely a double-whammy against the late grafts.
Here’s a look at this year’s plum (including Pluot and Euro plums). There isn’t anywhere near as much of a trend, though I think there is a bit of a dip at the end. I should measure last years grafts to see how significant a size impact the time of grafting has, 1+ years later.
I’m pretty surprised by that. I think Scott mentioned it happening to him and it is a regular occurrence for me, so I generalized that it was common. And I don’t mean that it put on 4" growth and died- just that it made small leaves, which then wilted and died. It doesn’t happen to a majority (obviously), but maybe 10-20%. More often for the later ones I think.
I’ve seen the same thing happen with plums sometimes, though not as often. In fact, I suspect that some from the tail end of the plums may not make it, pushing down the later success rates a bit.
The 4 bark grafts done 5/2 on a 3 inch Citation trunk showed some green and then died. Weather was cool with temperatures in 60s and 70s except for two days in a row at 89.
After that failure 2 inches was cut from the trunk on 6/4 and I tried again with 4 more bark grafts. Two showed some green but after two days of mid 90s they looked dead. A cleft graft, peach on peach, also failed. All Scion was well wrapped. I’m batting 0. Apple, plum, apricot and mulberry during the same time frame are doing OK.
Now it’s time to try T budding with the remaining scion. The Scion my be too old but I’ll give it a try.
Those temps don’t sound horrible, but you should have protected them with aluminum foil for those days near 90. Did you have the scions completely sealed? That ups the odds - either use a paint like doc farwells, or parafilm.
June is often too late for peaches, the tree has moved out of the spring growth spurt phase as far as hormones go. So, you have to make it work in May. At this point you may want to wait and try chip buds in July.