Peach grafting- best wood to use

I only do one kind of graft, the splice, for its simplicity, speed and excellent reliability. I have commented on the benefit of using relatively thick pieces of wood for grafting, although I have a long way to go before determining where thickness becomes too much of a good thing. The few times I’ve used 1/2 inch pieces they seemed not to perform well.

Going over my peach successes and failures last year, it was only the very thin wood that failed me- the splice just isn’t that accommodating to thin wood from my limited observations.

I’m interested in the above issues but also another one on which I have no anecdotal info. Peach wood tends to have two distinct types of bud formation. Some wood is vegetative with small relatively smooth buds and some wood has more developed buds with large flower buds on the side and larger vegetative buds in the middle. I like the straight smoothness of the former but the better development of the vegetative buds on the latter- I can always remove the flower buds.

Apple shoots often have something similar, even when there are no flower buds on one year shoots. At the base will be smoother, less developed buds with more distinctly developed buds further up the shoot. I believe these buds work somewhat better as they open more quickly and more growth is accomplished during the season. They also are more likely to succeed (once again, based on somewhat limited observation).

Any thoughts? For peaches I’m thinking on leaning on the more developed buds but wonder if anyone has done actual comparison of the contrasting wood.

1 Like

The main thing I have noticed is lower-vigor wood can do really poorly. Some of the smaller shoots can be low-vigor so I prefer the medium-sized ones. Small means totally covered with flower buds, the medium have some, and the large are bases of really big shoots and have few buds. The smaller shoots are perfectly fine for me as long as they are nice vigorous ones, if I am collecting them myself I can reliably pick the good ones. I have had to use low vigor ones from dying trees, had to do a lot of that when the peach tree borer moved through. Overall I prefer the medium ones, pencil size pretty much.

I am nearly always doing bark grafts on peaches, and they are easier with smaller wood, but the larger wood you are more certain about high vigor in.

1 Like

I bark graft peaches and nectarines also, and find I have more takes using the smaller diameter wood. For me, the larger wood just doesn’t take as well, but I find the opposite is true for apples. As far as flower buds vs leaf buds, I find no difference in takes, and I don’t remove any buds at all.