Peach grafting weather?


Apple today. We have liftoff!


So I made an interesting observation. I made two grafts from the same scionwood on the Apple.

The one that’s pushing it is from the bottom half of the piece of scionwood, the “thicker” piece. The other one isn’t pushing at all. Even the one that is pushing, it only seems to be the buds on the lower half that are actually swelling.

Which makes me wonder if the scionwood maybe got a touch too dry, or had tip dieback for some other reason, and that’s why the one didn’t take at all. Thinking maybe it happened in transit, or maybe had already happened on the tree before he cut the wood.


Congratulations, those are very good results! 80% is about the best I have ever done. We had a strong cold snap here which delayed the grafts so I don’t think I will know how the ones I did two weeks ago for a few more days. Most of them are moving except there are two varieties with weak or partially budded out scions and those are looking like most didn’t make it.

One thing I did on the ones I knew the scions were weak on is I did a great many grafts, some of them with very short pieces of wood so I could get more grafts out of the wood I had. I am wondering if that is not the best idea as the reserves of energy in the scion are lower if the scion is shorter.

Your 2-4" of scion inserted could very well be making a difference for you, thats a lot of surface area. I usually do bark grafts but I could also make them longer than I am doing now and it could improve the odds on hard to graft things. I used to do mainly cleft grafts on peaches and cleft vs bark odds were always similar for me.


Have you ever heard of grafts failing, then growing the next spring? A couple of my failed apple grafts from last May look to have supple, green wood, even though they didn’t leaf out last year. I’ll keep an eye on them and let you know if they actually grow, which would be quite a surprise for me. I actually had some blueberry bushes I planted in spring that didn’t leaf out, then the following year they grew normally. So never give up.


As of today it looks like I have 75% take rate on peach/plum/apricot grafted onto peach. assuming anything that breaks through parafilm as a success no matter how little growth so far. Here are a few pics:
I probably should pinch off these flowers on Satsuma graft. But these are my only plum flowers and I can’t get myself to get rid of them.


For those in MA, I think this year we have the worst peach grafting weather since starting grafting peaches 4-5 years ago.

It rains almost every other day. We have not had 3 day in a row of temp over 60 and dry. I have mostly peaches to graft. Not sure when it can be done. The next 10 day forecast predicts even cooler temp.

@SMC_zone6, @galinas. Do you guys experience the same lousy weather?


That’s just like Western


Yep. I do not graft peaches, but I am afraid my potato will rot.


Yeah, same bad weather. I don’t mind waiting a few more weeks. Although, peaches sometimes start pushing growth and can become kind of fragile in the fridge more quickly than other scion. So hopefully the weather cooperates sooner than later.


Are you folks soaking your scions in water before grafting? I’m thinking of the experiment Fruitnut did last year(?) and I believe he got better results if you cut a little off the bottom of the scion and let it sit in water for 12(?) hours or so.


When I make a cut on a scion, I place it in a small dish of water to keep it hydrated while I work on preparing the rootstock.

If your scionwood looks a little dry, you can soak it for a while before grafting and let it re-hydrate itself. If it already looks healthy and green, I see no reason to soak it for more than an 15 minutes. You can soak it for too long and the green scionwood will start to yellow, so be careful. This is what happens when you have your scionwood stored in a bag filled with too much water in the refrigerator.


Thanks ILPF! I’ll back off my soaking time by 98%! :wink:


With healthy scions, I don’t put it in water. I hardly ever do that.

Except for peaches/nects and persimmon, my success rates of other fruit grafts have been in a high 90%. With peaches, it’s quality of scion and the temp. I have to wait for higher temp while the scions are pushing buds in the fridge.


Three-week update:

Peach/nectarine: 11 takes out of 12 (twelfths may be on its way)
Cots: 10 takes out of 18

I have a question for you: How long do I wait after grafting to judge the graft failed?

@scottfsmith @fruitnut @Barkslip @fruitgrower I removed the parafilm from a couple of grafts that don’t have any growth and scratched the bark and both showed green cambium layer, so they look alive (bark is smooth with no wrinkles or signs of drying), but their buds don’t want to grow. Could the grafts be alive, but the buds dead (from overheating or any other cause)? When shall I call these dead/failed? Any other comments?

Note: All are cleft grafts, wrapped in parafilm and covered by paper brown bag for the first 10 days. Graft unions were thoroughly tightened with electrical tape on top of the parafilm.


Wait until it’s an obvious failure unless there’s some reason to be in a hurry. I’ve got fig grafts that took 6-8 weeks to decide to live or die. I thought they were goners based on excessive bleeding. But the wood is still green and some are starting to push buds. I’ll give them until the scion wood turns brown.


I was all set to graft my peaches and everything else (apples, and plums) this weekend, but I just checked the weather and it’s supposed to be down to 48 sunday morning and 37(!) Monday morning. The weather after that looks fine, but I’m only out at the orchard on the weekends so I can’t easily wait until Monday night or Tuesday.

Questions: Should I graft anything this weekend? (apples, peaches, plums)?

If I can make it out there one night after work, is it a bad idea to graft a few hours before the sun goes down as opposed to early in the morning when the tree and scion have 12-14-16 hours of grow time before night fall?

Additional data: The weather a week/10 days from now looks pretty good: High in the 70s, lows in the 50s and 60s.

Thanks folks!


Same advice as fruitnut. You gotta wait and it can take a couple months I suppose. It’s rare too but I’ve had grafts that waited until the following Spring. That’s not the case of your grafts, but, it’s something to know.



Peach grafts usually fail pretty fast though, the union doesn’t stay viable for long. I have been pulling some duds and while the scion/buds were fine all union areas were completely brown/dead on every one I pulled. Gotta be careful though, I have gotten on a roll pulling and then pulled out a good one. Overall, for peaches if they are not going in a month they are perma-duds.

I didn’t have very good peach odds this year. Discounting the really weak or partially pushing scions I still did poorly on peaches, maybe 1/4th pushed. Since I did plenty of grafts its looking like only one variety of the viable wood may not make it (out of 6), but the take % is far lower than usual. Another reason to do a ton of peach grafts!

I grafted a bit earlier than usual and the cold waves that came through really stalled things and that was not good. @Ahmad I will try your longer cuts next year and I may also try bagging them. We just didn’t have enough heat this spring; the bags could help with that though.


I looked back my past 3 years. Apple, cherry, plums, pear were grafted based on their growing stages (half inch to one inch green). I go by a state of their growth than temperature.

Coincidentally, , the time I started grafting was around April 14-20,with temp high in the 50’s and low in the 40’s. Almost all grafts took.

Only peachs/nects/apricots I waited until temp was in high 60,low 70 at least 3 days in a row (consistent tempwould be ideal). My success rates were inconsistent. They were as high as 75% and as low as 40%.

I would say, in zone 7, I’d go ahead and graft apples, pears, plums, cherries tomorrow.


I put this redskin peach graft on a couple of weeks ago, looks like I see some green poking out!