Power Drill grafting method

My success with peaches/nectarines has been only about 25% but it appears I have been grafting too early.

Which brings to mind a question. We have rooting hormones (i.e. Rootone) to facilitate rooting; surely someone could develop a hormone to boost cambium knitting. Any thoughts? Any biochemists out there looking for fame and fortune?

Mine was grafting too late with peaches. The window is small it appears.

My weather you can choose 70s and freezes at night or 80s and light freezes some nights or 90s and no freeze and dry every time other than the 70s weather which is pretty dry

this guy bores a hole on an angle, then jambs in a scion.


I saw a similar video in English . He chamfered the hole a little . I will try this .

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Video how to graft fruit tree using drill :grinning:


I have been thinking about doing this, my main concern is what happens to the xylem when i drill into it? I have a angled trunk i need to branch off from and this would be the easiest way and i could definitely get a strong anchor but what about the wood past the cambium?

Sorry for resurrecting such and old topic, but I was just curious if there is any new thoughts on this method.

I had saved a bunch of scion wood to graft this spring, but the old fridge in the house malfunctioned while I was away and froze all my saved scion wood. Doooh… :man_facepalming:

As I didn’t have viable dormant scion wood I thought I’d give this method a try with wood that was already budding. I drill grafted an Apple and multiple plum trees (Jap and Euro).

It’s a little early to say for sure, but I think many of the grafts have taken. The most successful ones seemed to be where I cut the end off a plastic water bottle and taped the bottle over the graft with as airtight a seal as possible. Sort of like a mini greenhouse covering if you will.

They seem to be off to a good start, but who knows. If even 10% survive I’ll be happy because it’s better than nothing. I’m a lousy chip budder and this method seems more versatile (if it works).

i might just be over skeptical and honestly never gave drill grafting like in the video a try.

But i honestly cannot imagine a situation in where it is a “better” (higher% take vs time spent grafting) method than knife grafting methods like side grafts budding etc.

I think it’s gonna be hard to match up scion and stock cambium with the drilled hole. If you make the hole thicker than scion, it won’t touch cambium. If you make it to small you have to shave off the scion till it fits. but you shave off the cambium first since it’s on the outside.

There is also quite the lack of follow up on all the YouTube video’s showing off “this amazing drill grafting”

On easy things like apples it will probably still work. But i consider it more a YouTube novelty to get views from people that don’t graft, than an actual useful technique. Please prove me wrong though :smiley:

The one case i have used drills in grafting and consider it successful is where i keep the twig that i weave through the drill hole attached to the roots. And let it grow till it filled up the hole. I learned it from a text on bonsai tree’s. They use it there because they can pick the spot they want a new branch, and can increase the growth rate of that new branch so it can catch up thickness wise while filling the hole. And because if it fails it leaves a round scar they tend to find more astatically appealing.

Basically an approach graft with the drilled hole.

please keep us up to date on your % of take using your drill grafting method. The one useful thing if it works well seems to be a good crotch angle.


Most of the YouTube vids are as you say sorely lacking in follow up. There are however, quite a few videos from a Russian grafter working with this method on plums during the sring/summer with very impressive results. Sorry, I don’t have the links handy, but he shows of his many successes.

I will try to take some pics, and provide follow up’s. I used many different variations as far as sealing up the graft. What I like the most is I can place a branch exactly where I want and I do not have to cut off a branch(s) from the host tree to graft it. So it is a net gain when trying to add branches at just the right place and angle on the host tree.

Hopefully, the seemingly good starts carry through with successful unions.

It might be interesting to make some combination of the drill action and a flap graft:

So you could get the mechanical attachment of the peg in hole, but also the cambial contact with the flaps on the scion interacting with adjacent cambium.

Oh, but I suppose you’d need the bark slipping for that, but you’d want the scion dormant - null set for the scion.

This is definitely one of those things that make you say “oh that’s neat” and then never actually do it because there are other reliable lower effort methods.

Exactly this.

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As I stated my scions I had stored ended up non-viable because the refrigerator malfunctioned. This was the quickest way to hopefully salvage this season as far as still getting some grafting done that I wanted to do.

I don’t know how many pics I can post as a new member, but I’ll try to put some up.

All except the picture with Rhodos beside it are plum grafts.

The ones posted are all on Japanese plum varieties. One tree was a heavily black not damaged unknown variety that I grafted 8 times over. I grafted in Red Heart, Satsuma, Nadia, and Beauty varieties. I also grafted Japanese varieties onto a Red Heart and a Shiro.

Most tree that were surviving here were very neglected and needed major surjury to remove black Knot. The deer had also done a good job on stripping branches and deforming the trees that went mostly uncared for, for many years.


if you have parafilm or a grafting seal compound, it might be worth it to wrap the whole scion in it. Slows down desiccation and thus extends the time the scion has to grow together with the stock.

This to me seems especially important when grafting out of dormant season and with non dormant scions. Assuming the buds above the leaf stalk is mature enough. I’d also remove the leaves. They evaporate a lot of moisture. And once the graft has taken, it will force those tiny buds just above the leaf stalk.

It’s also worth it to graft some scions that have a transition from 2 year to 1 year old growth. On this transition you usually have a few dormant or latent buds, that you can use for grafting outside the dormant season. They are tiny but still work just fine.


Thanks for the suggestions. I sealed most of those grafts completely from the open air by covering either with taped plastic bags/bottle or combinations of both. Some of those were sealed so tightly that water was pooled inside from condensation when I opened them.

The pictures where you can see the scion clearly are after a week or two of being sealed up inside a plastic bag. All the scions are still green some are growing.

On the scions where they were leafed out completely I removed all the leaves except one which I left only a small section of leaf.

On the one Euro graft I left open to the air I completely covered the scions in melted wax except for a small stub of cut down leaves left. I didn’t take a picture of that graft.

It’s obviously too soon to say because we haven’t hit any real hot weather, but the results look encouraging so far.

Most of the grafts I initially did with a drill seem to be doing OK. One has died that I’m not surprised about as I used green wood and it was on a very small branch that the drill went completely through. The donator Beauty plum tree was a new purchase with no hardened off wood I could spare to cut off, so I could only find green wood to use. One graft with the green wood is still alive, but I’ve left it enclosed inside a plastic bottle to prevent desication. I doubt any of the few green wood grafts I did will survive in the end. Worth a try though I guess.

I purchased another plum tree about a week ago. It was a real spindly Black Amber that was the only one left at a local nursery. Personally, I would have thought it a poor choice to buy (but there were no others of that variety) and it is not often found in nurseries in my parts.

There wasn’t much growth on the tree, so there wasn’t much to harvest for potential scion. I cut 1 small branch off that I managed to make two drill grafts from.

They’ve only been on the tree less than a week, but they actually seem to be taking. Considering the temperatures have really spiked here the last few days that’s quite surprising. Especially as on one of the grafts I did not tape or bag the graft.i merely added grafting wax to the joint at the tree trunk and a little wax on the end of the stub.

Surprisingly, for being uncovered in the open air and recent heat it seems to be starting to grow from latent buds on the scion.

The other Black Amber scion that I grafted to the same Shiro plum tree seems to be budding (but barely noticeable) from latent buds I cut from the same branch. Considering this scion was completely enclosed and sealed by a plastic bottle I would have thought it would have been the faster starter.

Many of the other drill grafted scions are holding there own, but mostly not pushing new growth. A few are seeming to not like the change to hot weather now that June has heated up. Other new grafts with latent buds seem to be actually liking the new heat and appear to be coming to life (too soon to really tell for sure).

In the last few days I recently did two drill grafts and wrapped the scions in parafilm. Too soon to say with those either, but they may be coming to life as well. These grafts were using sticks with latent buds as well, not fresh green growth. I guess the juries mostly still out on how effective this method is, as only one graft has failed for sure (and that was a very poorly done graft).

You can see another Nadia drill graft I did a few weeks ago growing in the background on the same trunk.

How many will actually survive the real summer heat of July and August is hard to say.Its been fun and worthwhile experimenting regardless.

I added some blood meal to the older trees with the new grafts yesterday hoping to promote more growth on the new grafts. I’m not sure if that was a great idea, but I thought I’d see if it would help with spurring the new scions to sprout more vigorously. I’m not into chemical fertilizers, so I figured blood meal was the way to go. I’m in a watershed where use of phosphorous in fertilizers is very discouraged.

Any other ideas appreciated.

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Murky, I’ve done ONE banana flap graft of J.Yoder #1 shagbark hickory onto pecan in early July… scion collected that day… fully leafed - hickories have usually set terminal buds and stopped active growth by July 4 - I cut off all leaves, made the graft, wrapped (union and scion) with Parafilm & budding rubbers. Got a good take, and that tree is now 23 yrs old.
I can’t recall trying it again with actively-growing scion, and it may be that there were others I attempted that day that didn’t take… but, I’ve slept since then.


Well we just went through a week of record breaking June temperatures for many places in BC. The highest ever recorded temperature in Canada was hit on Monday of 49.6 deg C or 116 deg F in BC. I think the heat wave fried almost all my grafts. It has severely stressed quite a few of my new trees I purchased this year to the point I’m not sure they will survive. Definitely the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced in coastal BC.

In comparison though a few fruit trees are no big deal. Several hundred deaths were attributed to the heat wave at home from those unaccustomed to these extreme (for Canada) temperatures. Air conditioning in homes is not common in this part of the world and the aged were hard hit.

Unbelievable temperatures for Canada, made worse by a lack of air conditioning in a place that never needs air conditioning… we hit a new record high here as well 109, but not as big of a deal for us because it gets warm every summer and air conditioning is pretty common. I really feel for everyone who suffered through that record breaking heat - especially the elderly.


My father did this with a heirloom apple that had grown so large it shaded the whole back yard and dropped tons of apples every year.
30 years ago dad cut this ancient tree down to about 8 feet tall and as a random afterthought cut several scions the diameter of his fingers #13 wedding ring - 5/8” drilled randomly into the stump , like 1 1/2” and shoved the 5 foot long branches in the holes. And left the rest to Nature,
I live in the suburbs of Seattle Washington at 400 feet above sea level it,s defiantly a micro climate, close to 40 inches of rain a year , seldom over 90 degrees , seldom below 20 degrees.
The bark on this tree is more than 1/2” thick he didn’t use any sealer or anything special, the tree is back to over 40 feet and has a large canopy.
Unfortunately this area is now infested with White fly Apple Maggot. And the only method to control this pest is to keep your trees pruned to a size that can be protected by covering them with mosquito netting. So I’m thinking about redoing what Dad did 30 years ago.