Scion collecting - When is it too late to harvest?

I have not harvested any scion wood yet.

This relates to zone 5b in New York. At what point is it too late to harvest to store for use in April.?

Over the next two weeks temps are expected to hit 40-42 for short periods during one or two days during the then to below freezing overnight. The rest of the days nothing higher than the mid 30’s during the day.


I’m not sure when will be too late, but right now is fine around here. I cut most of the wood I needed last Sunday while it was snowing (just under 32). Now March 1st is normally getting pretty late, but the temps have been so cold (nothing above 37F since Jan 19th until this week) that everything is fully dormant. I think you have a bit of time (a week or two?), but spring could come on quickly as the sun gets higher in the sky.

I still need to cut a few more scions, as I have some potted seedling apples that I want to put onto mature rootstocks. I haven’t cut any so far, as only the tips are sticking through the snow, so I can’t tell which is which.

You have plenty of time. You can harvest into early April most years, and this one should be later than most.

As long as trees haven’t begun active growth it is fine. I’ve taken wood from one tree and grafted to another in the first week of April. Works great.

I even think it stores better on the tree than in the fridge, no matter how you wrap it.

Even when trees begin growth you can use lower wood on shoots that sprout out later.

Thanx Guys :relieved: … Relieved


Last year I may have waited to long to harvest J. plum wood. Did it about a week before first growth, I think. By the time I got around to grafting I was dismayed to find the wood was pushing some green out of storage.

I almost decided not to bother to graft, but decided to go ahead and made about 40 grafts. A bit over 30 took which is a good percentage for plums by my standards.

I’ve done that with apples and had a few attempts fail and most of my apple grafts usually take. It was wood that was starting to leaf out when I harvested it. Apples have never leafed out in storage for me when I’ve cut wood late- only J. plum wood.

Need help from you veteran peach tree grafters. Just received my USDA - UC Davis peach scion wood. As can see from the picture, the wood has lots of swollen buds that appear to me ready to pop open. Thus my concern is the bud opening before grafting. This is my 1st time receiving USDA stone fruit and I am not sure about how long I can hold out for warmer weather risking these buds bursting open. The current 10 day weather forecast at my place is for average highs in the low 60’s and average lows in the low 50’s. I will be grafting onto 2nd and 3rd year old trees. So what do yall think? Do I hold out a few more weeks for warmer weather or graft now? Thanks, Chris.

I’d wait for warmer weather and keep in fridge close to freezing well wrapped in plastic. If they sprout out on tree before the tree starts growing I expect they’d never take. A hard frost may kill them as well.

Just wrap the thing well with parafilm or otherwise protect the grafts from dehydration when you do them.

That wood looks fine to me. Definitely wait, peaches do horribly if grafted too early.


Thanks guys,got the fridge set at 34 degrees and will wait it out the warmer days.


I grafted some peach wood last year which was fairly far along. Visible growth on the leaf buds. Nevertheless I had decent results with scion cleft grafting the wood. I waited till peaches were completely leafed out and the weather was in the 80s. for the high. I covered the whole scions in parafilm to conserve moisture.