Summer budwood grafting--time pressure?

By happenstance, I am going to be receiving some summer budwood (cherry) at a time when it will be difficult for me graft right when I receive the budwood.

If you have insight on whether the budwood will, or will not, stay viable under refrigeration for a few days or a week, I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Of course, any other advice on (chip or -T)bud grafting cherry would also be welcome.


I bud grafted a Shaa Ker Pareh to my Blenheim Apricot tree last week. This was my first attempt and I sorta made a mess of it. My suggestion is to practice 20 times before you start working with the actual scionwood.

I’ve been budding the past few days. Peaches on to plums, apricots onto peaches, peach to pluot, etc etc… I wouldn’t let it sit too long. I think there is a research paper that showed that the wood does start to go bad over time (refrigerated). I would think 10 days or so would be fine…not so sure about a month.

What great timing, I just received my apple scion wood from USDA today. First, what a great service those people provide and I want to thank Dawn Dellafave for the great job and the beautiful bud wood. Hopefully, depending on my budding skills, these resulting trees will be beneficial and educational to future generations. Thank you, Dawn!
Vohd, I had the same questions, plus could it be stored refrigerated till spring? Thanks.

I have stored budwood a long time and still had it viable. Spring is stretching it though, one time I tried with a batch of USDA budwood and got only 10-20% takes. Usually less than a month or so is the best viability, within a month its not all that much better to move faster, as long as the wood is well refrigerated.

By the way if anyone gets USDA wood and had leftovers its always good to find someone to pass it to. I have done that many times and have both given and gotten great stuff. I always save a little bit for a re-graft, there is nothing worse than giving away all the wood and watching your graft fail.

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my USDA bud wood list
E. Spitz
Red westfield snf
C. Blanc
King of the Pippens
Sweet Sixteen
D’Arcy Spice
Hudson"s Golden
Kandil Sinap
PM if you’d like any left overs


Graft as soon as you can. Ovecast day is best, but not necessary. I recommend you do chip grafts on the upward facing side of 45 degree-angled branches. This ensures sun exposure and balances the chip-bid on the top side of the branch, making it less likely it will fall off while you wrap it. Then cut the ends off to provide the grafts apical dominance. Wrap the grafts so they’ll be air tight.

Here’s a pic of my Ulster graft on a Royal Rainier yellow sweet cherry (Colt rootstock):

Good luck:

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Matt- Is that a latex painted trunk I see in your photo?


Yes. I painted my trunks per former DWN associate Ed Laivo. Here’s my notes:

PAINT new orchard trees w/ an Interior latex-based paint (not exterior; not oil-based; no fungicide) using a light reflective color. Mix half & half w/ water. Paint the south and southwest side of the trunk from the crown all the way up to and including the graft union & the low branching structure.

Here’s Ed’s video demonstration:


Thanks Matt.

I was too curious and popped open my T bud to take a look. Does it look good after a week?

Matt, thanks for the detailed, helpful advice.

Budded about 10 new varieties of apples tonight, Bark was slipping and the buds cut nice. We will see in a couple a weeks if I was good enough.

Chip budded Flavor King, Flavor Supreme and a seedling pluot to my Frankenstein apricot tree… Also place some on a few other trees just in case. Pluots seem to work well with apricots. Still need to bud Honeycrisp over to seedling apple.

Chikn graciously sent me the 4 ARS varieties I requested and added a couple bonus varieties (Thanks!).

I was busy making chip grafts this weekend, when I had a thought. I haven’t had the best results from budding in the past- why not try some “normal” (normal to me, which I have good success with in the spring) cleft grafts as well. I know it isn’t the usual graft that people use during the summer, but I’m interested in seeing if being reasonably proficient at a non-optimal graft is better than doing a hack-job on the right type of graft. I made at least a few chips of each variety, just in case the clefts don’t work, but I wanted to give it a shot. Anyone tried this before?

One other question on chip grafts. At least one Youtube video used just parafilm to hold the chip in. Does anyone here do this and have good success? I tried it with a few as an experiment. I’m not sure how it will work, but it sure is a fast way to graft. I may make some more just because it is so speedy and easy (tying with garden tape takes more time, especially since I normally use it in conjunction with parafilm).

I use parafilm wound tightly around the bud and then go over that with a rubber band.

I budded some peach to a wild plum…we’ll see how that works.

First year I bud grafted I followed the advise of perhaps the same video and did only parafilm. My success % was low. The next year I added rubber bands and the success rate went way up and they showed less callus material on the surface vs parafilm only. With scion grafting apples, a few times I have forgotten the rubber band and had them take anyway. But not willing to count on that in order to save a little time.

I do the buds with only a budding rubber covering everything except the bud/petiole stub. The parafilm isn’t necessary but pressure on the union is. So if you want to save time skip the film. I would think all the parafilm is doing is making it harder to keep everything lined up. I’ve done chip and hundreds of T buds just using budding rubbers for yrs with 90+% takes. Water loss from the bud/petiole isn’t an issue of any significance.


That would save a lot of time…the parafilm for me takes the most time. Mine roll is maybe old but doesn’t like to stretch and tears very easily…i also have to cut thin strips since i have a very wide roll of it. I’m not willing to change my technique on valuable buds, but i should place some extras and just rubber band them…compare.

Unless I’m mistaken the commercial pros do millions of chip and T buds every yr without parafilm. It’s needed on grafts with much more surface area. But I don’t think it’s used anywhere on buds.

Where are you getting the info that parafilm is needed?

An easier alternative to parafilm would be a layer of aluminum foil over the rubber. I’ve done that grafting in place of parafilm. Wrap it on and squeeze tight, remove in 2-3 weeks. Has worked well for whip and tongue etc.