Summer w&t, cleft grafts

Continuing the discussion from Is parafilm the new miracle cure for grafting?:

Kevin, could you describe in more detail doing this kind of grafting in summer? I’m confused over what to use as a scion since I don’t have any wood left from this spring, and I’m uncertain as to what else, if anything, I could use as scion wood. Thank you.

1 Like

You just cut a green branch from a tree that is leafed out, strip off the leaves, and graft it on. It works best on branches that have mature buds at the base of the leaves, just like you’re selecting for bud grafting. The scions will keep in the refrigerator a couple weeks, nothing like a dormant scion will, but long enough to ship or travel. Upon grafting, I wrap the whole scion with parafilm.


Thank you! Perfectly clear and very useful.

I think you have provided this information here before, so my apologies for asking you to repeat yourself.

summer cleft grafting, interesting. sounded like green on green for grapes, I might want to try. What scion works best on what rootstock ?

Out of ignorance it’s all I did for a year, driving up to the mountains to get cuttings and grafting them onto other green apple trees; it worked on everything I tried. Many times it “pushed” that year, and if I grafted a branch with a fruit bud, it flowered and fruited the same year. I didn’t find out until later that winter that you’re supposed to do it in the spring with dormant scions.

1 Like

applenut, Thanks. Give me something new to try in the summer

Fireblight has gotten into the trunk of my king David apple tree. The tree is about a 10 ft tall spindle on g222. The canker was about halfway up the tree. I have cut out the symptomatic wood but know from experience that these things tend to stealthily continue to move down the trunk without any noticeable symptoms for up to a year before they again rear their ugly head.

My options are: wait and see or top the tree now leaving 4 good lower scaffolds. The bad news is i have grafts of pristine hooples and yates in the top of the tree. I’d top the tree today if i was confident i could regraft those varieties to the 4 remaining lower scaffolds. This would involve summer grafting perhaps using green scion. Should i go for it? Weather is forecasted to be 90F with isolated showers and lower 70s dew point for the next 10 days. I have parafilm tape.

If i wait til dormant to chop, the tree will likely be alive and grafts ok, but chopping will reveal that the FB has moved too far down the tree undetected in the heartwood because I waited too long.

Fireblight will eat that king David tree up in no time so my advice is cut it ASAP. Make sure you get it all the first time even if that means cutting off more. Break off the branches you can so you don’t infect your pruning tools. Fireblight is the gang green of trees so amputate or the patient will die.

You could bud as well so that you have more chances. That is if the buds have matured enough.

The new graft growth does not seem to have much bark and buds - still pretty green. So im not sure budding would work, if i understand what budding entails. Can I graft green scion from spring 2018 grafts onto green shoots via whip or cleft? Another option would be to cut the branch on which the graft is a attached, cutting below the graft, then do a cleft graft. No matter what I should probably cut the scion way back, clip most of the leaves and wrap in parafilm.

I stumbled on this topic of grafting active wood while researching parafilm.
I decided to try 16 days ago, so far bud still looks good.
The bottom picture is the scion before removing the leaves. The top pic…the scion after removing the leaves.
However the bud I’m using next to the penny is probably much greener (less mature)than what you suggest using as in summer buds. For me here it’s early spring.
It’s been a few years since this subject was discussed. Any updates
from members?

1 Like