T-budding tutorial

You are welcome, Anne.

I have to notice that, in a few years, the t-buds and the chip-buds that were successful will be hard to tell apart, so the end result is similar.
I am referring, essentially, to percentage of takes in less than ideal conditions (too humid, too hot and so on). I am noticing that the t-bud in those situations and in some types of fruits can be more fragile in the early stages or, when done late in the season, they have to endure a harsh winter during the several months of dormancy until next spring.

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Think I will try to regraft some pears that got broke off in a storm using t-buds. The storm happened fairly late in the year after the grafts had taken and it was to warm to try and whip graft again. The t-bud might be a great solution to that problem. It’s close to 100 here now but the trees are growing. I feel a bit stupid grafting when it’s that warm but I will give it a try in the next week or so.

If the bark is slipping on the stock T buds have a good chance of taking. The real key is that the bud be cleanly and clearly under both flaps of the T and flat against the cambium of the stock. Do that and the bud should heal in.

We are at that point where forcing the buds might be an issue. I’d probably favor trying to force any buds that look good after two weeks. My experience of holding T buds over winter isn’t good. And if you are going to wait that long to force the bud you might as well just regraft in spring.

You might also want to protect any exposed stock or bud and any subsequent growth from the worst of the heat if possible. Paper bag or tinfoil.


Thanks fruitnut I will make it a priority to do a few today. I have an unidentified pear that’s scions are very easy to graft so I tried some buds from that one. This is what I did first and cut a couple of non dormant buds.

Next I prepared the rootstock by cutting a T as you instructed

Peeled the T I cut with the razor back a bit and inserted the bud

I left all the wood behind from the bud

Taped it up tight.

Should I wrap the graft area in parafilm? I did wrap the area with parafilm it made sense to me to do it.


I tried forcing one of my T buds this year. It looks to be a success!


Thanks Jsacadura! I’ll give this technique a try. Do you directly cover the bud with the parafilm? If so, I take it you cut away the parafilm when forcing the bud? I know when I first started grafting, I applied too many layers of parafilm and the buds couldn’t get through.

Of the first chip buds I did on 6/23, the budding tape (like cellophane) seems to have done better than the electrical tape. But, I didn’t use any rubber bands that time to compare. I also only had chip buds that time.

I did another dozen buds today and used budding tape for some and rubber bands for others. (mostly TBuds, along with a few chips). This time it was into all green wood on suckers at the base of an apricot which died back to the ground due to a hard frost in April (~16F).


When i used buddy tape i had to leave a gap or later cut a slit for the bud to push through.

Since i began using grafting parafilm i don’t have to do it any more. I wrap several layers above and below the bud, but i only place 1 strip of parafilm over the bud and i stretch it a bit before i do it, to weaken it even more.

That way the buds don’t have any problem pushing through the parafilm. Usually, even the simple swelling of the bud does the trick and breaks the parafilm. It’s a wonderful material.

A few examples of chips in plums, figs, peaches and kiwis, that i think are self explanatory.

Good luck with your grafts. They are looking good.


Thanks FN, again. Just reread this thread and found my answer!

Apparently you are an excellent teacher! My first t-bud is still alive. I scratched the bottom today and made sure it was green. If you look closely at the picture you can tell._


My forced Flavor King T-bud doing great!


It looks like most of the T(and other)-budding that was reported in this post was done a month or more ago. Upcoming weather here in western Oregon is: low 80s in the day and low 50s at night; probably won’t rain much if any for a month. Is it too late to do budding on my 2nd leaf (for me) trees?

I’m thinking location makes the difference - certainly not too late where I am, would have been too early more than a month ago


A bit over 3 weeks ago, I made a dozen buds (2 chip, 10 T) on the suckers from a Monique apricot which was killed by the hard frost in April. Some Tomcot, some Orangered.

After a week and a half, I cut back the growth above the buds and while I didn’t get great results, I have at least one take on each main branch, 4 in total.

Chips: 0/2
T buds with cellophane tape: 2/6
T buds with rubber bands: 2/4

There are a couple others which may yet take, so I don’t think the cellophane was that bad. But, I think the rubber bands were a bit easier to apply…

So, now I’ve had reasonably good success with plums and some success with apricots, but I don’t think I’ve had any with peaches, even though I did 36 buds in early July. I need to do a complete check, but I haven’t found any takes yet. Hopefully there are a few hiding out there, but it doesn’t seem an easy thing for me to do.

Before removing the bindings:


Never thought of trying cellophane tape!

I have considered masking tape

Keep trying and your success will improve. Nice job!!!

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I wouldn’t have thought of it either, but I received a roll of it for Christmas from my brother. I don’t remember if it was labeled budding tape or grafting tape, though I didn’t use it for any grafting. Stephen Hayes cuts up plastic bags for grafting, so I suppose that is similar too.

Thanks, I’ll probably give peaches one more try in the next week. After that, it may be too late this year. I’d really like to rework most of the large TangO where I get too many rot problems…

It’s amazing the difference 5 days can make with a t-bud. Thanks to your tutorial my t-bud on this pear is growing and looks very promising. I tried 4 t-buds this year. This is the first t-bud I did that I took all the pictures of


Neat and tidy cuts. Great job!

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Beautiful work!

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Of the 4 t-buds I tried on 2 trees both trees had one for sure take. It appears you saved me a year of waiting to re-graft these trees! Remember that last t-bud I showed you from 5 days ago? Thought I better grab a couple of more pictures while I could. In another week the t-bud marks will be gone because it’s growing so fast!