Top grafting with NON dormant scions?

I saw reference on another site of someone claiming to successfully top graft apples during the growing season with non dormant scions. Anyone have experience with this? Or ever seen credible info. regarding that approach?

I’m not sure what they mean by non-dormant. By July there will be some new buds formed at shoot bases, you can then cut a limb off and remove leaves and graft and it should work. I have done that before. Before July I have also been successful, but it was by looking carefully around the source tree to find a dormant bud somewhere – usually there is a small low inner shoot or two with some dormant buds by the base. Both approaches are handy to have in the advanced grafting arsenal.


Yes, you can do it; some varieties are easier than others. Low chill apples are very sympathetic and seem to take any excuse to grow.


Welcome to the forum, applenut. Zone, 10A Wow!

@applenut, good to see you here!

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Welcome, Applenut, glad to see you here.


What I meant by non dormant is fresh growth from this season, as opposed to dormant scion wood collected last winter. Scott so will those new buds grow this growing season after late summer grafting or is it like T budding where they typically stay dormant until next spring? Or as Applenut stated is that break of dormancy going to be a result of chiil hour fullfillment?

Another welcome to the forum Applenut. About all the regulars from GW fruit forum are here and you will fit right in. Your prior posts on GW and your youtube videos have been a great help to me as a new apple grower. Welcome aboard!


Several years ago, I took a fresh green bud from a Rossyanka Hybrid persimmons in July and T-budded it and the bud grew. You can do this as a back up if your initial dormant graft failed.


If you force it, it can grow this season. Unless the tree is hardening off for winter any bud can sprout. Peaches in particular show this well, a vigorous shoot can have many shoots at each branch point, those were buds created this season that then sprouted later the same season because there was enough vigor in the scion and it wanted to branch more.

I still have dormant scion wood that is viable and am waiting for an opportunity to use it. Reading up on these older threads since I lost a large number of grafts to the storms. .

Greenwood grafting in late Summer with twigs that have developed buds over the previous few months has worked well with pears and paw paws here. I clip them, break off the leaf stems above the new fat buds, and graft them promptly w/o letting the twigs get exposed to hot Sunlight. Putting them in a small cooler can help, or standing them up in a cup with some water can slow down the rapid dehydration if you can’t graft them quickly. After they are grafted, I spray above the graft with clear coat paint to lock in the moisture, and I place a loose covering made from thin, white plastic grocery bags to decrease the Sun’s blast while allowing some filtered light to reach the twigs as they start to bud out. Cleft grafts worked well, but if the trees have new leaves forming, the bark may slip and allow bark grafts to work.I try to deep water the rootstock trees several days in advance, and I keep the ground moist for several weeks after grafting. As baby leaves start pushing against the white plastic covering, the plastic gets removed. I don’t pull off the grafting tape until early Winter.


I have been summer grafting apples for the last two summers. After clipping the leaves off I completely wrap the scion with parafilm. Most of these have done well but I have noticed that the later in the season you wait the less takes I get. No covers have been added but I can see how it could help.