I only do 100% cleft grafts and I only use para film and nothing else through I do wrap the graft at least 6 times and Tightly. I am now hearing to you HAVE to use something to hold the graft together as parafilm won’t do it. I get 99% takes on pear and apples doing this 75% on plums and pluots and 50% on peaches. Am I just lucky? or do the clefts not need any thing to hold wood together as the cleft is doing that? Would my plum peach takes be higher if I used something say electrical tape, tree flag tape, or grafting rubbers?
I’ve never seen research that proves one technique of wrapping is better than another. Some people just use plastic bags. Perhaps electrical tape or grafting rubbers would be better with a spice graft or maybe in very windy areas. With cold temperatures black electric tape would keep the graft warmer. Maybe one wrapping material is faster than another. Parafilm is certainly a good product to use.
I think it is just preference, I use a grafting rubber and then cover the graft union with parafilm to keep in moisture. I do whip and tongue grafts which need extra pressure, cleft grafts already have some pressure to keep them together.
For what it’s worth: when I first tried apple cleft grafting, I used only Parafilm. This was based on advice I’d read claiming that grafting rubbers were unnecessary. My success rate was poor (for apples), perhaps 50%.
I’d ordered apple benchgrafts from Greenmantle, and took note that Ram’s grafts were wrapped first in Parafilm, then with grafting rubbers, and finally covered with freezer tape. On my second grafting attempt, I used this method myself, and my success rate was nearly 100%. I’ve continued grafting this way, and my success rate remains very good. It’s easy to remove the wrapping once the graft has taken by cutting lengthwise with a sharp knife; everything will come off in one piece.
Admittedly, I might have had better success (as @macmanmatty did) if I’d used a lot more Parafilm to wrap the joints tightly, but I’m pretty happy with my subsequent approach.
It depends on the individual graft. Some grafts will need something stronger than parafilm. Many won’t.
Keep doing what your doing with those kind of success rates who can argue with you? Always do what works for you but at the end of the day make sure your results are what you want and expect them to be.
I expect 100% of grafts to take but I know I have high expectations, I would like better on the plums and peaches though, and wondered if grafting bands or similar to make them tighter would help. For me I have no idea why but, pluots seem to graft easier than plums on both nemaguard peach rootstock and plum marriana 2624.
I only use parafilm and I then paint with Doc Farwells. I wrap super tight with the 1" parafilm - if its a wedge graft for example I will go around and around and let the parafilm twist and make a “cord” which can be stretched as tight as any rubber. I suppose I could do just as good with rubbers but its easy only having to use one thing to wrap the graft. Anything that is tight and keeps moisture out will work. Bonus points for being easy to take off and/or not girdling if left on.
Yes, that twist to make " the cord " is the trick.
Tried with only parafilm, under 50% success. Parafilm with electrical tape = 95%. My hypothesis is that parafilm when it heats up in the full sun gets loose allowing the graft to wiggle a bit in the wind. We are asking individual cells to grow across a cut and reform a bridge then solidify. Any movement when you are talking connections microns thick is going to be detremental in my mind. It only takes 15 seconds more for me to wrap a piece of electrical tape over the parafilmed union. If it saves me a graft it is worth it.
P.S. I have equal success with my plum and apple grafts. Plums I wait until there is about 1/4 inch of leaf growth from the buds to ensure sap is running nicely. Apples and pears don’t seem to care so I graft those earlier at bud swell…
I think there are two type of "parafilm"s, one is the “parafilm-M” commonly used in bio-labs, which only provides minimal structural support to the grafting union. the other is a kind of thicker plastic strip specifically made for the grafting usage, they are much tougher in the binding aspect, however they are lacking the air passing property of the stretched parafilm-M. So the later one is not much better than plastic bag strips.
My method is stretched parafilm-M one and half layer all the way on the grafting area and the whole scion, then several layers of tight Vinyl tape over the union. It seems work the best.
the parafilm is too expensive for me to use it in that way
If its moving you didn’t wrap it tightly enough. You can put good pressure on grafts with just parafilm, and if done carefully they stay very tight for a long time, until the growth starts busting the tape. Painting over it makes it even more solid, but I mainly am doing that to keep the scion from drying out.
I don’t know who told you it was impossible, but I’m one more guy beating the odds using only parafilm. Sometimes on clefts I will put a bit of tar in the space between scions for drying issues but in terms of integrity It is nothing but parafilm
I only use parafilm and cleft grafts and get 90%+ takes.
If doing a bark graft, I use electrical tape on top of the parafilm to hold it in place a little tighter.
Sometimes I wrap a whip and tongue in parafilm several times then secure the graft around the parafilm with basic twist-ties from a bread bag. You definitely have to remove the twist ties in about a month or so, but that is easy to do, no cutting required. I like the parafilm cord idea, I’ll try that this year as well.
I make the para film cord too. and one other thing I do that I forgot to say is I wrap the graft in aluminum foil to prevent the parafim from heating up.
Here is a picture of the parafilm cord technique. I use this on all my whip and tongue grafts. However, on my modified whip and tongue/ Z grafts I usually add the green gardening tape for extra strength.
I use only parafilm, and also twist it to make it strong enough to bind the graft together. Works very well, but I do have to remove them to avoid girdling.