Waxing scions vs parafilm, vs au naturel

Yeah, that makes sense. I’d love to see a pump you could spray a wax with but I don’t see it happening. I wonder what you could thin johnny wax with that wouldn’t hurt anything, but I don’t know enough about either chemistry or horticulture to speculate. But we use latex paints on trees. And how about Elmer’s Glue type stuff?

My buddy in his late 70’s while I’m past 45 is like ‘the hell with it’ sometimes. He grafts and walks away.

The thing about wilt-pruf or whatever it is that it completely smothers the material so it cannot breath at all and it takes a lot of sun or time to get it off. Often it has been “known” to kill plants because heat waves came too early and suffocated them. A lot of Rhododendrons that occurred with.



Yup, yup, and yup, and I’ll add yup. The truth of the matter is I thought of something like olive oil and wax but immediately you realize oil might cook something in sunlight. Got reading further and oil based sprays with wax are for car undercarriage protection.

Paint works perfectly for scions. My buddy put a pile of Hark pecan somewhere (probably a board) and slopped yellow all over them. Painted another variety another color.

Brought them to a grafting event and opened the plastic Walmart type bags and there they were from the day prior still wet and I had to drag my knife thru them all that morning. Really pissed me off!

Elmers is great too. No problems there.



Funny story about the painted scions! I’d be pissed off too.

I don’t really need to change what I’m doing, so I probably won’t, but I’ll put it on the back burner and see if anything develops down the road.

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Dax - what’s your mix? It’s like beeswax and parrafin right?

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Waxing Deciduous
Dax’s Recipe

Box of paraffin wax from grocery or hardware store. Cut the box in half. That gives you (8) pieces. Cut those in half. You now have (16) 1 oz pieces.

For 1 gallon:

1 piece (1 oz)

For Field Grafting: 1 piece (1 oz) + .25 oz. Beeswax

Heat wax + water to 180F and allow to drop to 160F. Once at 160F start dipping quickly if temperature cannot be kept.

A 1.1 liter deep fryer is the best way I know to dip scions. Fill with water leaving 1" of the reservoir at the top. Add .25 oz paraffin for bench grafts inside a greenhouse. Add .25 oz paraffin to .1 oz beeswax for scions to be grafted outdoors or for bench grafts to be healed, outdoors.

In advance "tune the deep fryer dial." Once you find the spot on the dial where the temp stays a consistent 160F, put duct tape over the dial so it cannot move.

The perfect consistency of wax on a scion is a very thin coating. Dip quickly and hold for a second or two and the wax will be fully dry.


Buddy tape will work on lignified wood as well as very soft green wood. Parafilm smothers green wood. I don’t know how well dipping in wax will work with green wood.

My wax is so thin. It’s beautiful. It’s like a crystal decor’.

I’ve read the exact opposite (on this group) about buddy tape and the problems that buds cannot push thru it often. I must be thinking of something else is all I can come up with.


Dax, I have to try wax sometime. Does it work with green wood?

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160°F just sounds like it would kill the buds! Obviously it doesn’t, but how?

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years ago, a friend related watching her granddad grafting when she was a child.
He wrapped union with cotton string and slathered a liberal layer of fresh, soupy cow manure, from a coffee can, over scion and union with a wooden paint stirrer.
I can see how that would seal in moisture, and pH probably retards mold growth as well.
Personally, I wrap all unions and scion with Parafilm M, then wrap the union with rubber band.
For apples/pears, that may be overkill - Ed Fackler just wrapped W&T grafts at his Rocky Meadow Nursery with masking tape and moved on to the next one.


I don’t see why not.

@BG1977 I don’t know.



My persimmon buds had a hard time pushing through a single layer of buddy tape this summer. I had to cut it to get them through it. All the grafts took though…just needed some extra help.

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@BG1977 @Barkslip As far as the heat goes, it sounds like your wax layer is pretty thin, correct? If so, it’s good to remember that damage is a factor of time as well as temperature. A thin layer of wax will likely cool down too quickly to cause any damage, especially in the early spring.
A parallel example from cooking: holding turkey meat at 150 or above for 3.7 minutes yields the same level of food safety (% of bacteria killed) as 160 or above for 26.1 seconds or getting to 165 and immediately cooling it down (source). So if your scion is only exposed to 160°F for a second or two, there’s not enough heat transferred to the stick to damage it. See also: waving your hands through a candle flame vs holding it there.

Peanut gallery signing out.


Nice job, Jay.


Is the 160 temp necessary for the proper viscosity and to make the coating acceptably thin? I ask because wax liquifies at much lower temps than that in my experience.

Brian, I can’t tell you what or what not to do but I can derive from my own experiences and from people that showed me their life’s work before they passed away from their 40-years experience and my 18-years grafting experience.

There’s one thing I’ve learned and it’s that you can’t tell people what to do. They will always do what they believe is right even if they’re wrong.

Anyone here can shake your head “no” but my father told me from the very time I was a child without enough strength to get the basketball up to the hoop that he would tell me the truth all my life and that if I told the truth I would live a wonderful life. He was right.

He also said and reminded me often that if there was anything he learned the hard way to simply ask him and he would tell me the path of least resistance or the right way to do something. I’m talking both about the difficult obstacles we all will encounter during life as well as how to do/build something correctly.

You can change my recipe all you want- you asked, I wrote. I also told you I don’t know ‘physics’. I never questioned that old man that taught me. His reputation among peers was “there was no better grafter.”

Thank you for listening for a moment.

P.s. when you start allowing wax to drop to say 140 or 120 it goes on so it’s not transparent (it’s white or white/yellow from beeswax) and when it goes on heavy the scions will break thru the wax but no matter what you do, that thick coating of wax turns the wood black when you go to remove it mid-summer the same year or later that Fall or maybe the next year (whenever you get to it). You have to chip it off with your fingernail and you wouldn’t believe what it did to the wood. After that, two-years later, the wood is still discolored. Try selling that! Take care. : )


Q: How does TreeKote do it?

A: They do it with asphalt.

Supposedly, the aerosol is the same messy formulation as their bottled product — only more so.


That works for me!

I’m going to do it your way. I’m just curious about the science.


Since my wife will, under no circumstances, let me put wax in our slow cooker…can I fill a jug with boiling water, drop in the wax, and let it cool to 160°? For small quantities, that is.