When do I remove the rubber bands from apple grafts?

Not quite there yet, but I like planning ahead. Used fairly tight rubber bands on my 3 apple grafts with Parafilm over them. I also put a thin layer of parafilm on the scions. One of my scions is just starting to break bud. At what point do I uncover the rubber band and remove it? My main concern is that the band is so tight it might harm the tree. Thanks, Ed

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Unless you have a few inches of new scion growth I would not remove the bands. When you do remove it be careful because they are fragile. Your more likely to damage the new graft by removing the bands early than if you wait a little longer. Good luck, Bill

I don’t normally remove rubber bands. The sun will do that soon enough. If you have something over them that the sun won’t break down that might be a different matter. I’ve never lost a graft by leaving rubber bands or parafilm.

OK, thanks. Yeah, only rubber band and Parafilm. Like I mentioned, my biggest concern was that I wrapped the graft too tight with the band and didn’t want to harm it in the long run. Either way, I still have a while to wait. Thanks again.

UV light will break down the rubber band… I wouldn’t worry about removing it.

Sometimes I’ll find the carcass of last year’s bands/parafilm hanging from the tree- that’s when I remove them!

One year I wrapped my grafts so tight I thought I had strangled them, and I did have trouble with them, but most of the trouble appears to have been caused by other issues.

If you’re getting budding I wouldn’t worry. Sounds like you’re in good shape.

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Yeah thanks, I just looked again and the lower bud has swollen and split the Parafilm. Thumbs up.

Good question. I used rubber tape and love how tight you can pull it. Trouble is, in thinking back, I’m nearly certain I applied it way too tight. I worried last year about the same thing and it turned out ok, but this year I pulled it way, way tighter.
If my cuts were not so lousy, I’d have not felt the need for it. Damn I’m a slow learner.

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I relate, bud!


Old thread, but closest to my actual grafting this spring. I used buddy tape over rubber bands- on apples and pears. Didn’t get an answer last year on root graft thread, but didn’t do until this year anyway.
1-Root grafts- do I wait for deterioration under the soil line or give it a slice/removal now before putting in nursery beds? paint with grafting compound for under soil?
2-Standard bench grafts- above ground graft, I could slice or leave to have sun take care of this entirely. Grafts were very tight though, and I am going to be putting net over to protect against cicadas. It’ll be a pain to do over summer, there will be no bird landing issues for a while.

Don’t know anything about root grafting. But for the others I’d leave it for the sun.

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The few piece-root grafts I’ve done, I wrapped with thin cotton twine(from top-closure of feed sacks)…biodegradable below ground, so no need to dig around or cut anything loose.

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