When to remove wrapping on apple graft?

My apple graft failed this morning. It has been lush for several months, but we had strong gusts this morning out of nowhere and the scion snapped off. Amazingly the cleft graft is still intact with the wedge from the scion still wedged in there. So the graft union itself is still intact, but the scion wood broke. There’s not much left in the graft for it to grow new wood.

What can I do with my remaining scion wood that is now sitting in a cup of water? Should I try to regraft? It’s a splendour apple scion that I’ve been dying to grow and was frankly very disappointed this morning.

My thinking is that I have nothing to lose at this point by retrying. Any suggestions on how to approach this during non dormant season?

Here’s a picture of the scion that broke off.

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That’s right Mark. And just as Kathryn mentions, it’s about the same width as budding rubbers after I cut it longways and stretch it.

As mentioned, it’s just for wrapping the graft union, or for closing T-buds when I bud. I don’t wrap the Temflex over the bud itself, but everywhere around the bud to hold the flap closed. Then I put the parafilm over that.

I’ve tried a rubber tape similar to Temflex, but I liked the Temflex quite a bit better, so from then on, I’ve just stuck with Temflex rubber tape.

I can’t seem to find the Temflex at any of the big box stores around here (they all carry cheaper rubber tape) so I’ve had to resort to ordering Temflex online. Just about a month ago, I ordered 3 more rolls of it from Amazon. I’m done grafting for this spring, but I was getting low on the Temflex, so I ordered some more.

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Lowe’s carries it here.

I don’t put it over the scion bud either. I just use parafilm over those buds. But lots of times if the rootstock has a bud that wants to grow it will come through the Temflex. It’s amazing the strength of plants.


That’s a lot of disappointment sitting there…

T-bud graft???

Ive been using some clingwrap like ethylene grafting tape, i am guilty of putting it on too thick and removing it too early (usually dont lose too many grafts but did this with peaches and apricots and could see the scion bark/buds starting to dry out so i put new tape on and they’re in recovery…) recommend leaving clear wrap/until leaves are 1 to 2in long and/or using waxdip or proper parafilm instead of cheap chinese grafting tape…also patience, the hardest part


My parafilm often starts cracking by the time the scions have even just a couple inches growth on them.

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Order some on Amazon, if you can wait for delivery.

I wonder if I can do it on cleft grafts after grafting.

You can but its a pain and highly likely to dislodge alignment.

If you cover the entire scion and graft union with foil, how can you tell when it starts leafing out?

After 2-3 weeks - but depends on the temperature, sap flow, scion dormancy.

What if the scion doesn’t get one foot of growth in the first year?

Just do it a 2-3 months after grafting, experience will tell

You mention temperature. […]

When people talk temperature they usually refer to daily highs, and you would want several consecutive days at that temperature. See here:

I’ve lately changed my thinking on temperature, but I then get a lot of failures, and I think climate gets overlooked a lot. We’re barely zone 3, and we get cold dry winds. Plums aren’t common here, especially not grafted ones, so I pretty much stick to apples. This year I collected scions as late as I could before the buds started to swell (so I didn’t have to store them too long), and waited until the sap was flowing well, as in starting to leaf out, before grafting. Did I screw up?

Scion can store just fine for several months if properly packaged and properly refrigerated. Grafting when things start to leaf out works well for apples, pears, even plums. Harder to graft things like peaches need the correct temperature.

You will know if you screwed up soon enough. I had a 2/6 success rate with stonefruit my first year, don’t sweat it.

Thank you very much, that’s great info!

I mix water and paraffin and beeswax, fyi. I’ve got it down to the perfect consistency. If you were to search Dax’s Wax Recipe or I’ll post it now:

You really don’t want to wrap scions (ever) after they’ve been grafted. Always do it before. You can certainly (have the bud and wood parafilmed in advance) but do the cuts and after all held together then cover the union (carefully) with a wax tape or whatever type of “Johnny Wax” you use. For me, I stretch parafilm “sideways” to make it very thin and to create a situation where I’m not putting pressure on the union when finishing up the parafilmed, graft.


Bingo! Thanks, Dax, and thanks for the waxing tutorial (again), too.


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