When to t-bud graft

I want to try my hand at t-budding. When do I do it? Any time that they are actively growing. I’ve heard its easier to do when the bark is slipping. When does this happen?

Yes only try it when the rootstock is actively growing. It can be done when the scion isn’t growing but you won’t be able to remove the wood from the bud. If scion and rootstock are near same diameter, then removing the wood really helps the fit. If root is twice diameter of budwood, then removing the wood isn’t necessary if you cut the bud shallow. Don’t attempt T budding if rootstock is much over 1/2 inch diameter.

Watering heavily about a week before budding will help assure bark is slipping.

Make sure the buds you are T-budding are mature as well. The farther north you are geographically the longer into the summer it takes to get mature buds.

Buds should be mature enough by now everywhere. I don’t use buds from green wood. But if wood has changed color and shoots are 2ft or longer the lower buds on that shoot will work.

So do the buds need to to be from this year’s growth?

For T budding yes. Chip budding you might get by with an older bud. No reason to use a bud from 2014 at this point in 2015.

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Almost all of this year’s growth on my trees is still pretty green in color. Do I need to wait?

When did your trees leaf out? If it was early May then the more mature buds on this yrs growth are ready.

I think some trees were around there but some didn’t start putting on serious growth until late may or early June. They leafed out before then but didn’t start growing branches until later

I just got done trying a few and it seemed really easy. Everything you guys said makes sense now. I used rubber bands, how long should they stay on? If I wrap the rubber bands too tight will it girdle it before the rubber band comes off?

The rubber bands won’t girdle.

FN, After reading your posts here I was inspired and tried some t-buds on some extra rootstock. HA, it worked!! I cut the rubber bands 3 days ago and I have small green leaves on all three grafts. I was convinced I needed to wait til fall. Thanks, Chikn.

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Just did a couple of chips, plus a whip with live wood, two days ago.

Fingers still crossed.


The buds still seem to be green, but the short stems coming off have turned brown. No growth yet. Is that normal?