When you "slip" the bark, where is the cambium layer?

When you “slip” the bark, what layer does is separate at?
Where does the cambium end up - on the bark or the wood, or both?
From this diagram, it seems like the cambium would end up on the wood side
That would make sense since when you bark and bud graft, you face the cambium on the bud/scion inward.


if wondered this myself in the past. What i found was that when the bark is slipping and especially on young wood there are multiple layers of cambium cells. And they end up on both surfaces.

I can’t find the source for it now when looking. So consider my reply more “hear say” than fact.

If you have a strong enough microscope it would be intresting to “test it” some time. Although im not sure if it’s easy to differentiate visually the cambium cells from others. although you could likely dye the phloem


CORTEX: in front of cambium and between the pith/hardwood/sapwood all that.

Cortex is an invisible layer of cells that are moist that create the callus whereas the cambium must be lined up in order to later after healing, to continue the flow up and down of nutrients.

It’s Cortex that binds the two pieces of wood together while grafting.



OK, I did some research and I found an great article from UGA that goes into a LOT of details on the different layers in a tree’s skin (Periderm) https://www.warnell.uga.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Tree%20Anatomy%20Components%20of%20Periderm_14-13.pdf

My understanding from it is that the Vascular Cambium produces Phloem which is the material that is flowing (see Flow’em on p.3) and travels through the Secondary Cortex. When the bark “slips”, it seems the Cortex/Phloem is where is separates. So, technically, the Cabium is on the wood (xylem) side according to the diagram below.

I think ultimately what we are trying to do in grafting is to integrate the periderm of the scion/bud into the periderm of the host tree / root stock - primarily focused on the Phloem. Thus, the Cortex through which the Phloem flows and the Cambium that creates it are key as (@Barkslip said). For cleft grafting you align the layers. For bud grafting you place the layers from the bud in the Cortex on top of the Cambium so that is it creates new Ploem/Cortex that can integrate with the Cortex of the bud.


Mark, I believe the cambium creates all of the new cells that form the graft union.

When you click your knife through the bark, then peel, it separates at the cambium layer. When you pull back a flap, there is cambium on both the wood and the bark sides.


My experience is it’s not as clean of a line as you would think, and in reality, some cambium cells end up on both sides.


I agree, that is why I said “technically”. I have seen some microscopic cross sections of the Periderm and the structure generally follows the layers described but the Phloem/Cortex is a more complex than that. I think the Cambium Layer is just a distinct line on its inner edge.

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I have a mulberry I need to do this (exact same thing shown in this video too).

He basically cuts off the entire top and bark grafts to it… it shows some close vid of the bark grafting, and how he makes that cut and then separates the bark from the tree.

Of course he makes that look so easy.

Doubt my adventure will go that well… but it will be an experience that I will surly learn from.

What do you all think of his demonstration of the bark graft ? anything major that I should do differently on a mulberry ?

I noticed when he lopped that entire top off (he was working on a almond tree)… that it had just a few blooms open. So it was early spring, at first blossom open when he did that.

Would there be a significant difference in (bark slip time) for Almond vs Mulberry ?

For my Mulberry… perhaps a little earlier… at first signs of bud swell ?

I am not afraid to try at all (doing exactly what this guy did)… it does not look all that difficult to me, but I expect the timing may be key on a mulberry (excessive sap flow issues)… Others have mentioned.

Notice that last little cut he makes on the scion… that seems to make sure you have good cambium layer contact (along the flat facing the tree and along that edge). Looks good to me… anything you would do different than that on a bark graft ?

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I’ve been trying to get the hang of Mulberries too. I have tried early spring and later spring, then early summer after getting advice from Buzz at Perfect Circle farm. https://www.perfectcircle.farm/. No go for the spring , but I had some takes after it warmed up well. As usual, I can never say the failures were not my poor skill, but Buzz is right about the warm temps, I think. Hopefully others here will give us a hand.

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@TNHunter I watched a very similar video from my alma-mater - Texas A&M.
They use a similar technique but slightly modified approach.

@markshancock … very similar… but he cut the bark on both sides of the scion… inlay bark graft. I don’t really see the advantage of making that second cut.

And he was doing that later in the season… warmer weather… his pecan tree seedling already had leaves.

Ps… I am starting to have second thoughts on attempting my mulberry graft in the early spring… sounds like several have tried that and just had no luck.

I found a video last night of a guy doing cleft grafts on his mulberry to change varieties… and he did not look like an expert at it at all… but he had success… and he was doing it one limb at a time over a period of time during warmer weather.

But he was not using scionwood collected while dormant… he was taking wood off a live tree and replacing his with that.


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Interesting, maybe that is what mulberries need. It seems that the basic grafting principles are the same across all species but there could be some things that work better for. Mulberries seem to have originated from warmer climates so maybe they graft best when both the scion and host are active.

My thought was the two cuts exactly the width of the scion would allow the cortex/cambium on the edges to align with the scion so that it works like both as a bark graft and a cleft graft.


@markshancock … I found two different guys on YouTube last night successfully grafting mulberries…

One simply used zip ties to hold the graft together and covered with aluminum foil… he looked to be over seas… and it was warm weather.

The other looked to be in USA… and looked to be grafting in early spring. He tied the graft together first using fishing line… then over that he used parafilm… but said he only leaves the parafilm on for a week or so then removes it… leaving only the fishing line on place for longer period.

I think both were doing that to help with the excessive sap flow issue. The guy from the USA specifically stated that. He said if you leave the parafilm on much longer it stays too wet and starts to mold, etc…

It looked to me like the zip ties properly placed did a very good job of securing the graft. He used 3 or 4 and job done.

I may try parafilm for a week or so…over zip ties and see how that works.


Well I found the guy again that used the fishing line… may not be in the USA… but he does look and sound possibly American… and he was grafting mulberry in late winter… like now for me.

He said very difficult to get one graft to take on a multi limbed mulberry… best bet to make your graft the only thing growing so it has to focus on that.

Not sure how much success he has had with that.

@steveb4 … you might be interested in this guy’s mulberry grafting experience. Note how he uses fishing line… another guy I watched last night used zip ties.

This guy secures the graft with fishing line then adds grafting tape… but only leaves that tape on for about a week.

I think the zip ties might be better than fishing line… 3 or 4 placed properly looked to hold the graft securely… and you could add parafilm over that for a week or so and then remove… leaving the zip ties only for a few more weeks.

IDK… but he is reporting success with spring or late winter grafting mulberries doing that.


The geotag on the video says Houston. While there are some in Texas that claim Texas is its own country, most people agree it is part of the USA. :wink:


New grafters take note. :slightly_smiling_face:

@TNHunter I’ve been watching quite a bit of grafting video footage lately to learn as much as I can, so I can limit screwing up as much as I possibly can. LOL

I’m very new to grafting and will be giving it my first shot this Spring. I will start practicing with figs. I also have 4 scions of Varaha mulberries coming my way. I ordered 4 rootstocks of Russian Mulberries to graft the Varaha scions. I also have a Kokuso that I was thinking about grafting over with a Varaha as well.

Then I will turn my attention to attempt overgrafting a crabapple tree I have growing on my property with a bunch of Roxbury Russet scions.


@Marco … I did my first graft last spring… on a mulberry. It did extremely well.

Also grafted 4 apples last spring and they all did well.

Will be working lots of persimmons (americans, hybrids… even some from portugal) and two varieties of pears this spring and a few varieties of apples.

This post mentions… slip the bark.

Got a good pic of that last spring.

This was my first graft.

What it looked like after the first growing season.

I have been watching more grafting vids… every day on youtube. It is addicting !



I have very little experience grafting. This past year I grafted pears onto callery pear with a high rate of success, and I was fairly successful grafting mulberries. Black walnut wasn’t so successful. I made about a dozen grafts and they all failed. I chalk it up to inexperience, and that i used toilet bowl wax to seal them up. Most of the grafts were doing really well until the weather turn hot, and then they all failed, one by one. I’m told it’s probable that the wax melted and ran down into the graft. What should I use to seal my black walnut grafts?

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