@TNHunter Trev… What a beauty! Nicely done!
I place parafilm over anything exposed to air water on large or (smaller) bark grafting’s then followed and completely covered in electrical tape. You come back 3-months later (zone 5b = 2nd July week) and unwrap and check everything and if not super strong looking and lots of visible callous and you made sure your rootstock accepted a LONG cut on a scion so there’s a lot of healing power, then keep the tape off; otherwise put new tape on until after winter and re-check again 1-calender year, later (me the next July, again.)
If you can make a single cut like Trev did up there showing how the bark “split apart” for accepting scions and then prepare your scion and keep the rootstock as one single cut; vertically; then slide down the scion into there after:
- you made an initial long & flat cut one one side (2.5 - 3" long)
2 you “skimmed ONLY” off the bark on the other side. You will notice the color of the skimming under it is the same color as what’s behind the bark that has slipped. Therefore you will understand why the long cut that exposed PITH went up against the pith side of the rootstock…
Forgive me if this isn’t the right topic for this, but I had the same question as @Ged in post #9 as to when was best to graft mulberries. I’ve grafted a few other species, but this will be the first go at mulberries. @TNHunter Did you graft in early Spring before leaf-out, in between leaf and fruiting, or post-fruiting? You had some great growth on yours!
This is where my mulberry was at when i whacked it off and grafted…
That worked nicely for me here in TN… but others up north tried the same and had no luck.
Seems to be location specific.
Thanks! I’ll give it a go when the buds swell. If I wanted to add several varieties on one tree, would it be better to topwork then bark graft different varieties or topwork and maybe add side veneer grafts. I wasn’t sure if bark grafting only where the tree was sawed off might be a weak spot down the line if all grafts were left (assuming they all succeeded).
I let all 4 scions grow… and 2 buds on each… each bud developed into 5-7 ft long shoots by season end.
Nice diameter… 3/4 inch down low… 1/2 inch mid shoot.
That is what the graft union looked like near season end.
I pruned it recently… just took a little height off it and thinned it out a little in the center to get better sun to all shoots/fruit.
They grew like gangbusters! Do you plan on keeping all 4 grafts long term? I had read to remove all but one graft after a season or two with fruit trees like apples/pears presumably to keep that union from rot and to promote better branch angles. I wasn’t sure if that was necessary with mulberries though.
This is what it looks like today.
I took out one shoot that was in the front center… and now it sort of has a open vase shape.
The opening that made in the middle is facing SW so lots of sun will get into the center.
Going with that this season… will re-evaluate when pruning again next spring.
Modeling clay from Walmart is the best sealer and stays all season until you remove it. It compresses so well into crevices of the bark around the graft and is non toxic. A block will do 2-3 seasons of work
I learned from my IE mulberry that whenever you top work it’s best to cut the top at a slight slant rather than level. On much smaller diameters there is a fair chance the bark will grow back to cover exposed wood; however, my cuts were over 6” diameter so the bark did not cover the wood and after several years rot set in. Last summer I had to remove some large rot areas with my chainsaw. I cut them out enough to allow drainage and prevent accumulation of detritus to try to stop the rot. Your grafts looks nice and I hope your bark grows back over the center, but if it does not, pay attention to rot prevention. I know that many on the site advise not to seal such cuts, but in a rainy climate like mine, I think the tar pruning sealer is the best preventative. I had to do something similar con my 30 year old male Buckthorne. So far it’s thriving, but eventually the trunk rot may overcome. Good luck!
@DennisD … thanks… i will keep an eye on that.
I have a note to pick up some modeling clay next visit to our walmart too.
Going to try some cleft and modified cleft grafts on persimmons and pears this year… that may be just what i need.
Ps… on that mulberry graft union flat area… i put a teaspoon of coconut oil… and spread it out all over that flat surface. It will help water proof it some and is anti fungal. May have to reapply occasionally especially after it warms up.
Good idea to use some type of natural seal to protect wood that’s exposed. I’m sure a self draining profile would be best, but sometimes you can’t make it work… On a large open area of deadwood I’ve used some wood preservative such as Pennashield at Home Dept or Tim-bor. Borate, the active ingredient, is anti fungal and kills insects (it’s used in ant bait) and is a non toxic mineral. But this treatment can be leached out by rain, so once it’s soaked in it should be given a coat of something that repels water.
I’m no master grafter but have no trouble simply grafting mulberry water sprouts with a splice graft. I simply wait until first growth and although the percentage of takes is probably only about 60%, splices only take a few moments and very little skill.
My experience is only with IE mulberry. The grafts can grow 8’ the first season.
Now, who can tell me, it it the scion or the mother tree that generates the callous? Or both? It seems to me the scion is very important to the process.
I’m going to argue that it’s the mother tree, i.e., the growing part. I don’t see how the scion would have the energy to do it. I imagine (key word there) that it’s the same thing as callous growing over the area left when a branch is cut back.
Of course the scion has stored energy and then when it leafs out it begins generating new energy and, from my experience, carbo’s seem to be transported “downhill” or towards the trunk. It seems logical to me that the scion is where the healing comes from but I was hoping someone had some researched info.
Not that I mind your guessing and I’m not saying my guess is better than yours, but not because I don’t think it is but because it would be obnoxious to say so.
Well, could it be that one initiates it and the other then joins in? And if so, which is which?
Just guessin’ …
I’m callusing grape cuttings now in preparation for rooting. That callus obviously forms from the cutting. I’d think the rootstock in a graft would also form callus. Both are trying to close a wound.