Where to cut on scion

Does it matter where along scion to make the cut?
Closer to a bud or midstem?
In particular pear or apple

For grafting? It’s much easier (for me) to cut in the stem area in between two buds. I graft 99% with cleft graft.

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Once I wrap with parafilm and electrical tape I am a good 1-2 cm above the graft union so if there is a bud close it gets covered in the electrical tape and can’t grow through. So when I am cutting scions into many pieces I cut just above a bud so that I have a long stem to do the graft and then the upper bud has a chance to grow out…

As an aside, I too do mostly cleft grafts on smaller sized scions and whip and tongue on larger pieces although I don’t think there is any evidence on better results one or the other. I HAVE read papers saying the Omega tool that you are using has somewhat poorer results. My personal success rate is a bit worse with the Omega tool which I attribute to a more flimsy union than cleft or whip/tongue. It is also harder to keep the tool perfectly sharp to avoid crushing the cambium instead of cutting it cleanly. I would also frequently have one leg of the Omega being thicker while the other thinner, again making stability an issue. Bought a grafting knife and never went back (exacto knives work but I get a bit more curvature on the cuts than with a real knife.)

On my cleft grafts I don’t wrap the electric tape above the cleft. I seal the open end of the rootstock with wax. I wrap the tape tight enough that the scion is held firmly in place by the pinch of the cleft. Here is ts hardy , the tape stops just at the edge of the rootstock, then it is sealed with wax

Oh, yes. Wax can work too. I used toilet seal wax for when I did bark grafts on large trunk cuts. I did a comparison between using the wax vs just electrical tape on smaller cleft grafts. I found that a well wrapped cleft heals better than the wax because the whole cleft fills with callus. The wax would get into the cleft and that area would not heal together and there would be some die back at the tips. Did not hurt the graft results but it was extra work for no apparent additional benefits. I think I did 80+ on tree grafts last week and it was much easier (and cleaner) to just do one wrap of parafilm then a wrap of electrical tape vs getting messy with a butterknife and digging into the wax a spreading it.

Edit: Also wanted to add that I have now found that when wanting to graft onto large limbs I get better overall growth by cutting the limbs one year, letting waterspouts shoot up then graft onto the waterspouts the 2nd year. It seems counter intuitive as it seems like you would loose a year but the explosive growth you get grafting onto a vigorous waterspout seems to way outpace the growth of a bark/cleft graft done directly to a large limb. At least in my zone 4 climate and in my limited experience. Your mileage may vary.


Yah, I don’t mind to lose a year (of course, I do) but the trade-off is not only vigorous shoots, about scion size, but probably getting 2-4-6 of them of different sizes. I did that with hazelnuts and grafted successfully.

Re: where to cut a scion, I typically have scions long enough to get two working pieces out of, so the middle cut to separate the stick is below a clear area (bottom of one), and just above a bud (top of the other). I use that general rule on every scion, long or short. If there are no significant clear areas I remove the offending bud (lower end of scion) as I make my cut to form the wedge, or whatever shape I’m cutting.

This may sound a little silly but I will share my experience anyway. The wax I use is recycled from baby bell cheese that I eat. You can take a ball of it and put in you shirt pocket and it will just get slightly soft. It does not run or need tools to apply. It sticks well to the wood and I don’t press it into the cleft, just seal it against the tape and at the scion

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