Why is grafting peaches more difficult than other fruits?

I remember, about a year ago, I asked for scion wood for a red-fleshed peach. I cannot remember who said to me ‘when you have enough experience grafting I’ll send you some scion wood’. For you ‘mega’ grafters out there can you please explain to me why this is true, as I have a perfect peach tree for multiple grafts. I cannot use the current peaches on the tree for anything. Please help.


Peaches and Nectarines have been relatively easy for me, I’ve tried cleft, w&t and t-budding with good success. For me, cherries and apricots have been much harder to get a graft to take

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Timing is more critical with plums and peaches- the actual grafting is pretty much the same. No need to wait when you have the guidance available here.


Ok H-man, next spring will be my first time grafting peaches. I need your help. I have a six year old peach tree that will be top worked with scion this spring. (If I can find the scion I want).

Any tips will help!

From what I’ve come to understand,Peach and Apricot grafting benefits from temperatures in the high 70’s to 80’s.I wish success. Brady

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Mrs G., Scott thinks high temps you may not get at your coastal site are important. I’m inclined to believe it is mostly about whether the trees are actively growing- if cells are forming then wounds are healing, is the way I see it, so it need only be warm enough to support active growth. Just wait until trees are in full leaf and there are a few sunny days in the forecast before next rain, is my suggestion.

I use a thin parafilm tape called Buddy Tape from amleo.com. It is relatively expensive- around $30 when thicker tape is less than $10, but I don’t mind being ripped off for at least a slight improvement. First I cut similar diametered wood from the tree and my scion wood collection using the double bladed Italian shear you already purchased. I make the cuts as long as possible to increase cambium contact and firmly wrap them together using electric tape- either rubber or vinyl (vinyl usually must be cut well after wound is completely healed so it doesn’t girdle the graft). I then wrap the exposed scion with the parafilm, overlapping the electric tape a bit and completely covering the scion. I actually use a touch of Gashell grafting clay, from OESCO, to seal the tip of the scion but the parafilm is adequate if you wrap it firmly.

Other folks use very thin wood but I like using pencil thick pieces that will survive longer without drying out- at least as thick as a cheap pen. You want to use one year wood on the tree you are grafting to, if possible, because it is smoother and easier to match cambiums with the one year wood you are grafting to it. These thicker pieces also get more initial support from the tree than thinner ones.

The wood you are grafting to should be well exposed to the sun and you should prune away any shading growth during the growing season to keep your growing grafts nicely exposed to sun.

I commonly get peaches from grafts made the previous season without runting out the graft. Last spring I made a lot of grafts and got about 70% success with peaches- not as good as the 90%+ I get with apples and pears, but more than adequate. I expect and hope for a higher success rate next spring because the trees I will be grafting to are more vigorous. The more vigorous the tree you graft to the better the success ratio and first season growth, as a general rule.


Wow, Alan, thanks so much for taking the time to give me such a detailed description (including supplies) needed for grafting peaches. I have ‘book-marked’ this post as it will be important this coming summer. I am being given some interesting peach scion wood that I cannot wait to graft. I have an entire tree that can be grafted. It produces tons of sour to almost sweet peaches. They look beautiful but taste horrible and never really sweeten. I will create a new tree, as its growth pattern is very vigorous. I will also get your variety of tape. I purchased parafilm, and Dr. Farwells sealer. I cannot wait to begin this new process. Thank you again, so much.

Most people that perform this kind of a task, from baking pies to building a fence, develop there own methods to some degree and there are many ways to skin a cat (but hard to get away with wearing the coat).



I’ve always had luck chip budding peaches. I did quite a few in August. I find it very easy to do after you get the hang of it. Best thing is you have a long period of time to get it done. I’ve never tried grafting them in spring.

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I believe splice grafting to be the quickest of all grafting methods requiring the least skill- hard to say which of the two is more important to me.

I got time timing and the temp right but grafted scions onto older wood, 2-3 old wood of the existing tree. This was because I wanted to change the whole tree /all those scaffolds into new varieties.

Is that why my grafts mostly failed? I did T budding on older wood with a few successes, probably a fluke.

Not necessarily, but to me, the easiest and highest percentage of takes comes from grafting onto one year shoots.

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some kind of stone fruit grafting expert as I’ve only been doing it for 3 or 4 years thanks to inspiration supplied by Scot. Last season was the first where I made a large quantity of stonefruit grafts- well over 100 for sure- maybe double that, all on bearing age trees.


I almost always chip bud onto this years wood. I’ve done it on older wood, but not sure how much success i’ve had.

I have had success in lower temps, but it is later in the season when things are really cranking already. I have also had plenty of failures because we had two weeks of heat, I grafted, and we had a week of cool from that grafting time on and nothing made it. In a cooler climate you might want to wait until 2-3" leaves to be safe, and also look for the warmest stretch. They have done studies and the callous rate is strongly tied to temps on peaches and somewhat close on apricots.


The need of higher temperatures may be spot on. Here in Phoenix ive found the two most dead simple and reliable types to graft are peaches and cherries. I get near 99% takes with a dirty simple cleft graft.I suppose its quite possible that alot of my success is due to the fact that its rare even in the winter for us to have highs below 70 degrees.

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I’d like to see study to see what specific temps we are talking about. I did a casual experiment this year, grafting before a few days of a very warm spell and then again a week later with a few cooler days following and didn’t see a noticeable difference in percentage of takes, but I didn’t break it down mathematically

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agree. did peach and apricot graft this year. A lot of peach started budding and no sign for apricot.

Andy Mariani in Santa Clara, an heirloom grower, uses the double tongue side graft:


It is different, but may be the easiest graft to get right

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