[NAFEX] successful bud grafts / temperature

derry&bill wchase at interchange.ubc.ca
Thu Aug 19 18:38:42 EDT 2004


Pardon my ignorance,  but I don't know where Oberlin is.

If you were in my area 'coastal PNW', I would recommend a fresh bud i.e. not
dormant.  I would look at the donor tree and look for a branch where this year's
wood is going up at about 60°. I would look closely at this piece of branch and I
would select a good bud in the mid-portion between the annual ring and the tip of
the branch.

I only have sour cherries here and on this year's wood, the cherry buds are single
buds whereas on two-year old and older wood, the cherry buds are in clusters on
spurs. You want one-year old wood.

I would ensure before budding that the mother tree and the rootstocks are well
watered, well hydrated

The terminal bud should not have formed on either the rootstock or the donor

I would choose a cool part of the day, perhaps the evening.

I usually cut the donor bud first and then I know just how big this bud is (length
and width). I cut off the leaf, but leave the petiole. I have a little yogurt
container with a damp paper towel in it and with a lid and I drop the new bud into
this container.

I go to the rootstock and find a place with no buds or leaves about 8" above the
ground. I try to cut out a piece of bark the same size as my donor bud. Holding
the donor bud by the petiole, I place it into the 'hole' on the rootstock. I
actually make a ledge when I cut the bottom of the bud and another ledge when I
cut the space in the rootstock. I fit the two ledges together and if the hole in
the rootstock is too small, I enlarge it carefully. I try to fit the bud into the
hole perfectly. If the hole is too big, I make sure the bottom ledges are matching
and one side is perfectly matching. I tie the bud with plastic ties. I don't cover
the actual bud, but many people tell me it is OK to cover the actual bud.

If it is very hot and dry as it is now in the PNW, I take a piece of brown paper
about 6" x 4", wrap it around the trunk with the newly tied bud and staple it at
the back to form a cylinder. This keeps the hot sun off the new bud.

I've never watched for when the petiole drops off, probably in a couple of weeks

About six to eight weeks from time of budding, perhaps mid-October, I take a razor
blade and slice down the plastic tie on the side opposite the bud. I try to make a
minimal wound or no wound with this cut.

Next year in the late-dormant period for the rootstock, I cut off the rootstock
just above the new bud.

Ideally as the dormant period ends, the bud will swell and start to grow. Be
careful with them at this stage 'cos dogs and kids can easily knock off the new
growth. If I have something very precious, I put a bamboo stake close by to
prevent crows from landing on the new growth and pecking at the label thereby
damaging the new growth.

The biggest factor affecting these instructions is where you live.

If you are in Edmonton or somewhere in the Big Deep Freeze, I think you'll need
more advice on protecting the new growth when it starts to grow, but here in rainy
coastal B.C., we just have to watch for rot, voles, and rabbits.

The height to put the new bud is going to vary with where you live. I'm giving
coastal PNW heights.

Stone fruits (peaches, plums, cherries) callus better at 70°F or higher.

Keep the newly grafted rootstock well watered.

Discussion welcomed by others especially re: Katherine's location. I may be all
wrong if she is in Minnesota or Florida or Texas!

Hope this helps,


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Derry Walsh & Bill Chase
wchase at interchange.ubc.ca
Aldergrove,  B. C.,  Canada
phone/fax (604) 856-9316
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Home web page  http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/wchase/HTML
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Katherine Russell" <Katherine.Russell at oberlin.edu>

I'm going to go ahead and try something this weekend. I have some rootstock lined
Any suggestions for techniques likely to work on a thin barked sour cherry, at a
time of year when the bark isn't slipping (it's not), will be appreciated.

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