[NAFEX] grafting

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Sun Feb 22 11:27:34 EST 2004


I've been using the machine V cut grafter now about 10 years and absolutely 
love it. I feel sure your problem is elsewhere, not the method. As Gordon 
suggested make sure your blades are clean. I do this simply by taking the pruning 
shears and cutting off the rootstock a few inches above where I plan to make 
the graft. I then take that piece to clean and moisten the blades by making a 
few cuts through that discarded piece of rootstock. You now should have brushed 
off so, to speak, material that could cause problems.  

Next about the fit. That V cut works so well you don't even have to have a 
perfect fit with soft material such as apple and even persimmon. Walnut may be 
different. If the scion is undersized make sure one side matches the cambium. 
Both sides do not need match perfectly. I've done many undersized persimmon and 
apple V grafts with nearly the same success rate as when both sides fit. 
Remember the cleft graft is basically a V graft with only one side matching and 
that method has been around for hundreds of years. (I think) When a tree is 
injured the cambium grows together to close the wound. Likewise a graft take is 
this healing process which heals, if you will, to the scion piece. Cut off a 6 
inch limb at the main collar and it will heal across in a few years. 

It is my observation in a V graft the healing starts at the bottom of the V 
and works itself up on the unmatched side and by the end of the summer it will 
have nearly worked up to the top. I'd had some mismatches where one side 
didn't completely heal the first year and by the end of the second they do. I 
believe it is better to have the scion undersized than over size which would allow 
the scion to dry out. But with Parafilm drying out isn't a problem, normally.  

Hardwoods such as walnut and hickory are more critical and my experience 
using the V grafter is limited on them. Yes, a perfect fit there is more critical 
and timing even more critical. May I suggest the three most important 
considerations to successful grafting is timing, timing and timing?

I'd submit your problem is not the grafter, but other details. Are you 
checking the condition of your wood before using it? If grafting hardwoods is the 
rootstock bleeding? Again I always clean off the blades especially when going 
from one species to another using the above mentioned method.   

When grafting Prunus cleanlines is more important due to virus 

The Indiana Nut Growers annual grafting demonstration meeting will be again 
at Indianapolis this year on June 6. The Michigan Nut Growers also have 
meetings to teach grafting. 

Jerry Lehman 
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