[NAFEX] Splice grafting, knifes & more.
Jwlehman at aol.com
Jwlehman at aol.com
Thu Mar 11 08:03:29 EST 2004
In a message dated 3/10/2004 1:12:41 AM US Eastern Standard Time,
pinewoodel at hotmail.com writes:
> When I make my whip cut for a whip and tongue graft, I notice that there
> >is often a slight curl, or cup, to my cuts. The cut starts at a steeper
> >angle and then becomes more shallow.
My personal belief is too much emphasis is placed on the knife. I've been
using a Stanley utility knife for years. Lost my "grafters knife" in a house fire
over twenty years ago and never replaced it. It takes a steady hand and
experience to draw through the cut evenly regardless of the knife, but it must be
very sharp. Practice, practice, practice. Take twenty or thirty pieces of apple
(soft) and practice.
If your first draw through the wood isn't flat and straight you can adjust or
trim it, no problem. Even if the surfaces aren't perfectly flat on a splice
graft the grafting rubber will help pull the surfaces together. Most fruit
woods are soft and forgiving. Hard wood such as hickory may not give as much, but
pull the rubber tight. I've pulled grafting rubbers so tight that when they
callous it does so between the wraps and you get a ripple effect. Simply cut the
rubber if it hasn't decayed or self broken.
If been watching the discussion of the use of masking tape. I'd never ever
use masking tape because it doesn't hold an even firm pressure on the graft.
Also it is more apt to allow moisture to escape before the graft callouses
together. Yes, it will work if applied correctly but it can make the difference of
maybe 20 to 30% fewer takes, just a guess, but why use a method to reduce your
success numbers what ever the reduction is?
If you don't have grafting rubbers, an ordinary rubber band will work (better
than masking tape) but remember to cut it off in about three weeks after the
bud pushes through. Grafting rubbers are specially formulated to decay in the
suns UV, office rubber bands aren't.
Bind the splice graft with a grafting rubber. Then cover with Parafilm, a
medical product that when stretched and wrapped the overlapping seals in moisture
while allowing gasses to escape. Cover the entire graft with it. The bud
pushes through, no problem, every time. Unless of course you but a huge number of
wraps on it. But I've even had buds push through Parafilm and aluminum foil
that was covering that to keep the graft cool in the sun.
A few times I've had a bark graft fail, but because it was covered with
Parafilm the scion wood was preserved so well that I removed it, recut the scion
wood and understock for fresh surfaces, reinserted and it took.
Size is important. Pencil size or larger. Yes, smaller wood can also callous,
but again why use smaller wood that reduces the chances of success
percentage? Bill Davie, a nurseryman and active NAFEX member from PA, now deceased, did
an experiment. He girdled a tree with a chain saw and found it tries to heal
itself by growing callous from the top down. When he made two cuts about 6
inches apart only the top cut tried to callous. The conclusion was that callousing
begins at the top therefore the energy to begin healing the graft comes from
the scion. If that scion is small (low stored energy) or too dehydrated or it
dehydrates before callousing is sufficient for the transfer of nutrients from
the understock to scion, the chances of failure increases.
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