[NAFEX] Cold Peaches/Grafting

Eileen Beckwith candebeckwith at pie.midco.net
Mon Dec 5 01:39:28 EST 2005

I was able to graft peaches successfully only after changing my methods to make it possible to 
keep the grafted stocks in a much warmer environment than needed for most other tree fruits.  
Peaches appear to require considerably more heat during the callusing process than most other 
fruit trees(apples, pears, etc.). Almost all of the grafts that took well were whip grafts made on 
smaller 1 and 2 year old potted seedlings. Being in pots made it easy to keep the grafted stocks in 
a warm place during the healing period (70 degrees or warmer).  Most of these grafts were done 
in early-mid May, several weeks after the normal time for grafting other fruit trees in our area. Having 
completely dormant and healthy scions appeared to be much more important with peach grafts than
with apples and pears. Stocks with leaf buds just starting to open seemed to have the best takes.   

Even after keeping the grafted stocks in a warm place the overall success rate was only about 30 to 40%
as compared to a 70 to 80 percent take on apples and pears. Success rate on grafts made on outdoor
stocks was less than 10% due to the difficulty in keeping the grafts warm enough during variable spring

Most peach trees sold by nurseries are propagated by summer-fall budding because the higher temperatures
present at this time facilitate much faster callusing and healing in of the buds resulting in a very high
percentage of takes compared to any other grafting methods.

Carl Beckwith
Pierre, South Dakota
Zone 5a/4b (depending on which way the wind blows)
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