[NAFEX] nafex Digest, Vol 35, Issue 22

Rondi nafex at mokalive.com
Thu Dec 8 23:02:14 EST 2005

Thanks Dave and Carl for sharing your peach grafting processes. The 
spring chip budding sounds very interesting and I am going to give it a 
try. This coming Mid April would be the time for me. This will give me 
time to look for material to graft too. I have one tree, a Contender, 
that I put in spring 2005 and is doing very well.

Again, Thanks!


From: "Dave Griffin" <griffingardens at earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Cold Peaches/Grafting

> Carl's experience mirrors mine for grafting peaches in a cold climate 
> with the keys being warm temperatures and growing rootstocks. Spring 
> comes a little later here than at Carl's and I don't start until mid 
> to late May at the earliest when daytime temps begin to be reliably 
> above 70 F and nights above 50 F. Nights below 50 F seem to put growth 
> on hold regardless of daytime high temps. I do best after budbreak 
> when the new growth is becoming vigorous. Part of the reason for 
> waiting is that earlier we can have very low humidity and lots of 
> drying wind which is a problem for new grafts and buds that might dry 
> out and die before a good vascular connection can be made with the 
> rootstock. Around June first the grass is growing and trees are leafed 
> out so the humidity is higher. We plant tomatoes at this time because 
> all danger of frost is past which can be almost as hard on a young 
> peach as it is on a tomato plant. Of course, if your rootstocks are 
> mobile in pots like Carl's all t
>  his can be controlled and so you can bud earlier.
>   I don't do whip and tongue grafts anymore. There is something about 
> cutting off the top off peach tree in spring that reminds me of when I 
> see a roadkilled pheasant at that time of year - here the beautiful 
> bird has heroically beaten the odds and won the formidable struggle 
> against winter's predation in inadequate cover, snow, and cold only to 
> lose a confrontation with a Ford pickup just as things are about to 
> dramatically improve. As is the case with the decapitated peach 
> rootstock, this is a serious setback to its health and well being. 
> While the peach may be the more likely of the two to recover in time, 
> disrupting growth in this way at the time of grafting has not been 
> conducive to success. I do spring chip budding now in spite of the 
> caution against it for the north that is standard in all the grafting 
> instructions I have read. The argument says that there is not enough 
> time for the new growth to harden off in the north. Hooey! There may 
> be less growth compared to that
>   of a rootstock with a dormant bud from the previous summer, but 
> hardening off of the new growth - growth that will be at the least 3 
> months old at the end of the season - has never been a problem for me. 
> Even the odd bud that has made only a few inches of growth hardens off 
> just fine and is much more likely to survive its first winter than a 
> dormant summer bud (placed in August here) because it has a much 
> better vascular connection when winter arrives. Come spring I find 
> that many of my summer buds are healed in completely but the bud has 
> died and/or dropped off from what I presume to be dehydration. Success 
> rates for both ways of doing it are vastly improved if the stock is 
> protected over the first winter in some way. I like healing it into 
> the ground at an angle and mulching over the tops. Good rodent 
> protection must be provided, of course.
> Dave
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Eileen Beckwith
> Subject: [NAFEX] Cold Peaches/Grafting
> 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
> weather.
> 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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