[NAFEX] beginner's apple grafting report

tin man magneticanomaly at yahoo.com
Mon May 16 15:11:07 EDT 2005

Dear Lisa Almarode, 
Enjoyed your very analytical grafting report. My self-taught suggestions are probably no help, but here they are anyway:
Whip-and-tongue is my favorite, because it gives long cambium contact, and is self-fixturing, that is, the graft stays on the scion by itself while I get the tape ready.
To seal and support the new grafts I use what I think is commercial Saran wrap. The reason I say, "I think" is that my supply came from the trash of a school kitchen, a roll on a 3" core.
I sliced a 1" long piece, to make a roll of 1" wide tape, off the end with my rather sharp belt-knife (the same knife I graft with).  The roll will last me two lifetimes.
When I have placed the scion and stock together, I tear off a foot or so of the tape, and wrap the joint first bottom up, then go back down with a second layer, and tuck the bitter end under the last wrap, and pull tight.
Once only (this year) apparently a bird unwrapped a graft so wrapped, and it dried out and died.
This wrapping is strong enough to support, soft and stretchy enough to allow growth. Sun degrades it in a year and it falls off.
When I first started grafting, I tried strips cut from plastic grocery bag, and it was too strong: grafts didn't leaf out until I loosened it.
The other indispensable tip that I got after my first year was DON'T touch the cut surfaces with fingers. I don't know if its the salt or the oil, .  But with the soft plastic wrap and the no-touch policy, success went up from 50% to 80-90%

Lisa Almarode <lisaalmarode at yahoo.com> wrote:
Of my 6 apple and 3 pear grafts last year, 2 apples have survived, 
so I'm not an absolute beginner (but close). 

I grafted 22 scions onto 13 rootstocks this spring, in 3 sessions 
over 10 days or so in early march, using a grafting knife and 
either rubber strips or masking tape, then doc falwells seal and 
heal. All were bench grafted onto M-7s from a single bareroot 
rootstock purchase (One Green World) and then potted in 1-gallon pots 
and kept in somewhat sheltered spots/partial shade (and we've had 
a unusually wet and cloudy spring). 

I've assessed them 2 months later as yes, no, or maybe; yes is well 
leafed out, maybe means the buds have swollen and perhaps showing 
a little green, no is looks just like when it was grafted. 

There are 9 yes, 7 maybe, and 6 nos. On inspection one of the nos 
was grafted upside down :-)

For the final grafting session (4 grafts) the scions looked a little 
dry; of these: 1 yes, 1 maybe, 2 nos.

6 singles (6 grafts) - 4 yes, 2 maybe
5 two-ways (10 grafts) - 4 yes, 2 maybe, 4 no
2 three-ways ( 6 grafts) - 1 yes, 3 maybe, 2 no (one upside down)

Of the grafts, there are:

10 whip and tongue or just whip grafts: 7 yes, 2 maybe, 2 no
7 veneer (graft onto side of rootstock): 0 yes, 3 maybe, 3 no (incl. 
upside down)
4 double whip (rootstock end cut to a chisel, two scions whip/whip 
and tongue grafted): 3 yes, 1 maybe 

5 with rubber grafting bands: 2 yes, 1 maybe, 2 no
16 with masking tape: 6 yes, 6 maybe, 4 no (incl. upside down)
1 with both: yes (as I recall the band was too small/short so I 
finished up with tape)

Conclusions (probably premature):
- veneer side grafts aren't a particularly good idea (my last 
year success story for these has also turned up as a failure 
this year)
- the double whip was surprisingly successful. 
- masking tape seems to be just as good as grafting bands 
- keep the scions good and moist...

I'm not unhappy; of the 7 I wanted the most, there are 5 yes, 1 maybe, 
and only 1 no.


Here's the raw data, if you really like trivia, but please don't 
attempt to find an underlying plan or pattern in the choices or 

1. yellow newton pippin (rubber) no 
+ arkansas black (rubber) probably not
2. melrose (whip/rubber) maybe
3. wolf (whip/mask) yes 
+ rubinette (ven/mask) maybe
4. zabergau reinette (whip/mask) yes 
+ blenhiem orange (ven/mask) prob. not 
+ roxbury russet (ven/mask) maybe
5. spigold (whip/mask) yes
6. gala (whip/both) yes
7. double whip: hudson's golden gem (rubber) yes 
+ king (tape) maybe
8. winesap (tape) probably not 
+ esopus spitzenburg (tape) probably not
9. opalescent (whip/tape) maybe
10. double whip: winter white pearmain (tape) yes 
+ williams pride (tape) yes
11. gravenstein (whip/rubber) yes
12. sheepnose (whip/tape) probably yes 
+ winter banana (veneer/tape) maybe 
+ summer rambo (upside down)
13. sops of wine (whip/tape) yes

Lisa in Ashland Oregon
USDA Z7 - Sunset Z7 - 1800' - 19" annual rainfall

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