[NAFEX] Field Grafting

deirdreb at mindspring.com deirdreb at mindspring.com
Mon Apr 6 21:56:23 EDT 2009

Thanks for sharing this grafting experience.  I am in the middle of whip
and tongue (bench) grafting.  I was wondering below what grafting method
did you use the following spring?  (when you said: I grafted on my knees,
low to the ground, in lots of about 20-30 at a time,)  Were you doing whip
and tongue in your tree nursery or doing a bud-graft? 
I also did not realize one could do a bark graft with only 5/8" caliper. 
Will have to try as I have some larger sized rootstock to deal with this


> [Original Message]
> From: Michael Phillips <michael at herbsandapples.com>
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 4/6/2009 9:23:41 AM
> Subject: [NAFEX] Field Grafting
> Barbara in Virginia used the term "field grafting"... so I'll add some
> observations from northern New Hampshire on that.
> A few years ago I ordered some small caliper Bud.118 rootstock (3/16 inch,
> as determined by Meadow Lake Nursery) with plans to do summer budding.
> Clonal rootstock can come with very few roots so this also seemed to make
> sense in getting the roots established... though Bud.118 does seem better
> than most in this regard. Of course, life being life, I never did the
> budding... which brought me to the following spring with two hundred
> rootstock in the ground, planted in two separate nursery beds. I grafted
> my knees, low to the ground, in lots of about 20-30 at a time, between the
> very first sign of green tip on my bearing trees through about pink. This
> four week effort wasn't so much a planned trial as just what happened. The
> first lot all took and had impressive shoot growth (for the north)of three
> plus feet by summer's end. The next two lots also all took but the
> shoot growth was 6 to 12 inches shorter. The last two lots had up to a
> misses with shoot growth of 2 feet or less. 
> That still left me with 50 or so rootstock in the other nursery bed that I
> did not get to that spring. These now 5/8 inch caliper Bud.118s were
> barkgrafted the following spring, 2 scions per tree, in the half-inch
> time slot when bark was definitely slipping. All took, growth was on the
> order of four feet with plenty of side branches in evidence. I trimmed
> the weaker shoot but did allow it to grow all that summer to contribute
to a
> complete callus, removing it entirely the following spring.
> Last year I semi-repeated this effort by field grafting another 100
> put out as liners the spring before... thinking I now knew better to get
> this all done "on time" the week of green tip. Last summer we had
> like 30 inches of rain in July and early August, and given the location of
> these wee trees, they basically floundered. Shoot growth varied
> from 8 inches to two feet at best. The weaker grafts either winterkilled
> were broken off by an icy crust this winter, giving me a net take on the
> order of 75% ... all of which want another season of growth before going
> in the orchard.
> This year I'm returning entirely to bench grafting, in the greenhouse,
> me in the standing position. I'm doing that now, setting aside the grafts
> callus for planting out in about a month's time. 
> Don't know if this adds to understanding callus dynamics... as it seems
> experience was more about maximizing the years it takes to grow a decent
> tree!
> Michael Phillips
> Lost Nation Orchard, NH
> www.GrowOrganicApples.com 
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