[NAFEX] Grafting suggestions

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Mon Nov 2 17:30:42 EST 2009

My experience has been limited but I had no great difficulty with 
budding, teaching myself the conventional T-budding method from R. J. 
Garner's "The Grafter's Handbook." I used commercial rubber strips as 
supplied to the nursery trade 30 years ago.

I did learn the hard way the need for strict attention to some 
fundamentals: the stock should be in full sun with plenty of water and 
soil fertility, well weeded or mulched, growing vigourously, bark 
slipping *well*. My budwood was supplied by experts so was mature.

I did have a problem in that my budwood was from longer season areas so 
by the time it was mature and was shipped, my stocks tended to shut 
down. I found some tricks by accident. I fertilized with fresh cow 
manure two or three weeks before, and pruned off the lower third of the 
branchlets from the stock. This kept the stock growing (pruning delays 
dormancy) and its bark slipping. The take was great.

I was working on a small scale and had a ferocious mouse problem, so cut 
off the stocks when the leaves dropped and covered them with 48 ounce 
juice cans with many holes punctured with nails. Stocks seemed to 
tolerate this treatment well.

I used a standard budding knife, kept it sharp, protected the budwood 
and the job from drying out, usually keeping the budwood ends in water.
I kept everything clean.

I think that if the knife is rigid and sharp and the cambium of both 
parts is kept from drying out, the conventional technique will give a 
good contact of the two cambia. I can imagine that if one were operating 
on a large scale and were not very careful and if either cambium dried 
out a bit, there could easily be problems. I was operating in the fairly 
humid climate of southern Ontario, close to the Lake Ontario shore.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Sarah Kehler Ewing wrote:
>      When I teach grafting we do whip-and-tongue
>> and cleft grafting only 
>> because I have about a 95% success rate compared to a poor
>> success rate 
>> doing budding.  Budding only gets a brief mention in
>> my classes.
>> Jim Fruth
> I've no experience with anything, but bud grafting. Dr. Evans teaches a much simpler kind of bud grafting than that found in most reference books.  His method is this:
> 1)bud collection: slice a thin slice of bark off your stick of wood from your desired tree that is about an inch long with a nice bud centered in the middle of the bark slice (there should be a bit of wood under the bud).
> 2)rootstock: slice down the bark where you want to put the graft freeing a thin strip of bark about the same width as your bud from the rootstock, then slice cross-wise at the end of the bark slice leaving a short flap of loose bark at the bottom to hold the bud.  I like to make sure I slice nowhere near a rootstock bud to make it easier to tell that it is in fact the graft growing and not a nearby rootstock bud trying to take over.
> 3)grafting: place the bud in the small flap of bark taking care to line up the edges (or at least one edge) of the bud with the edge of the slice in the rootstock and making sure that the bud slice is not longer than the slice made in the rootstock, wrap the whole open wound with parafilm and watch the bud pop through and grow into a tree!  You will need to rub off shoots growing on the rootstock, but take care not to rub off the bud you grafted on. 
> I hope this is clear.  It is easy to teach in person, very easy and fast to use, conserves rare budwood, and is very effective in terms successful grafts.
> Sarah 
> zone 3
> Edmonton, AB

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