[NAFEX] Grafting tools

Chris Garriss cgarriss at garriss.net
Wed Apr 13 09:26:44 EDT 2011

Well, back when I got the tool my success rate with a knife was abysmal.  At
best.  The first year I used the tool, it went up to about 95%.  After that
I started doing sort of custom grafting (free) for friends and family.  The
areas I am in (central NC and NE mountains of NC) have been quite rural, but
the central NC area is fast changing.  There are quite a few people around
that the families have lived on the land for generations - a few back to
pre-revolutionary times.  Their kids / grand kids / ... / remember the trees
on the "old homeplace", and most have no idea what the variety is - in some
cases may be a one of a kind.  So, once they "knew" someone that might be
able to save a piece of the tree, I got a number of requests.  It is fun,
you can see a definite result from what you do and it results in something
(most of the time) positive - "rescuing" a pieces of someone's memory and
history and seeing the tree(s) grow.  My job (work) is not really like that
- the specifics may vary slightly, but seldom is there a such a definitive
result.  Or at least it seems that way to me.

I do not do many at a time - perhaps 20 - 25 per year, and then some years
none.  Mostly apples, but some cherry and pear.  On my own property I have
25 - 30 trees, but over the years have probably grafted 400 - 500, a few at
a time.

I like seeing the continuation of something that in some cases is almost
like having an honored family member find renewed vigor.  In some cases a
tree is far gone - sometimes mostly dead - and finding graftable material is
quite difficult.  At times, to my wife's dismay, the fruit storage bin in
the refrigerator has nothing but scions.  I have never kept / grown any of
the materials grafted for others - space is one factor:  I need space for my
own memories [?]

I can do 10 grafts using the tool in about a quarter of the time (or less)
as with a knife.  Plus I've had some problems with carpal tunnel, surgery
for ulnar compression and have some arthritis - the tool is easier for me.
 The tool I have is not new, not fancy, does not claim to do bud grafts,

Long winded, and not all on point, but ...


On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 4:36 PM, sherwin <sherwindu at att.net> wrote:

> On 4/12/2011 2:05 PM, Chris Garriss wrote:
> > I've one I bought about 10 years ago - not bottom end but not commercial
> > either.  Works best when scion&  rootstock are similarly sized - does not
> > have to be exact by any means.
> >
> > When Lee Calhoun was doing custom grafting he was using a very nice, very
> > "flexible" commercial unit...also rather expensive.
> >
> > With the tool I have I can work 3 - 4 times faster.   For small time
> > grafters (like me), sharing a tool would make more sense.  But I would
> not
> > give up the one I have by any means.
> > On Apr 9, 2011 8:32 PM, "sherwin"<sherwindu at att.net>  wrote:
> >
>      Chris,
>     I'm trying to determine why a backyard orchardist would prefer a
> tool to a knife.
>    What kind of relative success rates have you had with tools vs.
> knives.  I kind of
>    gather that you are still using a knife.  If you are only doing a
> few trees at a time,
>    are you saving significant time with the tool.  I never used this
> tool, but it seems
>    like it could be tricky to line up this 'omega' cutout and does it
> hold itself in place
>    while you wrap it with a rubber band and outer cover.  The newer
> tools claim they
>    have attachments for several kinds of grafts, including bud grafts,
> but I am skeptical
>    as to how effective they are.
>                                                        Sherwin
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