[nafex] storing scions the rabbit way

Jerry Lehman jwlehman at aol.com
Mon Apr 20 10:56:09 EDT 2015

Good morning Fluffy one,

That seems like a lot of work especially if you're going to store scion 
material several months. I don't believe your problem was the 
temperature fluctuation as much as fluctuating as high as 52°. That 
simply is too warm especially if you're storing Prunus for a few months 
and other species for much longer.

Refrigerators that have their freezer compartment on top typically do 
the condensing in the top and have an opening in the rear bottom of the 
freezer compartment in which cold air slowly filters to the bottom 
keeping it cool. To lower the temperature in the refrigerator section 
the adjustment merely increases the size of the opening. What I did was 
took one of those refrigerators and set the thermostat to the coldest 
setting to see what the temperature was in the frigerator section. I 
then physically cut away part of the opening increasing the size so that 
more cold air would flow to the bottom. I then watched the temperature 
to see what the minimum was and kept increasing the size of the opening 
until the fluctuation was from about 32° F to the point where the 
thermostat would kick the compressor back on which was about 38°. So the 
temperature fluctuates between 32 to 38° with the very bottom remaining 
near the 32° point. Similar to what you did, I placed a couple of jugs 
of water on the bottom shelf of the door to help stabilize, reduce the 
fluctuation time, the temperature. The upper freezer compartment now 
typically sets about 10°F which is plenty cold enough to store frozen 
pollen extended periods. In fact I stored some frozen actively growing 
persimmon tips for DNA work and the DNA was still active after a year 


On 4/18/2015 9:45 PM, fuwa fuwa usagi wrote:
> The fluffy one stores scions:
> Gang, I thought I would share my new scion storing system.
> I have been very dissatisfied with attempts to use a refrigerator to store scion wood.    In fact last year I acquired a small dedicated refrigerator for storing scionwood alone.    Unfortunately I found out the temperature seemed to fluctuate significantly and tended to average 44-52 degrees.  The only way to stabilize the temperature was to add bottles of frozen water.
> This year I tried a different approach and I am extremely happy with the results.  I purchased a standard picnic cooler for my endeavor.   Next I set aside 16 20 oz soda bottles and filled them 4/5 of the way with water and frozen them.   Once frozen I put five in the bottom of the cooler along with a damp towel and then added my wrapped and sealed scion wood, and then placed 6 bottles on top (the cooler is tapered slightly.    I placed some cardboard beneath the cooler and draped two old rag rugs across the top. I then place 5 bottles of water in the freezer.  I was amazed by the results.    The cooler held the wood at very close to freezing, 29-35 degrees very consistently.  My intention was to rotate 5 of the bottles each day, but found unless it was 65-70 plus and I was going in and out the cooler all day, it was unnecessary, and merely rotated 5 bottles every 3 days or so (I did not experiment with going longer, I simply rotated the bottle when then were about 1/5 to 1/4
>    liquid).  Even while grafting, with the cooler outside, I found all I had to do was rotate 5 of the bottles a day, and sure enough the temperature stayed in the low range.  Every 3 days (while grafting) I rotated the bottle bottles, which were almost always 4/5 frozen (as the cold sinks downward.  Interestingly it got cold enough that some of the toweling froze stiff.
> I found this system beyond satisfactory.  It is cooler, more humid, with a far more stable temperature than a refrigerator, plus there was no issues with worrying about what else was in the cooler that might abort the scion wood.     In all the years I have kept scion wood, it never looked in better shape.
> I intend to improve the system for next year by creating a wrap around cardboard insulator, to increase the R value of the cooler.   The rugs work well, but I just wanted something a bit tidier.
> tfb
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