[nafex] Nurse limbs - which grafting situations need them, where are they counterproductive?

Jerry Lehman jwlehmantree at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 14:39:50 EDT 2016

On 4/24/2016 1:27 PM, Elizabeth Hilborn wrote:
> I have had good experiences using nurse limbs when grafting to apple 
> and pear root sprouts. However, now I am grafting to native persimmon 
> rootsprouts and wonder if nurse limbs will be counterproductive by 
> drawing too much energy and nutrients away from my graft.
> Does any one have experience using this technique and would consider 
> it beneficial when grafting to persimmon, pawpaw or hickory? 
Hello Betsy,

I never use nurse limbs for the very reason that you stated above, I cut 
everything off below the graft. And on all species.

There was a member of the Indiana Nut and Fruit Growers whose name was 
Jim Wood who had many nut trees, especially pecan. Because of the 
problem of bleeding when grafting nut trees he developed what he called 
the " Sap Stopper Graft. " He did a lot of grafting on pecan trees 6 
inches in diameter and more. What he did was cut about half way through 
a six-inch tree for example then push the top over on the ground so that 
was still attached. This seemed to divert the sap from the cut area 
which he then grafted. Then after the graft was well-established and 
growing he would finish cutting off the half that was now laying on the 
ground. I've seen some of his work and it seemed like is a viable method.


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