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nafex - Re: [nafex] Grafting Tape Choices

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  • From: Ginda Fisher <>
  • To: NAFEX Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Grafting Tape Choices
  • Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 08:18:53 -0400

I use Parafilm because
1) someone recommended it when I started grafting, and I’d previously used it
in a lab and knew that I would find it easy to use.
2) We used melted wax at the grafting class I took (we literally picked up
the little potted graftling and dipped the graft into a pot of hot wax) and I
knew that would be really hard for me to do. (I went so far as to try it once
with a brush. Didn’t work because the wax cooled too fast, and cleaning the
pot and the brush were both troublesome.)
3) I bought a lifetime supply of it years ago (I don’t do all that much
4) It work.

I use grafting rubber bands to tie up the graft, and then I cover it with
parafilm. The rubber bands by themselves don’t keep the graft moist enough —
I did that experiment. I also tried using masking tape, which some NAFEXers
have reported success with, but that didn’t work for me. It didn’t usually
provide enough stability and it never kept the graft moist enough. Maybe my
propensity to little twisty twigs when I graft is the issue.

So I have returned to parafilm and rubber bands. The parafilm by itself
doesn’t provide the physical support the graft needs to hold the pieces
together. It might work for a bud graft, but I mostly do twig grafts. I
usually remove most of the parafilm and rubber a couple years later, but
that’s not necessary, the tree will just push them apart. A sprouting bud can
easily burst through the parafilm.

My understanding is that the Romans tied their grafts with twine and then
slapped some fresh cow manure over the joint to protect it and keep it moist.

I don’t think the graft needs to “breath”, as witnessed by the success of
“dip it in paraffin”.

Ginda Fisher
Eastern MA, zone 6

> On Apr 21, 2020, at 7:19 PM, sherwin <> wrote:
> Hi,
> Many of the orchardists I know use non-breathable grafting tape with
> reasonable results. I usually use Parafilm because I think it allows the
> graft to breath. Is this an unnecessary reason to use Parafilm? Other
> grafting tapes can also be applied easily, so why use Parafilm?
> Sherwin Dubren
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> Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters
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