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  • From: sherwin <>
  • To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters <>, Scott Weber and Muffy Barrett <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] grafting tape
  • Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2020 15:06:14 -0500

On 4/24/2020 12:32 PM, Scott Weber and Muffy Barrett wrote:
My experience is mostly with parafilm grafting tape; when fresh, it works
great. When aged, it loses its stretchiness and its self adhesion, making it
hard to work with. I was given some old Parafilm M one time, and it was like
old parafilm grafting tape--a bitch to work with, and not very effective.
With either one, I wrap the join first with a grafting rubber for strength,
then the tape. Although I may wrap the entire scion except the join section
with the parafilm before joining them, since it's easier to do before there
is a tender joint to protect. My two cents.Muffy Barrett

---------- Original Message ----------

Parafilm M is used in laboratory applications to diminish moisture loss; it
does have some gas permeability...however, I'm unaware of it ever being
used in a medical setting as a wound dressing...and I am a scientist and
medical professional(BS in Microbiology, DVM, residency in Pathology).

Are there other grafting tapes that work as well? Perhaps.
In my experience, as others have attested, apples & pears probably require
little, but wrapping the union and scion, in its entirety, is a great boon
for slow-callusing species like pecan, persimmon, oak, etc., which,
additionally, are often grafted later in the season, when temperatures and
sunlight levels are more likely to cause desiccation of the scion.
Parafilm is certainly less troublesome than having to maintain a pot of
melted grafting wax, particularly when grafting in the field, and less
messy than a wax toilet ring.
Buds will push right through well-stretched Parafilm M (it stretches to
200% of its original length), and there's no need to cut or remove anything
later in the season.

But...again, Parafilm M has virtually NO structural strength...graft unions
must be bound/supported with it masking tape, rubber bands,
electrical tape or other grafting/budding tape...some of which may require
cutting or removal to prevent subsequent girdling.

My minimal experience with the Parafilm Grafting Tape product was that it
did not stretch as thinly, nor did it self-adhere, as does Parafilm M. I
just did not like it, and saw no reason to switch away from what I'd
learned to use from the outset of my experience as a grafter.

Lucky Pittman

On Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 11:04 PM sherwin <> wrote:

On 4/22/2020 4:44 AM, Alan Haigh wrote:
As mentioned, the use of parafilm is to hold in moisture, I doubt it lets
any oxygen in. I use electric tape to hold my splice grafts together and
then wrap my scion with the parafilm. Pears and apples don't really need
and a dab of some kind of sealant at the tip is generally adequate.

Vinyl electric tape can eventually girdle apple grafts but peach growth
strong enough to force it to stretch. A longitudinal cut with a razor
after the tissue is merged and strong is sometimes needed, but if you
unwrap it when the bark isn't slipping you can usually get away with that
without peeling off any bark. Alternatively, you can use rubber electric
tape which stretches much more than vinyl.

Where the parafilm seems useful and even necessary is with stonefruit,
persimmon and paw paw grafts.

I exclusively use splice grafts because they are the quickest and require
the least skill, especially if you use a double bladed Italian pruning
shear to cut the scion and annual shoot (or 2nd year) you are grafting
together. If you match diameters any idiot can do it without ever cutting
their fingers. The trick is to make long diagonal cuts of scion and
wood as close to the same as you can. This creates a lot of matching
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There are many kinds of grafting tapes that can retain the moisture
of a graft union. People have been known to use masking tape and other
such products that should moisture seal the graft. Parafilm will also
breath as it does in its usage in the medical world where wounds do
better with exposure to air. Question is, does the Parafilm have any
advantage over other grafting tapes because it allows air to reach the
graft union?


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   I don't understand the need of wrapping the entire scion with tape.  I would think just wrapping the graft union and applying some kind of sealer to the tip would do the job.


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