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Cherry scion picking (locally)
Vancouver SW Washington
798 Posts
November 23, 2022 - 9:32 pm

Weather data as of right now shows tomorrow as being the last good chance to accumulate any cherry scionwood. So for visual purposes I uploaded onto here the following, a snapshot from wunderground dot com;

... forum-image-uploads/rooney/2022/11/Edit_2022-11-23_1.gif

Cherry grafting is a viable PNW thing and so is gathering scions, as from past experience, cherry gathering can't be postponed after tomorrow. 

If there is anybody still into this in a post Home-Orchard-Society Canby Oregon grafting fair world (past verses present) then we will stand by to help with further answers. At the very least we can guide you onto the relevant links in H.O.S. to make sure the context you need is rich enough for you. For me cherry grafting needs to follow a very strict protocol for it to work as easy as apple or pear.

That said I hope come spring of 2023 isn't going to be as wet and impossible to graft cherry as having it the way we did this year of April in 2022 at the top of this chart (ie. the only year of the last 10 that never worked for me).

Chris M
Philomath, OR
160 Posts
November 24, 2022 - 12:08 pm

Is it just a timing thing or are there addition things you need to do for it to work? Not that I am any good at apple and pear grafting.



Vancouver SW Washington
798 Posts
November 24, 2022 - 6:15 pm

In addition to storing the wood down to colder. Which puts storing the wood out of the scope for most of us. Ideally is 32 degrees and laying the wood sideways so distal and proximal stay solid or frozen in either state in between the cells. Better HOS dot org context is to search Lehman and look for the blue text on the page.

John S
2849 Posts
November 25, 2022 - 11:21 am

Very interesting topic, Rooney.

I still have leaves on my cherry trees.

I always followed the advice of Jerry Shroyer and Ted Swenson, which was to take scion wood when it is dormant.

I have successfully grafted many cherry trees for many years.

That being said, you know more about cherries than anyone I know. 

You're saying that I should take the scions now, even with the leaves on the trees?

Is this true if I can't keep the scions at 32 F? I have a family and we cook at home all the time.  I can't get away with locking up the fridge full of scions.

I have to go to a shed outside, which normally works fairly well.

Whaddya think?

John S

Vancouver SW Washington
798 Posts
November 25, 2022 - 8:27 pm

Well John, I don't know if Jerry Shroyer or Ted Swenson have grafted cherry before. I may have met them at most once. The only way for me to accurately say for sure if collections of cherry wood with leaves still attached is test take them from my 3 new cherry trees that still have all green and thus, yet, any leaves have not been purged due to very late removal from the nursery cooler conditions in the month of May. 

I keep talking to cherry experts almost every year. The last expert that had any say on grafting cherry was one of those in McMinnville Oregon during a staffing shift. They prefer budding from properly stored cherry wood and they don't use the whole stick as per whip and tongue. When a bud fails there is a second year they will be lined up once more for another graft because there is still a cherry leader that is unaffected in the budding process. Many could possibly be attributed to poor alignment and not the improper storage of scions, but this was the owner I was discussing it with who does attribute success rates with cold 32 degree conditions at the point of freezing, as well as the many other authorities such as Lehman. 

So (John), this only adds to a still growing list of evidence that the aim of cherry wood storage is more important than other woods, but there are no written references other than here and what's written in my mind from my own testing over the years. The rest of society collect outside of west of the Cascades and no studies are necessary to pin-point our problems after the cherry industry since it's PNW inception is now gone. Hood River and The Dalles Oregon area farmers in the mid Cascades are always being trained how to properly transition 'greenhouse operation cherry grafting' (ie. McMinnville) into the field so it could certainly pin-point that attention should also be observed for transitioning of scions too, and that there are likely common reasons involved, in this case the threat of disease. 

When you say you don't store cherry scions at near freezing has yet to add up for me. There are waivers between cultivars that you're forgetting about here and there may be a few that can be taken in PNW conditions as such yet to find out which ones?

John S
2849 Posts
November 26, 2022 - 10:35 am

Thanks for sharing the knowledge Rooney. 

I'm grafting pie cherries: Mostly Montmorency, but a little bit of Surefire, and I've grafted Balaton and Danube once or twice. 

Part of what I was saying is that I don't live alone, so fridge space is a priority.  We almost never go out to eat.  Even if it's better, there are only a few that I can store in the fridge, and sometimes they get knocked over and spilled out by hungry teenagers. I think that persimmon is more of a priority, because they are less likely to accept a graft, in my estimation, if I have to wait until June to graft. But you may also know more about that...........

I don't know if it's better to take the scions now and leave them in an out building until April, or wait until dormancy if I'm going to wait with temps in the 40's for that long. 

John S

Vancouver SW Washington
798 Posts
November 26, 2022 - 12:55 pm

The only way you have then that carries the least amount of risk would be getting yours gathered and stuffed with mine then. I will have 'coral champagne', 'attica', and 'blackpearl(r)' as some of my newer cherry for you and if there are not any patents. All three of them looking really healthy but still full green I decided to build a temporary shelter and wait a bit longer before gathering up any yet. They go as wood as pollinators in interior Alaska for pin cherry breeding purposes and up there this kind of grafting has really fared well upon pin cherry as long as I bend trees over and under snow blanketing. 

These are the "how and why" I ended up with a high amount of experienced knowledge etc. about sweet cherry, and not much about persimmons, for which later I found out there is little in common cherry to persimmon. Chill hours is another interesting question because between now and next growing season the interior of Alaska has too low of chilling requirements (32-45F) and my future woody cherry grafts must get there fully cured. If chill hours on my three outside here were established by now (not) I could simply freeze at well below 32 degrees.

This latter idea of storing wood of all deciduous woodies below freezing for all things works well enough most of the time in a freezer box but it depends more on the temperature depending on species. Sweet cherry is more tender than sour cherry. Persimmons I won't know. Chill hours won't accumulate under 32 though, so it's a hard choice. I think you have my email.

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