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First whip and tongue graft
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jekahrs
81 Posts
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1
March 16, 2021 - 11:00 pm

Today I did my first whip and tongue graft. The scion seemed to fit really nicely in all of them, and the grafts would h have held together without the grafting tape. I wrapped the scion in grafting tape to prevent dehydration. I hope the buds can punch through the tape. I used Elmers wood glue to seal the end of the scion. I put plastic bags over each of the completed grafts to prevent water from getting in while it is setting. I assume at some point I unwrap the grafting tape from the scion.

It was kinda of a bloody mess. I used an Exacto knife and to get the right angles when I whittled the branch and scion, I sometimes had to whittle toward me. I ended up with 3 bandages and a bloody mess. I also dipped the scions into a rooting mix. We will see what happens now. The plum tree is starting to blossom now so the sap must be flowing.

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John S
985 Posts
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March 18, 2021 - 7:17 pm

Jekahrs,

Your bleeding is a form of tuition. You will be rewarded heavily as your grafting skills improve.  "This blood is more medicinal than dangerous to me. " Willie Shakespeare

 

John S
PDX OR

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
444 Posts
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3
March 19, 2021 - 5:08 am

jekahrs said
Today I did my first whip and tongue graft. The scion seemed to fit really nicely in all of them, and the grafts would h have held together without the grafting tape. I wrapped the scion in grafting tape to prevent dehydration. I hope the buds can punch through the tape. I used Elmers wood glue to seal the end of the scion. I put plastic bags over each of the completed grafts to prevent water from getting in while it is setting. I assume at some point I unwrap the grafting tape from the scion.

It was kinda of a bloody mess. I used an Exacto knife and to get the right angles when I whittled the branch and scion, I sometimes had to whittle toward me. I ended up with 3 bandages and a bloody mess. I also dipped the scions into a rooting mix. We will see what happens now. The plum tree is starting to blossom now so the sap must be flowing.  

Congrats Jekahrs!  You are now initiated.  

This year I couldn't get a sharp edge on my grafting knife, so I used a single edge razor blade.  Not the smartest thing I've ever done but also not the dumbest.  I have a pair of cut-resistant gloves bought for using a cooking mandolin.  Now those things are sharp and highly dangerous!   But the gloves helped.  Where possible, I use a wooden cutting board to support the scion while I cut it.  That can  help get a smooth cut.  Experimentation helps.

I remove grafting tape when the graft is about a foot long.   Yesterday I was pruning and saw a graft from last year, still taped.  It looks viable but not a as good as ones I untaped last summer.

If your graft grows roots, I imagine you can just cut those off. 

I think you are right about the sap flowing.  Yesterday was a nice day for grafting.  I did some work to convert my "Jonathan plus six" into a "Jonathan plus two" by cutting of four varieties I don't care for and grafting the Jonathan scions where I could.  It was nice trying those others, but I have moved on from them.

I hope you will share some images of your success.

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jafar
453 Posts
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4
March 19, 2021 - 12:53 pm

Daniel, are you saying you topworked your Jonathan back to Jonathan?  Why not just allow latent or adventitious buds to grow from the cuts?  Or have you left some of the other variety wood as an interstem, to maintain some of the structure?

jekahrs, I would practice making cuts that don't involve directing the force behind the knife in a direction towards your body parts and getting planes cut in one stroke.

Exacto knife doesn't sound sturdy or long enough for most grafting techniques on tree wood.  Maybe best for tomatoes or peppers.

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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5
March 19, 2021 - 2:20 pm

jafar,

 

I probably should get a knife designed for grafting. The hardest part is cutting the graft on the tree since it can put you at a strange angle. I probably am a big of a perfectionist, which is why I got my fingers a little bloody. 

Also, If anyone wants red fleshed pear scions, I got some from the Corvallis repository. They sent me 3! scions for each type and one scion is long enough to easily split in two:

1) Summer Blood Birne

2) Joey's Red Flesh Pear

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John S
985 Posts
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March 19, 2021 - 4:59 pm

Jekahrs,

I like to use a sturdy knife for the outside cuts, where I am cutting more wood.  I use a utility knife for the inside cuts (the tongue).  I find it works well, because the inside needs to be thin, even and flexible.  George uses a chisel for the outside cuts through the bark. That will work too.

All of the cuts that I can remember are when I switch from a dull knife blade to a sharp one. Using too much pressure on a sharper blade.

JohN S
PDX OR

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
444 Posts
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7
March 19, 2021 - 5:24 pm

jafar said
Daniel, are you saying you topworked your Jonathan back to Jonathan?  Why not just allow latent or adventitious buds to grow from the cuts?  Or have you left some of the other variety wood as an interstem, to maintain some of the structure?

jekahrs, I would practice making cuts that don't involve directing the force behind the knife in a direction towards your body parts and getting planes cut in one stroke.

Exacto knife doesn't sound sturdy or long enough for most grafting techniques on tree wood.  Maybe best for tomatoes or peppers.  

Jafar, that's right.  The original multigrafts were close to the trunk. If I cut them back, any growth will still be those.  Leaving the other varieties as interstem should keep the structure I want.  My long term goal is branches above deer browsing height but low enough that my ladder use is minimal.

I suppose I could just start over again with a new tree, or cut WAY back to the original trunk and start over.  But then I lose the apples for the next few years.  This way I'm hoping to get apples on the remaining branches as the new grafts can grow and be trained into place and mature.

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
143 Posts
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8
May 9, 2021 - 11:37 am

jekahrs said
Today I did my first whip and tongue graft. The scion seemed to fit really nicely in all of them, and the grafts would h have held together without the grafting tape. I wrapped the scion in grafting tape to prevent dehydration. I hope the buds can punch through the tape. I used Elmers wood glue to seal the end of the scion. I put plastic bags over each of the completed grafts to prevent water from getting in while it is setting. I assume at some point I unwrap the grafting tape from the scion.

As to the unwrapping … some of the grafting tapes are photo degradable. They break down in light. Parafilm, Buddytape, grafting rubbers all share the trait. They should fall off naturally before restricting the sap flow.    That attribute may be over ridden by the heavy application of Doc Farwells Grafting Seal, Seal Heal, TreeKote or other various products used for the purpose of sealing. That said heavy application over a wrap may not allow the normal degradation. Then girdling is a real possibility. It is almost assured with using parafilm lookalikes, stretchy green floral tie tape, electrical tape, or strips of plastic bags.  The better course, to unwrapping, is to use a sharp blade to carefully slit the wrap down one side and leave it at that. Actual unwrapping any of the self  adhesive sorts of tape can tear off bark or disengage the young graft, so slitting to allow for growth/expansion is the better bet to avoid the girdling. 

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jafar
453 Posts
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9
May 9, 2021 - 8:34 pm

DanielW said

Jafar, that's right.  The original multigrafts were close to the trunk. If I cut them back, any growth will still be those.  Leaving the other varieties as interstem should keep the structure I want.  My long term goal is branches above deer browsing height but low enough that my ladder use is minimal.

I suppose I could just start over again with a new tree, or cut WAY back to the original trunk and start over.  But then I lose the apples for the next few years.  This way I'm hoping to get apples on the remaining branches as the new grafts can grow and be trained into place and mature.  

Cutting an established tree WAY back, will produce results much faster than planting a new tree.

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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10
June 3, 2021 - 2:23 pm

Update: 2 of 4 whip and tongue plum graphs took. None of the lateral graphs took which is frustrating. Maybe I need to pull out and replace the espalier with another one and do whip and tongue grafts on the arms. My present one is missing 3 arms and my grafts didn't take.

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John S
985 Posts
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11
June 3, 2021 - 2:46 pm

Vertical grafts are more likely to take than lateral.

John S
PDX OR

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
444 Posts
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12
June 3, 2021 - 4:17 pm

jekahrs said
Update: 2 of 4 whip and tongue plum graphs took. None of the lateral graphs took which is frustrating. Maybe I need to pull out and replace the espalier with another one and do whip and tongue grafts on the arms. My present one is missing 3 arms and my grafts didn't take.  

If you have a source of bud wood, you could try chip grafting  buds onto the main stem, to make new branches.

Alternatively, you could notch above sleeping buds on the main stem, to wake them up.  If they grow new laterals, keep them vertical and graft onto them next year.

Just ideas.  If you are thinking about getting rid of it anyway, maybe there isn't a lot to lose.

I haven't checked, but it's June so sap should be flowing and cambium may be slipping so a bud graft or chip graft might work.Smile

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