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Grafting 2024
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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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1
April 3, 2024 - 9:26 am

My first grafts, as usual, were on quince rootstock. They leaf out before other trees.  These were actually sprouts from my medlar tree, which is grafted onto quince rootstock.

I have been noticing that it's harder and harder to keep scions in an unheated shed.  They end up leafing out on their own, which is not helpful to grafters. I want the root stock leafing and the scions dormant.  I was able to store a small portion of persimmon scions in the fridge but we have 3 very active adult cooks in the house right now, so I don't see how I could keep other scions in the fridge.

It also seems like the time period to graft is compressed, since the scions are aging more quickly.

I tried to store some scions in those green compostable bags, but they all dried out. I won't do that again.

I'm trying to time my compost tea application so I can spray everything I need, such as peaches, grafts and quinces after they leaf out.

It's always so exciting to see the little bud grafts emerging this time of year. 

I hope your grafting is going well.

John S
PDX OR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
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2
April 3, 2024 - 1:56 pm

John, how cold do you need the scions for storage? I am thinking about getting some scions next season, right now we are mostly planting trees. We get them bare root from either a nursery or the Benton Count Soil and Water District(this is super cheap if it is an option in your area) in Early Feb so storage is not our problem. I have had very little success so far grafting. I even to a class online from seed savers, but very few are leafing out this year.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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3
April 3, 2024 - 2:10 pm

It never used to be a problem. We had so little warmth by this time of year that none of the scions would have started leafing out on their own. It was only an issue for persimmons, which are grafted in late May or so.  I have been refrigerating them for a while.

33 degrees is optimal, but they should be pretty cold, like mostly below 45 F.  We get much less of that these days.

John S
PDX OR

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
234 Posts
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4
April 3, 2024 - 7:12 pm

Chris M said
 I have had very little success so far grafting. I even to a class online from seed savers, but very few are leafing out this year.

  

Chris, time is running out for this grafting event, if you feel like making the drive to Oregon City on Saturday. Preregistration is through Clackamas Community College. The event is in conjunction with and held at the Home Orchard Education Center, at CCC. This is guided hands on experience, and you come away with a tree that you've made. Tonya the arboretum manager of many years now trailing from her time as the HOS arboretum manager... I can not say enough about her ability to teach and convey the information of really any of the workshops she offers. Highly recommended. Home Orchard Education Center, no spaces dot org is the website, look for workshops.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
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5
April 3, 2024 - 8:18 pm

Chris,
what kind of refrigeration do you have?

The reason I ask is I know if you can't afford the space to somehow make an area at around -5 centigrade then the reliability of your scions will go down. This is applicable to things involving hard to store things such as maybe some prunus. So these classes are usually not giving good coverage in those areas. I can only tell you that we have all been there with first succeeding with an apple graft after classes and then getting more into difficult things later on (including myself) and then failing.

Here it shows me ramping up a learning curve from 36 months ago of two different kinds of cherry in three different existing clones of the same cherry rootstock that produced shoots from a removed tree. So be prepared to know that difficult to graft things require a healthy strong stock to graft to in the first place. They all three still persist today (example). Now what I was kind of getting to as well that's important is the extra cold needed in order to have the best scions as possible. 36 months ago the only way I knew was the 33 degree Fahrenheit method John just mentioned (and it works). Now I find it's possible to have other vegetation or foods such as possibly lettuce produce ethylene and permeate the gas past the plastic bags too! 

I am not sure yet if this (at 33F) becomes a subversive ethylene issue for storing apple as well but I can see this relates highly to the quick demise of my japanese flowering plum wood this year. The same wood from my upper freezer (same appliance same tree) as grafted just today is totally fine.

That's part of the reason why it's almost more important to teach a class that's dedication to a common group of people who use the same equipment to store so that the same mistakes we all do make (ie. John and myself) won't invoke as much havoc with you. 

As usual I want to push another external link to you that from a study from the 1960s era which really proves my point of -5 centigrade being very optimal a storage temperature for almost anything. But before I find it I want to explain my own results this year with storing apricot from interior Alaska. So I picked twigs of scions from a young growing apricot on healthy new growth around the month of November which was stored at the -5C regulated chest freezer until I returned for a day earlier last month and flew home to the heights with that. About 2 weeks ago now I grafted that to plum stock and it's looking good with at least two buds breaking! (frozen storage time of 4+ months)

Now I'm looking up time to prove that cherry wood was saved for 10 months by others (ie. 1960s era) as well.

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
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6
April 3, 2024 - 10:30 pm

sweepbjames I appreciate the thought but that's just too far for me.

 

Rooney I think the storage is a challenge more on there end than mine. All the rootstocks made it through winter just not the scion grafts.

 

If I sound discouraged, I am. I think I will just stick to buying trees, although my experience with raintree nursery was also pretty negative. The trees we have gotten that were local have so far been pretty good. The temps here dropped from a high of 74  to a high of 48, so tough spring so far. No late frosts though. 

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
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7
April 4, 2024 - 12:11 am

Sorry to have pictured so much for you that the proper storage of many kinds of scions are not for the faint of heart. If it helps any, I just found the culprit in my fridge for the ethylene source. A ziploc bag of my dehydrated pears!

What I can do is respond to PMs if you want to know where to beget the best conditioned scions from, or of course if you stick around for longer I can leave some for you in the PDX region of what I store of limited things. I'm not an apple collector so just mainly un-patented cherry stock as used for future hybrids.

John:
These are the first time I grafted grapes. I initiated these 2 months ago upon the same root from the mother vine. The one doing the best is the whip and tongue.

Three Grapes

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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8
April 5, 2024 - 9:30 pm

I am impressed with many of the things you do, Rooney, but I'm not going to try it. My grafting skills are quite a bit lower than yours.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
360 Posts
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9
April 7, 2024 - 10:25 pm

I finished my grafting today. Three varieties of pear, two varieties of apple, four varieties of plum.

Also a lesson learned about my plum grafts. It appears that my plums cannot stretch or burst the grafting tape. So the graft takes, then about a year later it dies due to being girdled by the tape. So I need to remove the tape in a timely manner. 

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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10
April 8, 2024 - 8:34 am

Excellent point, DaveM.

What kind of tape are you using?

John S
PDX OR

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davem
360 Posts
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11
April 8, 2024 - 11:09 pm

John S said
What kind of tape are you using?

I don't know the name of it. Mostly clear, 0.5" wide, not sticky at all. Takes about 3 pounds of force to break it. I bought it about 10 years ago.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
12
April 22, 2024 - 9:02 pm

I have been adding water to my grafted plants. It has been so dry! I have seen grafts that have taken, but then when it got too dry, the plant will reject it because it thinks it is going through a drought. I dare you to give your grafts a little bit of extra water.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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13
April 23, 2024 - 9:18 am

John, are you talking about trees in the ground?  They must be young if they need water.  Wasn't the ground soaking within the last couple of weeks?

We're supposed to get some more precipitation starting tomorrow.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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14
April 23, 2024 - 12:32 pm

I am talking about trees in the ground. I agree with you that big trees are unlikely to be as affected, with their larger root structure. It is all the more crucial to water tiny trees in pots.  They just dry out so fast.   There are just crucial periods for grafted trees, that once they get over it, they'll be ok.  But not if they dry out before they get over it.

By the way, has anyone started grafting their persimmons yet?

Thanks,

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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15
April 23, 2024 - 6:18 pm

If we had more than one day in a row like today, I'd do the persimmons.  I only have a few grafts to make, but its going to cool off.  I'll probably do mine mid May unless its still cool.  

My trees have all woken up except for the bareroot rootstock I put in.  We'll see if its one of those long laggards, or dead.  I think I've had one leaf out mid to late summer before.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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16
April 23, 2024 - 6:44 pm

I've seen bareroots lag a while before waking up.  We had one that waited until July, I think, last year in the school garden I work with. 

I was concerned, looking at my Szukis American persimmon, not seeing it leaf out. It is later than the others and just starting to barely show any leaf.

So it sounds like you go by temperature more than by time of year?

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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17
April 24, 2024 - 11:39 am

Absolutely, I use temperature rather than time or how leafed out the persimmons are here.  I think they have a really hard time if it is too cool, I err on the side of going later if in doubt.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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18
May 8, 2024 - 1:06 pm

So it looks like the next few days should be good to graft persimmons.  I've heard that w and t grafts heal within 48 hours.

John S
PDX OR

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rabbiteye
10 Posts
(Offline)
19
May 8, 2024 - 3:26 pm

Any of you grafters ever try Harry Lagerstedt's hot callusing pipe method?  Some of you may have known Harry who was a USDA research horticulturist in Corvallis.  He turned me on years ago as a great method for these hard to graft ones like filberts and walnuts.  You take a 2" PVC pipe and route out slots that are big enough to accommodate the graft union.  You insert a 1/2 piece of PVC with heating cables taped to it.  Then the 2" pipe is ensconced in foam rubber with cuts where the slots are.  You can start your grafting in the late winter long before anything has broke dormancy and keep the roots and scion dormant while the grafts forms callus from the heat.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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20
May 8, 2024 - 5:47 pm

That's wild! Hard core grafting! I don't think I would try it but I like the technique.

JohN S
PDX OR

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rabbiteye
10 Posts
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21
May 8, 2024 - 6:59 pm

If you ever get serious about the hard to graft stuff it's really a great way to go.  Even semi-sloppy grafters like me get great success because the scion stays complete dormant through the callusing process.  Harry showed me his set up and I found it easy to put together and cheap.

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Offline)
22
May 8, 2024 - 10:49 pm

Here is a copy of the patent, if anyone wants to get deep into it. Patent from 1983 41 years ago. Since it is not new, I am surprised it is not as well know here.  I certainly have not heard of it before this.

https://patents.google.com/pat.....383390A/en

 

rabbiteye how did you hear of it?

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rabbiteye
10 Posts
(Offline)
23
May 9, 2024 - 8:03 am

Well, you can knock me down with a feather!  I never knew that Harry had patented that idea!

 

Chris, I knew Harry pretty well as he had a U Pick peach orchard in Corvallis and I also had two acres of peaches at the time.  Harry was a member of the North American Nut Growers as was I, and had been credited with discovering the famous 'Ennis" cultivar of Hazelnut.  I used to stop by and visit Harry and pick his brain on all things horticultural.  He was always very helpful to those of us wanting to learn new things.  He was the one that showed me the hot callusing pipe.  He never mentioned he had patented the idea though, so I'm pretty sure he'd have no objections to my having shared with you folks.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
24
May 9, 2024 - 3:35 pm

The hot-pipe was heavily taught in horticulture college books shortly after the patent. Another common practice used more with apples than anything else which I heard used very much at NAFEX is bench-grafting. It's when farmers get too busy in the spring planting seeds they would bring all of the spring apple grafting into the month of December in the garage. The whole thing including unions would stay there for the better half of the month to heal up, then return back outside to keep them dormant. 

I cleft grafted this apple around April 7 because I remembered Dave's previous comment about his completion date of April 7. Which consists of two scions from the same apple tree that I collected above snow level in Fairbanks Alaska. The tree had been pretty mauled over by very hungry moose. The temperatures held 50 below for half of a couple of consecutive weeks prior to the time got the wood. I thought it would be worth noting here the explosive growth occurring in the past week. I thought they were doomed or that I had missed the alignment. As it turns out I missed only the wood of one. 

What's really interesting about northern fruits is the ability to hold another layer of deeply dormant flowers too. That's what makes apples a hit almost anywhere you go too. The adapted pears this year that come from the same collection sites won't flower though.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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25
May 12, 2024 - 8:18 am

I made 3 persimmon grafts on Friday. Seemed like good timing with the warmer weather.  We'll see.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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26
May 15, 2024 - 9:36 am

Friday was perfect.  I did a couple on Sunday.  

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
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27
May 15, 2024 - 12:04 pm

I would really like to see favorable outcomes on both your grafts of persimmons. I have heard that they are difficult. If it's not a bother to answer then 'what technique or kinds of grafts did you each use?

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jafar
780 Posts
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28
May 15, 2024 - 4:13 pm

I prefer to do bark grafts, but these were grafted to small rootstocks.  

On one I did a modified whip and tongue, and a T-bud for good measure.  On the other I did bark graft, but the rootstock is questionable. 

 

IMG_20240512_112914286.jpgIMG_20240512_110645272_HDR.jpgIMG_20240512_110639581_HDR.jpg

In the past I've successfully grafted Chocolate, Coffeecake, Izu, Matsumoto Wase and H118.  I've tried Saijo a couple of times with no success so I just bought a tree.  Once I started waiting for warm weather, and mostly grafting to established trees, success rate has been very good.  

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
29
May 16, 2024 - 10:23 pm

I made whip and tongue grafts on them.  I just found a T bud that I made last summer that grew, so I chopped it above and it is growing well.  Then I chopped another one that hadn't grown.  As they have done before, now it started growing too after chopping it above, even though it hadn't shown any growth this spring.

 

John S
PDX OR

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