I have totally replaced the traditional elastic band method in favor of these green colored cattle castrators (shown in my hand) for quite some time. The squeeze on my finger tip feels tight but all my grafting this has never been too constrictive for the living wood. The loose green band was just released from the one inch diameter metal after about a year that way, so the rate of stretch seems about right.
Here again a one inch diameter tree/play project shows the release rate adequate enough, and still firm enough in spite of weather, temperature fluctuations etc. it's still tight. This had been for a pear cleft graft with the band rolled downwards for inspection.
I know two bands are needed for adequate standing strength and make coverage of what one elastic band accomplishes. One big advantage of green banding, at least in my eye, is that it gives ample visual inspection time to make sure the cambium is aligned as close as it can. The buddy tape, parafilm, or what's used for rainproofing, can be applied over and restriction of the green bands are still not an issue.
While switching over to this new thing I often wonder if the traditional elastics release enough over time and age, or if at all -being covered with the yellow Doc Farwell?
I'm all in favor of innovation, but I don't really see any tangible advantage to these.
The green band method being easier to inspect alignment will eliminate any need for the last cut that can be such a hazard in whip in tongue. Put that box knife blade in a nice anvil cutting device and eliminate the sliding knife process altogether.
These kinds of choppers give the more complex grafting machines a run for the money and give a great long sloping cut for green banding to take a good effect. I think I can still get these choppers for very cheap.
That looks interesting. There are so many good options now.
I use strips cut from plastic zip lock freezer bags. They have a learning curve, and take a bit of time, but I like their wide area of pressure on the graft. They also don't degrade automatically, so can be constrictive if not removed. Still, I've never list a graft doing that. Also, even if there is constriction, the graft seems to survive and grow. I've discovered a few in the Spring, a year later, and removed them then.
I do see the advantage of the rubber bands, especially if they are self-removing.
Over 20+ years of grafting, and then observing the grafted plants through the growing season, I have often wondered whether I was grafting too tightly. I've used rubber grafting bands (both wide and narrow -- the latter usually for summer bud-grafts) and I've noticed that the results can be a bit variable in terms of the graft's survival. I think that in some cases I have wrapped the graft too tightly, such that --even if the graft "takes" -- it might be difficult for it to make subsequent growth. For apples, I use a "Whip and Tongue" graft which, in itself, should give good contact in the graft. Nevertheless, I think that sometimes I've wound too tightly. If the grafted plant is in the full sunlight, the rubber will tend to weather and will "fall away" at just about the right time for callousing and then the subsequent growth. If the grafted rootstock is not getting the sunlight, the rubber wrap doesn't seem to degrade and sometimes the tightly-wound rubber seems to constrict the graft and prevent subsequent development. I've become quite conscious of this over the years, so I find myself trying to not over-do the wrapping over the graft. A well-done Whip-and Tongue graft should already have reasonably good contact to begin with, so wrapping it too tightly is unnecessary. I've tried to "pull back" a bit. Part of the graft wrapping is to prevent moisture loss from the graft site while the rootstock and scion are making appropriate contact and developing the "callousing" which will unite the two. ...I can't help but wonder whether there have been a few times where I might have "strangled a few".
Talking more about banding grafts, and some attendant maladies, hoping not to veer from the specific question too much.
Watching the young Temperate Orchard Conservancy trees first housed at the HOS arboretum and later when moved to the permanent location, I personally have not noticed grafting rubber bands holding to the point of girdling unless overlayed with a too heavy application of Doc Farwells. That said, even masking tape grafts with too much Doc’s were also subject to non degradation and strangulation, if not discovered in time. It goes without saying that other, non-photo degradable products used for graft coverage must needs to be sliced open to allow for expansion, including plastic bag strips, green castration bands, electrition’s tape, adhesive tape, para-tape look alike’s, florist green stretchy tie, and I’m sure some more I haven’t seen or used. (Btw, not unwrapped, just sliced lightly thru) Collectively had a pretty good sampling to examine eventually with the TOC stock, some of which remained mostly closely unexamined in the one gallon pots for, some, seems 4+ years as they awaited the next years additions and an eventual location for a permanent home, then some waiting for planting as per preparation of area. Then more individual handling, and chance, or focused observation of that potential problem, by incrementally more aware, yet scant volunteer hands. Oh, add to that mix, tightly wrapped name tag wires, I and others, finally became aware of tag wire twisting patterns (thanks Jeff V) that allows for expansion in the event that your trees might not have the good fortune to be individually, closely monitored for some time. Ah, we learn a little as we go.
I am more likely to wrap the rubber band tightly if my w and t graft is not terribly graceful. If it is precise and artfully done, I agree, the wrap doesn't need to be especially tight. Just keeping air out and water in.
Are you sure you're on the proper website for this request? If so, forget coupons. If you really love your aunt, search for and buy the bestest ever refrigerator there is. Preferably one that also makes ice cubes automatically. What I don't recommend is that it be one of those "smart" fridges where people unbeknownst to her are recording everything in the room, and then trying to sell your aunt crap that she doesn't need. ...Just a friendly recommendation, unless you want your aunt to be vulnerable to people she doesn't even know about. 🙂
I'd also recommend a good, functional washing machine, but now-a-days they too seem to be computerized and, when they go bad.... they really go BAD! It'll cost her more to have it repaired than to just buy a new one. That's what the modern world has come to. Everything is now made to be disposable because we live in the most prosperous nation that the earth has ever seen. Thus, why not make everything with a limited lifespan of functionality so that we can sell the same product to the rich Americans yet again. Whatever happened to pride in American workmanship?
Sorry, Aron. I digress as usual. If you really love your aunt, buy her something expensive. That's how you can prove your love for her. I wish that I had an aunt that you love as much as yours. I'd buy her a Buick, but I think that they don't make those anymore. Gawd, I miss Pontiacs....
Oh, Hi Daniel!
I didn't recognize it as SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM. I was just trying to assist a wayward soul who wanted to please his aunt. Funny... somehow, it didn't occur to me to click on the highlighted URL. I guess I've trained myself too well in avoiding peripheral distractions. Online, I've gotten just so very tired of all of the "come-ons". Even in the day-to-day, I've trained myself to just ignore advertisements. My wife will sometimes ask me: "What did they say?", and I can honestly answer "I dunno. I wasn't listening." I guess it's sort of a matter of some kind of "Zen", whatever the heck that means.... Thanks for calling out the SPAM, Daniel. Hope you're doing well.
Thanks for your comments. Yes, when it appears that a rubber banding isn't photo-degrading, I've often used my grafting knife to score it a bit. I generally don't use "Doc Farwell's" over the grafting bands themselves, figuring that the banding itself is sufficient to hold the graft and keep in the moisture. I've not yet ever used any other methods such as masking tape or Parafilm, although I do have some of the latter. The rubber bands seem to do fine in the majority of cases assuming that I'm paying attention and checking the grafted plants regularly. So far, I haven't had any problems with tag wiring. I'm very conscious of the possibility for strangulation as stems increase in size.
You seem to be fairly aware of the state of Nick Botner's collection being propagated at the TOC. Have all of Nick's plants been successfully reproduced?... and what is the status of the original Botner collection at present? Has the property been sold? If so, what is its future use? [Just, if you happen to know.]
Just trying to help keep the forum "clean". Life is a lifelong game of spam wackamole any more.
My only wrapping method now is 1/2 inch wide strips of freezer grade zip lock bags. It's a bit of an art to stretch them tight without breaking them, but they give a wide area of grip and I can see through them to see what is going on. My take for apples, pears, chestnuts, pear on Chinese haw, cherries, plums using that method is about 100%. The down side is it does not photodegrade at all, so they have to be watched and cut off. OK in a homestead size garden / orchard like mine, but not so good if you have thousands.
On washing machines, per your post (off topic so I will stop with this one comment) last summer I bought a 1990s Kenmore Washer and dryer. Easy maintenance, works like a charm. My newer 2000s one only lasted 8 years. Ditto for the 1990s Kenmore sewing machine. Sometimes, old is good!
@sweepbjames I'd like to see a picture of Jeff's label band wrap that's expandable.
I've come up with my own, using stainless safety wire. I loop about a 4 or 5 inch diameter around the limb, then put a 180 twist in the middle, to make a figure 8. Then cinch down the "8" so that one half hugs the limb. As the limb grows, that small end opens up and makes the tag end smaller, and/or unravels the 8.
I cinch it down so it doesn't get blown off before side limbs form from the buds.