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Grafting, using stris cut from plastic freezer bags.
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Clark County, WA
519 Posts
March 13, 2019 - 10:04 am

I don't know what most grafters use.  This is what I've been doing for about 3 years now, with 100% success.  The reason I post is, when I was learning to graft, I learned using grafting wax.  I've seen various methods online, including electrical or masking tape (too sticky for my taste), string and wax, bought plastic strips (too expensive) and parafilm (expensive, and for me tends to tear too easily for the main binding).  I learned this by watching Youtubes by Stephen Hayes in UK, but can't locate the video that I used.

I like the plastic strips because of the low cost, no need to order excessive amounts from Amazon, and the bags were in my kitchen anyway.  In fact, these are the bags that had already used once, so they are essentially low cost.  I experimented with different types of plastic bags, and found that the gallon size, zip lick freezer bags have the right amount of stretchiness and give, so I can bind the graft tightly.  It did take some practice and experimentation.  Since my carpentry is not perfect, by binding tightly  using plastic, I get better cambium contact without girdling. I use strips cut about 3/4 inch wide.

First, I tie the strip below the graft.

Then, I flatten the plastic strip and wrap, binding quite firmly, around and around up to above the graft union, then back down to the original knot, and tie the loose end to the loose end of the bottom of the knot.  


Finally, I use a less strong plastic wrap to wrap the scion, especially the cut end, to avoid dehydration.  I do not use the zip lock back plastic for that, because I want the bud to break through.  Last year, I used plastic cut from flimsier storage bags.  This year I used parafilm.  I'm not sure which is better.  I'm leaning towards the storage bag strips, but wanted to experiment.  I think they will both work.

And of course, label.  We'll see how they do this year.  I don't know what others are using, but wanted to share this method which, for me, is cheap (nearly free), easier, effective, and does not require anything that I don't already have in the kitchen.

I usually cut off the plastic mid summer.  Last fall I noticed some that I had forgotten, they grew fine but the stem girth, where they were bound firmly, was narrower.  I removed the plastic strip then, and I think there are no problems with those grafts.

p.s.  these grafts are from Sunday's scion fair!

John S
2593 Posts
March 19, 2019 - 9:32 pm

There are many techniques. Thanks for showing another one, Daniel.

John S

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