strap graft

windfall_rob(vt4)March 17, 2013

All the recent posts on grafting made me think I would throw this variation into the mix.
I don't have any pics right now, the drawing at bottom (left side) is the best I could find

The drawing does have several errors:

-when the scion is split (unequally) the thinner more flexible side comes down over the understock slope cut and then tucked UNDER the bark as a normal bark graft. Helps to put a small slope cut on the outside of scion to smooth the insertion and increase contact.

-the thicker half of the scion is cut back shorter and inserted at the top as you would any normal bark graft.

It's a relatively labor intensive graft which I almost never hear about. Sort of a combination of bark grafting and saddle grafting. I did a number of them last year in places where my understock was 2-3X larger diameter than my scion. The extra labor pays off on several levels:

-You get a LOT of cambium contact...nearly 100% of the scion's end grain heals in, which is rare with mis-matched caliper

-the grafts healed very fats and well, completely (or nearly so) healing over the cut understock within the first seaon.

-once callused, the graft is very well self supported. I have lost so many bark grafts to windstorms half way through summer....admittedly because I didn't provide some type of splint.

-the graft is visually smooth and W+T. I know this is just cosmetics but I like it!

Anyhow, just thought I would share a fun option for those who like to whittle scions.

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thanks Rob..this looks good!
What I might be inclined to do, instead of putting the flap over the center, move it over to one side and make contact with cambium.

This post was edited by konrad___far_north on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 12:47

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:45PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


What did you do it on? (apple?)... Looks pretty.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:56PM
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I think going off center would be a mistake. It would make it harder to tuck in the strap as you would be bending it across a sloped angle instead of a line perpendicular to the run. Also when forcing the graft down into position if it were not centered on the point of the understock it would have a tendency to slide off to the side/down, instead of jamming in and firming up.

but I have only done 4 of them so I don't speak with authority on the matter.

I did find that by having the live strap and active flow growth on both sides of the understock, callus tissue quickly formed from both the strap sides and the top edges of the understock covering the exposed wood by seasons end.

I have not done it yet,but believe the strap would lead into the understock better if the sloped cut in understock were curved (at least at the lower side) rather than the usual flat plane.

Frank, I did them in apple. Low on a number of feral seedlings and root suckers from a fallen tree. I think most any graft would have grown well and healed in quickly given all the vigor of a young established tree was getting dumped into it. But I wanted to try it because...well yes it looks pretty.

But I do think there is something to be gained by keeping circumferential flow going into the scion and active growth on both sides of understock. Other than a caliper matched whip and tongue (likely my favorite) most other grafts have reduced the active cambium contact of the scion by least in terms of the amount of severed end grain. Obviously all the standards work well, but it's nice to have something that lets you keep so much initial connection when your calipers don't match.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 3:59PM
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here is the original link that got me thinking about trying the graft. Like I said before, some parts of the image and description (at page bottom) are not quite right.

I have recently come across same or simalir graft in The Grafter's Handbook, J Garner.
He shows the cut sequences for the scion very well but shows it on an understock cut square to it's opposed to sloped. It looks harder to make that way to me as the strap must take 2 hard bends and you can't "jam" the scion into place. He also sights the "tediousness" of the method but recognizes its strength and rapid healing.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:12PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


Have you read/looked at "The art of grafting and budding" by Charles Baltet? Its on Google books if you search for it. I believe it was originally written in French? I know Scott (i think) has mentioned it in the past. It has massive amounts of various types of grafts....Good read...i'm just browsing it now.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Frank, that's new to me thanks for the link, I will check it out.

our local library just got a copy of The Grafter's Handbook so I have been digesting that. So many variations and uses of technique.

Last night I was reading up on "frame working" a top working technique where all the secondary wood is removed from the scaffolds on mature trees and replaced with (many) long scions carrying 7-10 buds each. Supposedly only the tips go vegitative and the rest of the buds spur up. Trees return to "normal" cropping in 2-3 years....

The pictures were impressive....I didn't even realize one could get scion that size to take and and sustain. I can't imagine the labor at a commercial level would be practical but the author made it sound as if it was developed as a commercial technique....???

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:18PM
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