Before and after grafting

waiting_gwMarch 10, 2013

There's a lot of information out there about grafting, but not a lot on before and after care.

So, I got my apple rootstock from Raintree and budwood from Nick Botner.

The budwood I understand, keep it cool and don't let it dry out. What do I do with the rootstock? I understand that I want the sap flowing before I graft.

How do I know when it's flowing? When the buds start to swell? Maybe put the rootstock in damp saw dust or a potting mix until I see the appropriate signs?

Aftercare

So I've done my grafting, now what? Back in the sawdust/potting mix while the grafts heal? Put them in a cool place or a warm place? Sun or no sun? For how long?

Thanks,

gary

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steve_in_los_osos

Unless you're dealing with persimmons or pawpaws, you are ready to graft now (in zone 9). No need to wait for the rootstock to do anything. But, you do need to decide how you want to treat the entire process, i.e., will you be placing these new "trees" directly into the ground or will you pot them up for a time, planting them after the scion has some significant growth and the union has healed a little.

I pot mine up (I use a 3.7 gal nursery pot, but some use 1 gal; I find the roots on stock are sometimes already too big for a 1 gal and using the larger size means more time in pot without becoming seriously stunted), water thoroughly and graft the next day. Then I keep the potted trees in a bright shady place that is warmish, as opposed to dark, cold shade. Keep an eye on things and keep them watered like you would anything else, though maybe not quite so much water since there is nothing to transpire it away. Yet.

Religiously rub off buds pushing from the rootstock.

When the buds on the scions begin to push you can gradually transition the pots to full sun.

I've had no problem growing the entire first season in pots and then planting out in the Fall. Something that's growing really vigorously, however, might be better off in the ground sooner.

The alternative is to plant the rootstock where the tree is to grow, probably after making the graft (a "bench graft"). You need to be careful about dislodging the alignment of the graft while planting and you need to guard against critters (including you) tripping over, snapping off, etc., the little "tree". Some shade would also be good or you might end up cooking the scion inside the parafilm before it has a chance to get going.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:31PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes, planting it up right away into pot, ...a little faster for the tree to push, when you see signs, graft it. Not much aftercare for the graft,..I guess it depends what kind of grafting you do. My bark graft I don't do anything until the next spring when I sometimes need to take tape off.

Here is a link that might be useful: Konrad's modified bark grafting

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:22AM
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