Leaf out on grafts

mpalermoApril 29, 2014

I have some plum rootstock that I grafted onto a couple months ago. The rootstock itself has already leafed out, but the graft wood has not.

Does this mean that the grafts didn't work? Or does graft wood take longer to leaf out than the rest? I cut the tips of the graft wood and it is still green in the inside, so it looks like it is still alive, but these are my first attempts at grafting, so I'm not sure.

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more time. not everything comes out at the same time.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:41PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Unwrap whatever you used to wrap the graft to see if the graft has callused in. If it has callused in, rub off all that other growth to force the graft.

If it's a bud graft and you have growth above the grafted bud, again check the bud to see if it callused. If so, cut off the growth above the bud to force the bud.

I paint the callus tissue with latex paint after I remove the wraps. I've been told callus tissue of young grafts is delicate and can dry easily. I've never tested this, just always painted the callus of new grafts.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Olpea: In the past I had unwrapped a pear tree graft and smiled widely as I saw the beautiful new tissue that grew over the graft wound. I thought "Oh Wow, it worked!!". As a rookie grafter wannabe, I removed all the tape then, after having waited several weeks from the graft date before checking the wound area. I thought that the tree's new member was ready to face the world already........In the next few weeks the new tissue on top of the wound became discolored, dried, and died. As did the scion. Lesson learned. The tape wrappings have since remained on top of the wound until WINTER before I pull them off. A very experienced grafter said that to wrap the wound with completely opaque tape is beneficial for tissue formation below the Sun blocked area. I follow his advice.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:45PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Thanks for sharing that experience. Lets me know I've been doing the right thing keeping the callus tissue sealed, not wasting my time.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 7:48PM
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" I paint the callus tissue with latex paint after I remove the wraps.". Thanks for the advice.

Unfortunately, I removed almost all of the parafilm wraps on my experimental T-buds (on peach). I have two buds that are pushing growth. Maybe, I should wrap them again to prevent drying out. I don't have latex paint on hand.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:06PM
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My understanding is the parafilm will degrade on its own. I have completely wrapped my grafted scions with parafilm to limit them from drying out. The buds push right through the parafilm and keep on growing. Once i see the new growth pushing through, I might help it along with a slit or so to open it up more. It makes me feel better, but not sure it is needed.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:39AM
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Buds push through parafilm without slowing down. It can be very tempting to take it off to have a look at your handiwork, you can kinda stick it back on if you want. But be careful in this process, it would suck to ruin a graft like Geraldo and the only remaining Woodstock ticket. I have been able to control myself and not peak until the parafilm is really falling apart. It is still sticky even then.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:02AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


If the callus tissue is new, you could probably use just about any kind of sealant as an anti-desiccant. I wouldn't use anything harsh, but any type of latex caulk would probably work, or possibly even elmers glue to cover the callus (I've never used these products, so I'm guessing here.)

I wouldn't use anything with harsh compounds (like fingernail polish) but any type of wax or latex would do.

Since the buds are already pushing growth, I probably wouldn't wrap them back in parafilm. As CCKW alludes, It would be easy to accidentally knock them off. Plus, since they've already started pushing growth, they might not push through the parafilm.

All that said, you live in a fairly moist and cool climate, so you might be fine to just let the buds grow without any sealant.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:46AM
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