Whip and Tongue Viability

quillfredApril 18, 2012

I am wondering how long to give a couple of whip and tongue apple grafts. They were grafted third week of March and the temps have ranged between high 30sF - low 60sF. It has been a month since grafting.

The smaller-diameter apple grafts are putting out green buds while the larger winter-apple scions only show a tiny sliver of gray (and my older apples are tight bud phase now). I have not yet rubbed the rootstock buds off just in case. Do they still have a chance?

Also when is the best time to remove the rubberbands?

Thanks in advance.

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Although usually a spring graft will push within a couple of weeks or even sooner I have had them take some weeks. I don't declare them dead until they shrivel.

In a couple of cases on apple I have had the buds fail to push but healing of the callus to take place anyway- and a dormant bud pushing the next year! These grafts don't shrivel, but they don't go anywhere either until the following year.

I wouldn't be in a hurry to pull the rubberbands, but if you feel a need to check under them you can. You can take a peek and replace the band.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 5:55PM
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If the buds on the scion are still nice and "tight" and don't flex easily if you move them side to side with your finger you're ok. But if they flex side to side (like they have no turgor pressure) and feel spongy then redo them. That's how I typically check mine. If they take or not, they will usually push anyway with the stored energy they have available even if they don't fully open you should see some of them start to develop.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Thanks Mark and JRG13. Its good to know there is still hope. This experience reinforced the importance of a long sloping cut with larger diametered wood. I'm pretty sure the cambium contact is less secure with these. I will leave the bands alone as I removed a Lapins band too early last year, making for a fragile connection. I look forward to trying budding.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:59PM
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You will find budding to be a piece of cake. It's easy to get 100% with apples. Chip or T, doesn't seem to matter. Try both and decide which is easier and more fun for you.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:36PM
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