How to reuse rootstock with failed graft

curtis(5)May 15, 2013

I did my first grafts this year and lost some. I had done saddle grafts on apples, pears, and peaches. I had some fails on all, especially peaches. These are all in 1.5 or 2 gal pots and the root stocks are growing from the buds below the grafts. the grafts are 4-5" above the soil. So what do I do from here with each type? chip/ bud graft in the fall?

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Do you have anymore scionwoods left? If yes, then you can re-graft them now. If no, then just find some permanent spots and plant them out. In the fall, you can chip/bud graft or wait until next spring and re-graft them. One pointer, with stone fruits, just make sure you have a period of 6 or 7 days of of warm weather with temp in the 70"s degree for them to take. Like all grafts, aftercare is important to rub off all new grow below the union because you want all the saps to flow to the scionwoods. Good luck.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I have a question on the basic grafts I did. I did saddle graft, then wrapped with a ribber band. Is it possible to be too tight with the rubber band and cause a failure?

I know I did my grafts too early, but don't want to miss any other causes.

(I do have a few apple scions left to retry, but not the others)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Apple and pear are easy to take. You can use a simple cleft graft but to make sure at least one side is match but both side is better. I then use a strip of saran wrap and go around the union twice and then the black electrical tape go up and down a couple of times tightly. Just remember to rub off all the new shoots below the union every couple of days until no more new shoots.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 3:46PM
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I think it is possible to wrap too tightly with the rubber bands, choking the rootstock; I'm pretty sure I've done it.

I've been playing with a rootstock that sounds similar to yours. I bought an apricot on Marianna and the tree winterkilled, but numerous shoots came up from the root. I separated the best three and bud/chipped to them last summer. One of them is doing well now; the others failed but the shoots are still alive. I'll repeat the experiment in August.

Failing with peach is not uncommon! I've only ever had one apricot take, and I gather they're pretty much the same challenge. Pear is easiest, and cleft works well. Whip and tongue on pear is a great choice. Chips take easily. Apple is nearly as easy as pear, and plum the most doable of stone fruit, but still touchier than the pomes.

I think Tony's advice is very good.

Good luck,


You might look up "stooling rootstock" for more on the subject.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 6:00PM
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