Apple grafting- lesson learned- give it time
Learned a lesson this year. Got some nice looking scions from GF's scottfsmith this winter. This was the second year in a row, as none of them had taken last year (so I thought). As the year before, I stored them appropriately and put them on at close to the right time using a whip graft.
I watched them like a hawk from the time I did the grafts through leaf-out (three weeks ago). I only have two apple trees, both a few steps from my truck, so I spent way too much time staring at them. The trees leafed out on schedule, growing like weeds. The new shoots extended to 8" long, but not one scion showed any signs of life at all. Then were becoming tough to even see through the new leaves all around them. Grrrrr!
I resigned myself to failure. Just one of those things I don't have the knack for. I ripped the Fregburg scions off my Golden Delicious tree in disgust, removing the metal letter-bead markers I had made and attached to the branch (how presumptuous!) and unwinding the plastic strips under teflon tape I'd used to affix them. I vowed that next year I'd buy parafilm and proper grafting tape.
But I got distracted, and I never removed the Gala and Newtown P. scions from my Honeycrisp tree. I finally got around to it on Sunday. As I reached to remove the first one, I saw the buds were just beginning to break. So had the next one. In fact they all took!
Now, two weeks later, all have leaves. I had removed the other scions too soon! I can graft!
Lesson learned- sometimes grafts can take a really long time to show life. Give them time, lots of time!