Grafting when its wet

canadianplantMay 1, 2014

This week as been pretty cloudy and wet. There will be 3 days of sun and warmth followed by a few more days of rain.

It is time to graft here, especially since I can see that the scions in the fridge are ready to get going. Im just wondering how wet is too wet to graft, and if its ok to graft before some decent rains?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

CP,

You can graft before the rain. I usually tape a stick longer than the scion around the trunk or a branch and cover it with a plastic bag and tape the bottom end to the trunk to prevent water getting in the union (the stick will prevent the bag from weighing on the scion). Remove the bag when you have a dry peroid.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canadianplant

Thanks tony

If everything falls into place Ill get my hands on some parafilm. Ill just wrap the whole scion.

Good to have a back up plan though. I may end up having to use a rubber band and asfalt tree seal.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

I'm confused. The graft union should be sealed airtight definitely water tight.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Murky,

some people just use electrical tape and no sealer or parafilm then the plastic bag cover works just fine. Parafilm and the sealer should be airtight like you mentioned. I used IV tegaderm instead of parafilm and it sealed real well without using any sealer.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

Rain never hurt my grafts- all I use is electric tape where the wood joins. Why would rain be a problem? It's drying out I worry about.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 4:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

HM.

I did have some graft failure just using electrical tape. At one time, it's rain hard for one week after grafting, a third of my grafts got water logged and died. I used tagadern at the union and also wrap the whole scion with it. If I run out of tagaderm then I use strectch tite food wrap.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The only problem with rainy weather is it is often colder weather and that means the trees are pushing less sap to the grafts. Tony that may have been your problem. I tend to graft less in the rain but its more due to the bad timing with coolness.

This spring we have had three warm sunny periods, the third one starting today. I will finish any leftover grafts in this one. I am curious how my peaches are going to work out, one of the sunny warm periods was only two days and I usually like four days.

Scott

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marknmt

I put off grafting by a week this year because the trees just didn't seem very eager. I like to feel that they're getting ready to push. It's been a late, cool spring. Looks like I'll be able to go ahead in a few more days as it is warming nicely now. We've been getting a fair amount of water to the trees too, hoping they'll be nice and juicy when I start.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canadianplant

Well I cant find any parafilm or like product here at all. Looks like im going to have to use something else...

I thought people dont like electrical tape because it doesnt deteriorate and can choke grafts?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

Well, with some species and conditions you can practically throw the scion at the tree and it will take. For those, I suppose using electrical tape (and cutting it free before it girdles) may be fine.

If you are somebody who is concerned about your technique, or who wants to optimize your chances (presumably why you are posting this question) then why not give the graft its best shot, which includes keeping the graft union from drying out.

If not parafilm or the like, you can cover your grafting rubber or tape or grafting strip with Doc Farwell's Heal and Seal, melted wax, or something of that nature.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

Murky, electric tape and parafilm are in no way mutually exclusive. You can use the electric tape to pull the scion to the established wood- I use watersprouts when I can, or small wood the same diameter as the scion so the electric tape allows you to pull the pieces together to perfectly merge the cambium if they are the same diameter- otherwise to match it on one side.

Then you can wrap he scion with parafilm to your hearts content- I certainly recommend it with stuff that tends to dry out before healing, like stone fruit and paw paws. I use parafilm for everything.

Cutting to prevent girdling also creates scar tissue that strengthens the graft. Longitudinal scoring is said to do this.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Johnnysapples

I find electric tape works the best. It holds it so good that most times it's strong enough for birds to land on it. depending on what type of graft. I guess it comes down to how well you can stretch the tape around to hold the graft perfectly. I don't know how any water gets past unless the tape isn't applied so it is flat and tight. It's not hard to make a relief cut on the tap latter either. Now That's with apple. If your grafting something like peach you need to wrap the whole scion with parafilm so it doesn't dry out. don't use anything tar it will kill it. I learned that my first time grafting. If your talking grafting sealant like Treekote that's not tar. I use that sometimes over the tape if the wrap doesn't look good and on the open cut ends. Bees wax works great. The toilet seal is an easy way to get it too.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

Harvestman,

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I was saying that since canadianplant doesn't have parafilm to wrap over whatever is holding the graft together, canadianplant can use one of those other things.

I didn't mean to imply that one couldn't/shouldn't wrap parafilm on top of tape. Quite the opposite.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Chris-7b-GA(7b)

When is the time to slice the electrical type to avoid girdling? My grafts are leafing out nicely and don't want to cut the tape to early.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Chris,

I leave the tape on my grafts until late July for a strong union before I take it off. I have many scions broke off by the wind or a bird land on it.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canadianplant

thanks guys. I'm grafting pear. more specifically Flemish beauty onto john golden spice and a bosc seedling.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Better wet then dry.
Here it can be desert dry, that's why it helps sealing in moisture
on buds with parafilm. Electrical tape can stretch, I'll take it off
the following season.

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

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 2:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Johnnysapples

I take most of mine off the following spring. I unwrap any overlapped tape, and then make a couple cuts and let the weather take the rest off. Because the tape has a sticky side it helps when grafting to get a good seal. If your doing a lot of grafting it also helps make it go faster. If you use whip and tonged or cleft the graft will be really strong when taped. Cleft grafts I put wax on the end of the bigger branch and down the crack. All the exposed wood first then tape. The pears I did were as easy as apples and all took except a couple I put onto apple trees. I do have five healthy ones on apple and one that grew eight inch branches. I like experimenting.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 6:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

Girdling from vinyl electric tape doesn't become a problem for me until the second season- I only cut the strongest growing grafts the first.

If you don't want to worry about it you can use the more expensive rubber electric tape which stretches to accommodate growth. You can't pull it as tight but it works about as well.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 7:02AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
huge raspberry bush!!!!
Help! My husband and I have a humongous 6 foot spread...
satami00
Are these roots that are forming on a callery pear cutting in water?
As you may know, i took cuttings of a flowering pear...
tlbean2004
Can Apples grow in the tropics?
I was wondering if apples could really be grown in...
Axel
Cherry tree damage from storm
Top third of cherry tree snapped off by falling limb...
jimfnc7
Is it just me or have my plum tree buds gotten bigger lately?
I have a bruce plum tree that i planted last september. It...
tlbean2004
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™