Budding question-

marknmtAugust 14, 2012

I did a little budding and chipping today and things went well enough, but some of the stock was fairly thin and fairly thin-skinned (i.e., the caliper of the wood to which I was grafting was thin and the bark delicate and given to tearing and splitting) and I decided to try removing the wood from the bud before inserting it. I managed, but it was clumsy and I wonder if there are any tips that would help.

I suppose that making sure the budstick was well-hydrated would be helpful- I don't think this was. Anything else the more experienced can suggest?

By the way, when chipping with too-small stock it seems helpful to pre-wrap a little of it with parafilm and then use the parafilm to hold the tail of the bud in place while aligning the rest of it. It's nice to be able to pull a wrap of tape over the chip and then tweak it a bit as you snug it down.

Comments, suggestions and advice eagery anticipated! Thanks.


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franktank232(z5 WI)

I don't think there should be any issues with a "thick" bud and a shallow corresponding cut on the branch you are budding on to. I've tried "shaving" them down and it can be a little tricky...small knife/very sharp. Problem is getting a nice flat cut. Sometimes I'll just save the bud and cut a new one, if possible.

I'm just about done here. Maybe a few more, but I think i've place around 100 so far... Only cut myself once (or maybe twice)...at least these sharp knives make good clean cuts that heal quick.

Couple of close ups of some budding I've done:

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:31PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Mark, I did about 50 chips over a 2 day period. I feel confident that it went well. I tried 3 different knives and discovered how important it is to keep a sharp knife. I found that a sharpening steel worked ok and that my cheap budding knife worked best for me. I have the stock in containers and I'm not sure if I re-pot when dormant, leave them till next spring or what. I don' plan on planting all of them so ,if they make it, I'll giving them to neighbors. I think that most growing will be next year,so they should still be potted? I guess that I spent most of my time learning the procedure and didn't think beyond. Also, can I do anything to encourage root stock growth? Prune top? fertilize?, keep in shade?, partial shade or full sun? Any tricks of the trade? I sure do appreciate the information that I have received from this forum. Thanks, luke

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Luke, all my budding and chipping this year was done on potted stock and I mean to keep them there; two are for backup/giveaway and one is for me. I was doing apricot on Marianna and plan to keep that tree potted forever. The other two would be repotted or planted next spring, I imagine. I don't know what I'll do to encourage rootstock growth except to try to keep fresh enough soil in the pot as it settles and washes through.

I have a couple of knives that work for me. I get buy with my Case pocket knife with the spay blade, if I've sharpened it well, and it holds an edge nicely. I've used utility knives, which are nice because the blades are so sharp. My favorite is one I ground out of an old Dexter boning knife. It sharpens readily and holds an edge reasonably.

As soon as I start to feel like an edge is fading I touch it up on a very hard stone- a steel would probably do fine for me too.

Like you, I'm very appreciative of the information on this forum and wish I could give back more.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:57AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Some of my chip buds are on trees in the ground, some are on trees in pots. Judging from past experience, you are going to get more growth on trees that are in the ground. As is always the case, a bigger pot, plenty of water and fertilizer should increase growth on potted trees. With potted plants you can plant them whenever...dormant, middle of summer...doesn't matter. With chip buds, you want to cut off the branch above where the bud was placed to get all the energy into that bud... If you don[t, that bud might just sit there and do nothing...

What I wonder is how long one should keep a bud covered with parafilm? Is it ok after a month to have a bud stay uncovered? My parafilm, in some instances, seems to break down in a month (along with the rubber bands)...I believe the more shaded ones last longer.
, . c ,m m cv

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:01PM
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I think a lot of people assume that a couple of weeks is long enough, so a month should be fine, but I leave spring grafts of all kinds wrapped as long as possible - sometimes the union needs time to heal and is more vulnerable since callousing takes longer in cooler weather. Or is that just something I made up ... ?


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Mark, I just take out a thinner slice from the scion when the stock is too small. You can have the chip be more thin than you would think and it will still work.

Frank, after a month you have success, there is no need to re-tape. Every once in a blue moon you will get a flapper which is loose on one side or the top and those need to be re-taped.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:26PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Frank, So, do I cut back the root stock now or wait for some sign of bud growth? Thanks, Luke

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:14PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


I'd wait until early spring, before the tree wakes up and then cut them back.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:45PM
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