Konrad's modified bark grafting

Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)November 24, 2007

Finally!....I have some pictures together and should be self-explanatory.

Why is it different you might ask,....there are two angles cut instead of one.

For two reasons, first, I find it will match better, therefore a better take.

Second, creating a kind of well, where the sealant can run down the slope and making a better seal.

May 12 / 07 cutting the cherry scion wood, note: angle cut, and parallel cut.

...

Cutting the root stock, note: after the two angle cut, another vetical cut, here, it's going down to

the bottom of picture.

..

Joining, taping and sealing...

..

..

Note: The top angle cut, perhaps a little too much angle,.. is helping tying the graft and helping for the sealant to run down

towards the graft.

..

June 2 / 07

..

This graft is one year old...from another graft.

..

Konrad

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alan haigh

Those pictures reveal some of the most skillful grafting I've ever seen. Konrad, your craftmanship is remarkable.

For me though, grafting is like shoveling compost, I'm just looking for a faster way to fill the wheelbarrow! There's just too much to do in spring to spend more than 5 minutes on a graft, start to finish.

I do a few hundred grafts every spring and I love the results but detest the chore. I just take a stick of wood with 2 buds that I've cut at a sharp angle and tape it tightly to young wood (preferably 1 year) of the same diameter that has been cut the same way. I cover the tip with some Gashell grafting putty and I'm done.

To make the cuts I used to use a bypass shear- say a Felco 8, but now I use a double bladed shear that works like a blade and anvil in that the blades meet at the point of cut(amleanord.com). I usually use common vinyl electric tape which I cut within a year to prevent girdling. With rubber tape that part is unnecessary but you can't pull it as tight and it costs more.

For easy to graft species like pear and apple I get about 80% take with many of the failures being the result of leafhoppers sucking the life out of emerging shoots from the grafts.

For more difficult species like plums and paw paws I'd certainly consider employing your innovative technique.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 8:53AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Konrad-

Excellent. Stuff like this is great for people that need more then just words! Do you use a grafting knife? What varieties are you grafting here (rootstock/scion)? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you all!
Harvesman.
I know exactly what you're talking about when it becomes being busy in spring.
After a while, this type of cut doesn't take more then five minutes, even less when just putting on electrical tape for
easier stuff like apples, I do over a hundred grafts every year.
I find, taking a bit longer is worth the end results.
Oh...the faster one goes the better it is.., precision fast cuts I find is good to keep contamination low and prevent from drying out.

Important:
I should have noted,.. most of you know this already, in the first picture, total of four cuts are needed, angle cut, parallel, and the most important, two cuts, 90 degree from the parallel cut to expose the cambium or bark along the long portion, for good tissue join on root stock.

>>Do you use a grafting knife?No, a good quality box knife with new blades on hand.

.

>>What varieties are you grafting here (rootstock/scion)?I'm doing some experimental sweet cherries, not really suited for this climate.
It's Lapin grafted to our Native Pine cherries I have growing all over the acreage.

Konrad

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 5:12PM
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alcan_nw(z1 AK)

I like the method. Kind of half way between a whip graft and bark graft for the top and bottom sizes. From members of the Alaska pioneer fruit society they say prunus maackii as a rootstock has very thin bark.... do you think your method would work for maackii?

I would have guessed by the pics that you were using pin cherry there. I put pin cherry on a sweet cherry rootstock variety 'F12/1' and the colors were the same, but of course flipped up and down reversed. Keep going!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:36AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Hi Alcan
Sorry, miss spelled, should read Pin Cherry, and yes, very thin bark.
Konrad

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 1:02AM
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murkwell

Konrad,

I'll consider your last picture confirmation of my suspicion as to your motivation for doing this type of graft. Obviously a natural question is why go through such pains when cherry is amenable to simple grafting methods?

I think the answer here is that you wanted to use a very long scion of mature wood with fruit buds on it so that you can get fruit the same year as the graft.

Yes?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 2:52AM
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alan haigh

I think Konrad has the hands of a natural born surgeon if he can accomplish those grafts in 5 minutes including tape and wax. If I could do such careful work that quickly I'd be happy to go the extra mile for a few extra takes. I use the simplist method possible and 5 minutes is my best time not my average time, and I have fairly dextrous fingers and more than an average amount of experience.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:10AM
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murkwell

I don't know. From the way the stock is frayed on one side I get the impression that Konrad cut it by holding the blade perpendicular to the axis of the twig, perhaps with something hard backing it. Like an anvil cut.

In other words the cut would be like you'd use to cut asparagus into shorter lengths on a cutting board. As opposed to more common grafting cuts that are along the axis of the twig like the direction of peeling the skin off of an asparagus spear with a paring knife.

Those would be cuts suited to his rigid blade and wouldn't require as much skill in handling the blade and could be done quickly.

The beauty of a bark graft is that none of those cuts need to be very precise. The follow up cuts that he alludes to in his later post ensure that there is plenty of exposed cambium on the scion and the with the entire backside of the peeled back bark off of the stock is cambium layer.

The splice portion of the cut is mostly structure so also doesn't require that much precision.

Its a clever way to get both some structural support and a bunch of cambium contact. I think the beauty of this type of graft is that it doesn't require surgeon skills.

Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that Konrad has great woodworking skills and obviously knows how to use tools as evidenced from his other posts. Its also clear that he likes things likes to do things "the right way" and then some - with some creativity thrown in.

It seems a bit overkill to me though since I've never found my seal lacking or diffcult to make. It looks like it has both sealant and parafilm. I only use one or the other but I stretch my parafilm tighter.

I guess from reading Joereal's barkgrafting tutorial I've tried to pull my parafilm as tight as I can without breaking (too ofton). Turns out I make it tighter than any pictures I've subsequently seen from others.

Now Konrad, please correct my mischaracterizations :)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 6:56PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thanks for your interest and looking!

Not sure what picture you're referring too?
I think you mean the one with the cherry on it?..This one is a older graft, fruited in the 3rd. season.
Please look at the first set of pictures,...as you can see, it's new wood, normally I use 2 buds, this one had 4 I think
because I figured the fairly large rootstock could support it, .. it grew out well but a deer has pruned it back for me!

>>Obviously a natural question is why go through such pains when cherry is amenable to simple grafting methods? Sweet cherry onto pin root stock is not a easy task, the bark on pin cherry is as thick as paper.
When you look at the 3rd. picture with the scion held in place without holding it, tells me it's a good graft
with allot of bark contact.
I do most of the graft's like this, I find it the most reliable for me. ..Have done some bud grafts.

>>In other words the cut would be like you'd use to cut asparagus into shorter lengths on a cutting board. As opposed to more common grafting cuts that are along the axis of the twig like the direction of peeling the skin off of an asparagus spear with a paring knife.Not sure exactly what you mean, I just hold the scion in one hand and pull cut towards you, [facing you] with the other hand, cutt from the very end, [taper end] towards the end of scion making a long taper first and gradually cutting the steep taper, kind of in....then out toward the end.

If you have the same diameter scion and root stock, then only one taper cut on top of root stock is needed and tie everything together, [one union] with electrical tape, no seal needed.

>> It looks like it has both sealant and parafilm. I only use one or the other but I stretch my parafilm tighter.Parafilm is only good for one season and it has no healing - over properties' like Dr. Farwell has.

This stuff can stretch over many years and I find it's the ONLY good thing out there, also good for pruning, I try
to use it when cutting a limb larger them my thumb....see picture.

One season

. .
Two season

Some more one season grafing picture.
Ash

Plum, sometimes the electrical tape falls off by itself.

Apricot

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:45PM
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murkwell

Very nice.

OK, I got it completely wrong. It was fun guessing though.

The second picture in the first post shows the the frayed look on the host stock I was talking about. It led me to believe that the frayed area was the last edge cut.

The rest was similar conjecture on my part. But at least I inspired you to post some more cool pictures.

Why do I keep hearing that the current advice is to not seal pruning cuts? That Doc Farwell's dressed wound looks very happy.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:44AM
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alan haigh

The reason you keep hearing that there is no point in sealing pruning wounds is because there is no point in sealing pruning wounds. In commercial orchards you can look at thousands and thousands of pruning cuts- many of them brutal, most either too close or too far. The trees shrug it off. Shigo was a pretty crazy dude towards his end but he got this thing right. Plants don't heal like people- they don't attack destructive fungus, they seal it out. Pruning compounds may do no harm but if they hold extra moisture at the point of the wound they might.

You can trust me on this one folks, I spend 7 working months a year pruning fruit trees- winter, spring and summer and I watch the results of my work. The reason the wound in the photo healed so well is because it was a perfect cut, leaving just enough of the collar.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 4:43PM
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lucky_p

I'm a huge fan of bark grafts and Parafilm, and like murky, I stretch it to the breaking point(and beyond, sometimes).
I've never used Doc Farwell's - just never really saw the need, when I've got ready access to all the Parafilm I'll ever need. I only need 'sealant' long enough for the graft to callus in.
But, I do have a number of friends who swear by Doc F's, and don't use Parafilm.
But - if you're concerned about aesthetics, as a friend of mine who grafts Japanese maples and other ornamentals found out, Doc Farwell's is a no-no - you'll see that yellow/green/gray blob sticking out like a sore thumb at the graft union for years down the road.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:20PM
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murkwell

Funny lucky. I count that ugly yellow/green/gray sticking out as a boon because it draws my attention to the biological wonder and also helps me easily find the graft locations. Besides, it looks better than than the dangling labels made from soda cans and the garden ties training the limbs :)

But for the most part I've found parafilm easier and neater than using the Doc Farwell's. I've never used a good applicator though. Last time I think I used disposable wood chopsticks. I've heard popcycle sticks work well but I don't know where to buy them. I tried a silicone basting brush and that was a mess.

Looking at my place nobody would accuse me of being overly concerned about aesthetics.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 7:11PM
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lucky_p

Oh, it's fine on a fruiting/orchard tree - most of us in that line are not really concerned about appearance, so much as we are about fruit/nut production. But, if you're propagating 'ornamentals', like Japanese maples, that blotch of long-lasting yellow or green isn't aesthetically pleasing.

Aesthetics are not my long suit, either. I always tell folks I'm a heck of a propagator, but a p@ss-poor caretaker.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:22AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>The reason the wound in the photo healed so well is because it was a perfect cut, leaving just enough of the collar.I never leave a collar, always prune flush, this way it heals flush.
As a hobby grower I think it's good to spend a bit more time and put sealant over it.
I have seen allot of ugly looking results when sealant wasn't applied, ...like turning black, bark pealing back at the
wound when drying out, bugs & diseases getting in like fire blight etc.
I grew up in a orchard in Switzerland and we never used it,... but I'm a believer now!

Using it on graft's is even more important, it will help to keep the moisture in and healing over nicely.

Konrad

1 Like    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 11:26PM
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alan haigh

We are all in love with our anecdotal observations, but without controlled experiments technological progress would be slow. You are a very skilled orchard keeper but I have to question the vailidity of your observations on this one.

There is some controversy in the literature about the necessity of collar cuts and on some species I'm sure flush cuts work just fine, but almost no serious professional uses pruning compounds anymore. Of course you need something to prevent your scion from drying out when you graft but thats entirely different than healing a wound.

I envite you to seal 50 pruning cuts and leave 50 similar cuts unsealed then I believe you'll find you're just spouting BS. In the research I've read the conclusions were based on thousands of such comparisons.

Google Alex Shigo to look at some of this research.

1 Like    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 5:28PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Sure, I will do more test's.
It looks like, Alex Shigo, who past away in 2006, has never used Dr. Farwell's?....sure, then I would agree with him and you harvestman, not put on anything, there was nothing out there what did any good...have tried allot!

Any other Dr. Farwell's testimonials out there?

From the web..
This subject just goes to show you how different arbory practices are across the US. Here in central Texas, every wound, from either trimming or naturally occurring, that is about 2" or larger, needs to be dressed. The Forest service has documented an increased vectoring of certain diseases that can be minimized by wound dressing.

Konrad

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 10:37PM
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alan haigh

OK, until your specific compound is put through the tests no one can say it works or doesn't. Shigo spent about thirty years doing research for the US Forestry service trying to find an affective compound. He learned how tree wounds heal for the first time and discovered that trees don't eliminate pathogens as do animals but instead create chemical barricades to stop their prgress.

Lac Balsam was a compound that becuase it stretced as the wound healed was considered marginally helpful in some instances, as I recall from the period when I was intensely studying these things, but it was put through rigid research to determine this. It's affectivness was not deemed dramatic enough to be widely recommended.

I am not completely current on this issue and if you can direct me to some specific research on the efficacy of your product I'd be grateful. I believe that if Texas arborists are being advised to use a pruning compound it is as a barrier to specific insect vectors not to speed the wound healing process. When compoounds are used for this purpose they are not usually recommended for a wide range of species but only ones threatended by very specific vectors and pathogens.

I have been in the business for long enough to see intelligent and very experienced gardeners recommend one form of snake oil after another but these snake oils are occassionally interpspersed with something truly affective. Professional fruit growers, however, must stick to the research and can't waste time and money on hearsay. Show me the data!

Thanks for the respect of your responses, I do admire your talent, photos don't lie. Alan Haigh

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 4:47AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you Alan
Like I said, I will do more testing on the pruning side.

Lets go back to bark grafting,...
Observing these modified bark grafts for about 20 years, around 10 years with the use of this sealant, I have now seen complete healing over of the wound, cut, 180 degree, [opposite side of graft] in one season, using root stock about the size of your thumb,...as you can see in picture.
And...the northern season is shorter then the south.
This, I did not achieve with any other substance used before.
This is enough prove to me and no BS.
Can you folks show me some one season's thumb size bark graft's?
Konrad

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 1:06AM
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alan haigh

In your situation I would do the same thing and I bow to your grafting technique. When I said that we're all in love with our anecdotal truth I didn't mean it's always a bad thing.

As I said some time ago, I spend almost seven working months a year pruning mostly old apple trees (the other fruits take much less time) and I can't help but recoil from the thought of having to paint up every large diameter branch I cut. My fees would go over the roof.

The way I avoid injuring wood is by leaving enough small wood to keep adequate sap flow going. The bigger the wood, the more leaves (therefore smaller branches) required. When I start to pass the thresh-hold because of crowding, I remove an entire branch so the remaining scaffolds or lesser branches have adequate light to feed their wood.

Most of my pruning time is spent on huge ancient apple trees , so I've had to learn how to get away with removing a lot of wood to open up trees for fruit production.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 4:43AM
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posturedoc

A mild hijack here. Hope folks don't mind.

Alan,

I'd love to see some photos of your pruning technique on those ancient apples. My brother has a couple of large, though not ancient apple trees that desperately need to be taken down in size. They are both 20-25 feet tall and were pruned for the first time three years ago by somebody my sister-in-law hired who obviously didn't have a clue. As you can imagine, the resulting growth is a mass of mostly vertical branches shooting 10+ feet straight up. I know this isn't really comparable to the trees you describe, and I do have an idea about how I want to take them down to a more manageable size, but I really do enjoy photos of lovingly reshaped trees. It's art.

One other question before I start trying to fix those trees. Do you suggest waiting until summer to begin thinning out the growth and shaping the trees for the future or should I get started now, when it's easier for me to visualize what I want to do but risk another flush of overgrowth from dormant pruning them.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 3:19PM
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ottawan_z5a

Konrad
Referring to your 3rd and 4th pictures of the grafting action (just before sealing), is there a slit in the bark of the root-stock branch which is being grafted onto where the scion is pushed downward? It is not visible because of the side view.

I thought it may be difficult to push down the scion in the bark if there is no cut (downward slit) in the bark. You do say "after the two angle cut, another vertical cut" which may mean cut like in T-budding but it is not visible in the picture. I am asking just to confirm.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:35PM
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ottawan_z5a

Konrad
Referring to your 3rd and 4th pictures of the grafting action (just before sealing), is there a slit in the bark of the root-stock branch which is being grafted onto where the scion is pushed downward? It is not visible because of the side view.

I thought it may be difficult to push down the scion in the bark if there is no cut (downward slit) in the bark. You do say "after the two angle cut, another vertical cut" which may mean cut like in T-budding but it is not visible in the picture. I am asking just to confirm.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:02AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Sorry for this later answer..just got to see this.
Yes, in the second picture it's a long vertical cut, as long as your scion cut end will be. Take your flat or straight knife and put it against the stock, end of knife will rest at end of cut, the knife will be touching the bark all the way, then push the knife into the bark all the way until you feel resistance,[touching wood] then still keep pushing a little....not to loose position and twist knife both way to loosen up the bark a little all the way up and down and side way's, this makes the scion wood slip in easily.

If you loosen the bark too much it's not so good, ....scion wood too loose. You should feel a bit resistance pushing in the scion, it makes a good snug fit and holds by itself. Then you have two hands free for putting on the tape.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:58PM
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lucky_p

Dr. Bill Reid, the pecan specialist at KSU has a northern pecan blog, linked below - scroll down to the Apr 11 installment, which shows the 'anatomy' of a 5-yr old bark graft. Pretty interesting to see how things fit together and have grown over/together in the years since the graft was performed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Pecan Blog

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 7:39AM
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DesiFern

After seeing your entry here last year, I decided to order Doc Farwell's Heal and Seal online, and applied it to a peach tree wound. It's healed really well, and I'll reapply it this year and hope for the best.

Here's a before/after photo:

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I'm still having some issues with this tree however http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fruit/msg0510593119349.html (my forum question) so if you have any words of wisdom about potential fungal issues, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:20PM
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woody64(5a)

I am a newbie to this apple grating thing and wondering whats the best grafting technique with the highest success rate in your opinion? I tried slipping a 6" long scion cut on a long slant behind a t-cut on a trunk but haven't had to much success. I am on the east coast of canada (Newfoundland)and have a few apple trees that I want to change variety.They are late apple variety and we cool of quickly here . Also whats the best time to graft, I read its best when they are "slipping",how do I tell? BTW great pics for a newbie like me.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:25AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

When you see new growth it's time to graft.

Top grafting some branches on your trees with no larger then thumb size branches I would do for a start. Bark grafting is my favored method. Get your scion now and keep in plastic bag with moist paper towel in the fridge.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Doc Farwell's I can't get anymore here in Edmonton or Canada, not even Amazon.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:58PM
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CLBlakey

If you know someone in Vancouver I found a place that sells it in store only http://www.homesteadersemporium.ca/shop/garden/doc-farwells-seal-and-heal-quart/

Here is a link that might be useful: Heal and Seal

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:37AM
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beeman_gardener(5)

Doc Farwell's 'Heal and seal'. A google search pulls up lots of suppliers. Some will some won't ship, a variety of prices and sizes.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I found a jug in Edmonton from Apache Seeds,,..[same as link in Vancouver] for $34.99

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:57AM
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benfisher

interesting debate. I seal my grafts after I remove my tape. the tape I use often removes some bark, exposing some sensitive ( green) bark layers. I like the black mark of the sealer that helps identify the graft lines for years that follow. I have done mostly high top dressing grafts over the years...and see some perceived value in sealing...but have proof. if I had hundreds of cuts to seal....I would not bother. if I have one or two cuts on a tree in my yard...I do seal them. it makes me feel better! band-aid or not? some cuts need them...some do not!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:47PM
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benfisher

would a long, flat cut accomplish the same thing as your long split cut?. probably less structure, but equal area? it would be faster for us non.surgical types. I used scotch 88 electrical tape, and structure has never been an issue. I will try it and see. I presume you have ?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:55PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Not sure what split you're talking about,..scion or rootstock?
The rootstock gets a cut along the bark, no splitting like you do in cleft grafting.
Scion gets cut as shown in first picture.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:20PM
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benfisher

I tried and failed. now I realize you cut the sides off the tongue, and drop that into the slot....sounds closer....I misunderstood what cuts 3 and 4 where. I think I got it now.

I took a walk to cut some scion in waist deep snow...wtf...come on spring.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:43PM
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greendumb

I have real bad arthritis and t-budding and chip budding are becoming very difficult.
I am going to give this a try.
It looks to be a possible resolution to my grafting difficulties.
Thanks for the great pics and detailed instructions.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:23PM
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