Propagation: Cutting now for Spring grafting

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by greenvy, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. greenvy

    greenvy Member

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    I am preparing to cut a red maple, and use the trunk (6" dia) for grafting a pink dogwood in the spring.

    Q1: Once I cut the red maple, is there something I have to do to the open cut to protect it

    Q2: Once I have the cuttings/scions from my neighbor's Pink Dogwood tree, how do I keep them till grafting time in spring?

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I have actually never done any grafting. It is actually quite a tricky business and tough even for professional horticulturists to master. I don't think the project you propose is very likely to succeed.

    Grafting is most successful for closely related plants. Grafting is rarely successful between plants from different families. Maple is Sapindaceae and dogwood is Cornaceae, so highly unlikely. Even different species from the same genus can be incompatible.

    The living cambium of one plant has to be joined to the living cambium of another. If you cut the plants now, the exposed cambium will be dead by the time you try to join them in the spring. (Cut stems can be held in moist cool conditions, but the tree in the ground will be exposed.)

    Generally younger plants are more likely to make successful grafts. A 6 inch caliper maple sounds fairly mature.
     
  3. ryansenechal

    ryansenechal Active Member

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    Compatibility between root and scion is the primary issue with your project. Though there are cases where different families are compatible, I don't believe Aceraceae and Cornaceae are one of those cases. 6" diameter is a bit large to consider even for a Cleft graft. Cleft grafts are one of the more difficult to master with possibly the highest stakes for disaster. An easier start is matching pencil thick cuts on both your root and scion wood with either a Whip and Tongue graft or a Saddle graft. It's also a little early to be collecting scion wood.

    There's no specific timing guide unfortunately either, but the ultimate goal is to give enough time for callus formation before bud break without having too prolonged a dormant period. You can store scion wood in moist shavings in a cool dark place, but it's best to cut them when you are prepared to graft for the best chance of success.

    Search YouTube for some of the graft names I mentioned and you will get more information than you can handle.
     
  4. greenvy

    greenvy Member

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    thank you, this makes really good sense, will do.
     

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