Propagation: Grape Fruit Tree Grafting

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Steve Wieden, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Hey Everyone!
    I have two grapefruit trees that I started from seed a few years ago. Both are planted in five gallon buckets and are about four feet tall. From what I have read, I am going to have to wait a really really long time to get any fruit.

    1) When would be the best time to graft? While they're "dormant", right?
    2) Does anyone have a producing grapefruit or other citrus that I could buy cuttings from to try to graft into one or both of my grapefruit trees?

    Any other suggestions are welcome!

    Thank you for your input!
    Steve
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The best time to graft is when the bark is slipping as a result of active growth. So it would be best in the spring. You should try to find a local source for budwood because of laws restricting the movement of citrus across state lines. A citrus forum such as Citrus Growers Forum would be a good place to look for enthusiasts in your area from whom you could acquire budwood.
     
  3. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Thank you junglekeeper! I really appreciate your help!
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    You're welcome.

    For a more conventional rootstock you might try using Poncirus trifoliata, Trifoliate Orange. You may even find it growing outside where you are since it's supposedly hardy to zone 5. The 'Flying Dragon' variety has contorted stems.

    For an unconventional source of cuttings this time of year, look for mandarin oranges with stem and leaf attached at the market. They're targeted towards Asian customers celebrating Chinese New Year. The nicer specimens can be used as cuttings.
     
  5. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Wow, I would have never thought that you could use those!
    Thank you again!

    Steve
     
  6. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Hey Junglekeeper,
    We were out shopping today and I found some Mandarins with their stems and leaves still attached! We were at Joe Caputoes and Sons. I bought the smallest Mandarins with the biggest and healthiest stems. I also found some stray stems.

    Since it is still a few months before spring, what should i do? Can i graft them now? I wanted to try to root the stray stems and graft the larger ones still attached to their fruit. Should I soak them in water or put them between wet paper towels until i graft them? What would you suggest I do?

    Thank You
    Steve
     

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  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm not sure about the best way to root the stems, but the fruit should definitely be removed.
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I have no experience in grafting but budwood is normally pencil sized in diameter. The ones attached to the store fruit are nowhere near that size; I don't think they'll be suitable for budding. They were used as cuttings in my case. I stood them in water briefly while busy making preparations to plant them. Rooting powder was used on the resulting short pieces. The cuttings were then placed in a seedling tray with a plastic dome to retain humidity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  9. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Do you think that the fruit would suck the life out of the cutting?
    Steve
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  11. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Btw, how did your cuttings get along? Did you have good success with them?

    Steve
     
  12. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    Ok, I grafted them in today and Ill let you know how they go in a few weeks. Tomorrow I'm going to start rooting the loose cuttings.
    Thank you both for your help!

    Steve
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I ended up with a couple of trees from the little stubby cuttings.
     
  14. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    I just wanted to let you guys know that none of them worked. One of them looked like it did but it was a very weak connection and eventually failed. I am looking forward to try my hand at grafting again tho next spring. :)

    Steve
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    That's too bad. The cuttings didn't take either?
     
  16. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

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    no, they didn't.
     

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