How to graft a weeping pussy willow?

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by mickey_dee2002, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. mickey_dee2002

    mickey_dee2002 Member

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    I'm thinking of trying to graft a Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' onto a Salix caprea 'Select' and I'm looking for some pointers as to the type of graft technique, timing and any other helpful suggestions you can give a novice.
    Mike
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    most of the nursery plants I have seen with weeping pussywillow are a simple splice graft then waxed and/or taped (or elastic banded). Dirr's reference manual of woody plant propagation suggests winter grafting for Salix caprea.
     
  3. Tsmith2579

    Tsmith2579 Member

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    Pussy willows are so easy to root, why go to the trouble of grafting? What advantage you will gain?
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    well, a weeping pussywillow wont gain much height on its own, grafting is usually dont to attain a standard of some sort.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Actually, Salix caprea is one of the very few willows that won't root from cuttings, that's the main reason it has to be grafted.
     
  6. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    Mike,

    Here's a video that demonstrates the grafting basics. A simple side veneer graft. He's grafting a conifer but the same technique applies. He's also using tape... I prefer a budding strip followed with a wrap of Parafilm Tape. The important things are that you line up at least one edge of the scion to the understock when making your cuts. Prepare your scion first and then try to make a cut the exact same width into the understock (for lining up). For all deciduous grafts, you also should dip the scion in wax so as the buds don't dry out. This is necessary for all winter grafting. Parafin wax (all purpose) can be purchased at a hardware store for a few bucks. Throw in a big pot 1/2 paraphin to a kettle of water and take up to 160 degrees and use a paintbrush to coat the scion.

    Aftercare,... mine are kept in a heated greenhouse with bottom heat and watered as necessary.

    Also, the understock needs to be actively alive (for this type of grafting) and the scion, dormant. The understock is best to graft on when it shows root tip growth or when the buds begin to swell. Try and graft them before the leaves expand.

    Best I can say.

    Dax

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3PVlqQHZHM
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  7. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    Keep your first year grafts shaded and pot them up too as needed. First year grafts go into one-gallon pots. The faster growing the grafted plant, the more up-potting you'll be doing. Keep them if at all possible in dappled light for two years total (under large trees is perfect). Water as needed...

    Dax
     
  8. mickey_dee2002

    mickey_dee2002 Member

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    thanks Dax
     
  9. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    Here are some photos.

    The first one is of a Japanese Maple, you can see the wax (my first time uploading photos): Grafted 4 weeks ago. Will callous (heal) in 6-8 weeks if all goes well.

    The second I grafted two Maple scions as a tall graft (standard). These scions are from a slow-growing globular Japanese Maple shrub. The two scions will create a larger plant in less time.

    Third Photo is showing that these two scions were grafted above instead of below on the understock. A graft can be done anywhere on the understock so long as your grafting into old wood (hardwood).

    The fourth shows a pine graft. You can see the Parafilm tape. If the graft is successful, I'll pot this up to a one-gallon in spring, keep the understock on as well as that tape... then in the fall, I'll cut off the understock just above the scion(s) only leaving the scions to remain. At this time also, take a sharp blade behind the graft union (point of where scion is attached to understock) and slice through the parafilm tape and/or bud strip. In any case you'll be removing whatever you used to secure the scion to the understock. That's about it.

    Last photo is a box that the conifer grafts are kept in for humidity. the grafts are sprayed about 5 times a day if at all possible and kept in these poly "tents" until They start growing/"pushing" and then they are removed one by one and kept in the greenhouse until all danger of frost has passed. I show you this photo so you understand that deciduous are kept untented (the reason for the parafin wax) and also to show you how conifers should be treated as well (never any wax).

    Dax
     

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  10. mickey_dee2002

    mickey_dee2002 Member

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    Dax:
    When you melt the parafin in the pot is it mixed with water?
     
  11. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    That's right. And when you are done the wax will rise to the top and you can scrape it away to recycle it (wax floats).

    Like I say...that guy in the video cuts into his understock first. I would never do this. I'd cut the scion first and then strategically try to match my cut on the understock in both width and length. The flap on the understock should be a little longer than the wound on the scion so it overlaps at the top. This will fall off later after the graft takes and is insurance that your getting as much cambium contact as possible as well as 'that lining up' deal I mentioned earlier about. You want the bark on the edge of your scion to exactly line up with the bark on the cut you made into the understock. Also, never (try your best) - go past 25% the thickness of the understock when creating this flap for the scion. The green cambium is always "greener" the closer to the bark as well.

    Try to graft as low as possible in most cases unless the graft will be a weeping form or a standard where the host scion produces a globe on top of a seedling up off the ground.

    There's always more, but I hope you get a better understanding.

    Take care,

    Dax
     
  12. mickey_dee2002

    mickey_dee2002 Member

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    Thanks Dax.... The more information I have and the tips you give are helpful. I've made my first couple of grafts on 5 Japanese maples and this is a lot harder to do then it looks in the slides and videos. I had some grafting wax which i softened and painted on with a brush, but the parafin idea sounds a lot easier. I've got some willows coming which I'm going to grow for grafting next winter. These five Japanes maples were an experiment. Maybe after you have done a few hundred you build up some techniques. I had to at least give this a try.
    Take care and thanks for your tips.
    Mike
     

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