My First Graft: Questions.

Discussion in 'Maples' started by kaydye, May 30, 2009.

  1. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I had a branch last week that needed to be pruned from a Tiger Rose. I hated to just throw it away, so I thought I would try to graft it to a little palmatum I had from a scion that died. Anyway, I got a sharp x-acto knife blade, cleaned it with alcohol, made my cut, inserted the graft, etc. following a powerpoint I found about the way to do this. I enclosed the entire thing in a bag and it's sitting on my kitchen table in front of me where it receives no direct sun. Everything looks good after a week, there is moisture inside the bag, nothing has wilted. Now for the questions:

    When I made my cut I was not sure if it should be made behind a node or not. Should it, or does it not matter?

    Secondly, how will I know if the graft has taken? When can I feel comfortable about this? I keep looking at it waiting for it to look wilted, or different somehow. I can't believe the first time I try a graft I would be able to do it.

    Then, when I wrapped the graft, I took a thick rubber band I had, cut it, and used that to wrap the graft. Will that work or is a typical rubber band made out of some substance that will not be compatible with the cut?

    I have ordered some maples to use to try to graft a few more maples. I have some that I still need to prune, and I hate to just throw the branches away. If anyone can give me some guidance, it would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Kay
     
  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kay,

    Normally you don't graft this time of year, but that's not to say what you did won't work. Can you post some pics?

    In general, it takes several weeks for the graft to heal. In winter grafting, you know the graft has taken because the scion starts to sprout leaves and grow. Summer grafting is trickier. Usually the leaves are removed from the scion (but not the petioles or leaf stem), and the graft is kept in a cool place for a couple of weeks. The graft union should show healthy raised lines of new tissue where its healing. If it looks black and dry, or if it gets moldy it has failed. Mold can also be a real problem on new leaves sprouting in the plastic bag.

    Good luck with it!
     
  3. kbguess

    kbguess Active Member 10 Years

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    Kay,

    I think at this time of year I would treat as a summer graft. This means clip the leaves on the scion and let the petiole remain. If the petioles fall off (abscise) graft has taken. If they dry up -- stuck to scion-- , it didn't take. Expect 2-3 weeks.


    The scion may not push this year.

    Good luck. I had my first 'take' a couple of years ago, a great feeling. A tiny 'Autumn Moon' that went in the ground this spring.

    Keith
     
  4. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Okay, I took a picture. After reading your posts I removed the leaves, leaving petioles and covered just the graft in a plastic bag, as I had read on another link on the maple forum.

    I'm confused. I thought that the time around June was the easiest time to graft. I've read some info that says it's trickier in winter. I thought this would be the perfect time.
     

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  5. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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  6. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    maf,
    That was a great slide show. I'll keep it for reference. I made a lot of errors!
    Kay
     
  7. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Many different methods and variations of grafting can and do work, they won't be errors when the graft takes :-)

    I am going to try my own first grafting experiments this summer,maybe in July, hopefully I will have good luck. I've been doing lots of research which is why I thought of passing on those links, they are about the best I've found.
     
  8. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, I don't think my first graft took. As someone reported earlier, the petioles are drying out, not dropping off. I am not surprised. I like the idea of putting the whole bunch under plastic, rather than trying to get the bag over the graft. I am waiting for 10 palmatums I ordered from Topiary to try some more. That one step-by-step link maf sent will be really helpful. I will watch it again and take notes.
    Kay
     
  9. Dale B.

    Dale B. Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Kaydye,

    I leave two terminal leaves on the scion when I summer graft. You mentioned that you had your new graft inside out of the light. You need to have the new graft outside in enough light to encourage new growth. Keep it out of direct light that will over heat the bag. The bag is placed over the scion to keep the humidity up around the scion until it can take up water through the graft union. It is best not to keep the rootstock in that much humidity, mold and mildew can become a problem.

    The graft can take up to eight weeks, don't give up yet.

    Keep trying,

    Dale B.
     
  10. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    New development and more questions. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that the original graft I tried didn't make it. I took it all apart and thought, "What the heck, I'll use the rootstock again and try another graft." This time it was with my beautiful Waterfall that died back this year for some unknown reason, so sentimentally, I wanted to have a part of it. I followed the link with instructions. My main concern was that I may have cut too deeply, but I did have a better alignment with the scion and rootstock. Not even a week has gone by and the petioles dropped off at my touch and it looks kind of green where there 'might' be potential buds. If it has taken, could it happen that quickly? A number of them dropped off at my touch and all looked green where the petiole joins the branch. I have purchased 10 rootstocks from Topiary Gardens and they should be here Mon. What about the depth of the cut? How far into the stock should you cut? In a book I have it says 1/3 the diameter of the rootstock. I don't have a knife, I have been using an exacto knife blade, noticed that in Vertrees he mentions using a razor blade, I used rubber bands from asparagus to wrap the graft. I'm torn. Should I order some grafting supplies? I want to be able to do this...everyone seems to be able to. In rereading this I sound like an idiot. Oh well, I had a branch of Saoshika break off in a storm and I have it in the fridge, waiting. So I want to figure this out. Thanks for being patient with my rambling.
    Kay
     
  11. kbguess

    kbguess Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't think a week is too soon for the petioles to abscise. Longer for the buds to push for sure. Continue with the bag for several weeks.

    I had one I grafted last August. The scion didn't push until 2 weeks ago... Sometimes a lot of patience is required.

    Just don't get discouraged. I think it was the 3rd time (for grafting a group of maples) before I had any take. Once you get your first, I'll bet you'll be ordering supplies and dozens of rootstock. Can be as addictive as collecting

    Keith
     
  12. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Keith,
    Thanks. It will take more than that to discourage me. HA. I dug around over the weekend and found my grandpa's pocket knives, the whetstone, got another sharpening tool, took cuttings from other trees around to practice cutting on. I have one knife that I think will work well. I should have some rootstock in the mail today when I get home, I'll pot them up and keep practicing until they are established a little. I ordered 10 rootstocks. I'll see if I can get any to take. If not, I'll try again next year.
    Kay

    Just don't get discouraged. I think it was the 3rd time (for grafting a group of maples) before I had any take. Once you get your first, I'll bet you'll be ordering supplies and dozens of rootstock. Can be as addictive as collecting

    Keith[/QUOTE]
     
  13. Pasquale

    Pasquale Active Member

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    I believe that the best time for grafting is always in early spring when the buds start to swell and the plants are most active. I have been grafting on Pears and Apples tree for the last 6 or 7 years with good results. My prefer method is the Whip Graft the fusion between the rootstock and scion became so perfect as if they were welded together. Because it is hard to make a Perfect Cut I make sure to bind together the two halves as Tight As Possible with electrical tape, I do three full wrap as to minimize movement and possible evaporation. The tape is left in place until the following spring.
     

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