Winter Grafting

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Kaitain4, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. instantorchard

    instantorchard Member

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    Love figs & have grown two from cuttings but have found suckers with some root are an easier proposition
    Speaking of grafting can anyone tell me if the domesticated fig can be grafted onto a native species that bears small fruit about the size of the top of your thumb and has a milky sap same as domestic , but does not shed leaves in winter, with the current price of figs ($20 per Kg)I thought it may be a shortcut to a quick $
     
  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    UPDATE

    I've finished grafting all the understock I plan on using this winter. I'm saving a few to try Summer grafting again, but not a lot.

    A huge number of grafts are now sprouting. I would say the success rate so far is 80%. I'm actively re-grafting the failures, so as to reduce the overall nunmber of total failures. I think the biggest contributor this year is the understock, which I potted up and left unprotected for much of the winter. I've had a surprising number of understock deaths, and I feel certain a number of the failed grafts are due to weakened understock. Live and learn!

    I wanted to share some pics relating to two areas today:

    First, some of my healthy grafts are ready to have the rest of the understock removed above the graft union. I usually wait until the plants are really vigorous and growing for about a month. Some people leave this little stem on longer, but I prefer to take it off as soon as the plant is strong and let the healing process begin. That way it has all summer to heal up. Essential to this process is my most important grafting tool besides the knife - a pair of concave Bonsai pruners. They make a beautiful cut that heals nicely, and they allow you to get closer than a straight knife would. I use them constantly. For this procedure I simply cut off the top of the understock at an oblique angle just above the graft union, opposite the side the scion is on. I leave all grafting rubbers / parafilm in place and simply slice through it all. Its too early to remove the wrappings, at least for me.

    Second, I wanted to show a failed graft and a healthy graft. The failed graft is decidedly dry, and you can see there has been no healing at the wound site. The successful graft, on the other hand, shows the lighter healed tissue (the light green bumps and whorls) and on the other side of the stem, you can see a long seam of scar tissue forming. This is what you want, and this graft will go on to heal beautifully in time.

    Also at this point I'm harvesting the last of the scions before buds start to break. These will be used for re-grafting purposes. You can't use the scions when the buds start breaking - its too late, so this will be it for the season.
     

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  3. 01876

    01876 Active Member

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    Congregation! 80% + thats really great yield K4, good job. Mine is already down to 85% with 1/2 of those alive ones still have not leaf out yet, too early to calculate my graft yield for now.
    One thing worth to talk about is this red spider that I purchased around thanks giving. This picture shows a successful graft on a scion that was ripped off from graft union during the transportation and then been stored in fridge for two months and then grafted back to its original rootstock.

    Also, that's a nice tool to have! thanks for sharing.
     

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  4. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    WOW, That's cool about the Red Spider! Great save, 08176!
     
  5. maples4all

    maples4all Member

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    K4, above all, I want to say "thank you" for your detailed answer of my questions on page 2. Encouraged of your excellent description I did a few indoor grafts as well. But came up with some problems. I have a lot of failed grafts caused by mildew at the cut surface. I don't know whether mildew prevents the grafts from healing or mildew occurs after taking failed.
    Next time I'll probably use a fungicide such as Chinosol.

    Furthermore quality of understocks seems to be very important. I used 2 year old understocks overwintered outdoor at temperatures of about -10°C (14°F) with some root damage. Acclimatized in garage, where other plants overwinter and therefore probably high pathogenic pressure prevails.

    My question is: Did you observe any advantage of using Parafilm instead of just covering with poly bag, as described under http://webpages.charter.net/wbshell/garden/graft10.htm
    I ask myself whether under this conditions watering of understocks may be carefully continued and in addition provides due to an uncovered cut surface more humidity in the poly bags.
     
  6. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    maples4,

    You're welcome. Glad I could help!

    When I observe mildew at the graft union it is almost invariably because the understock was not dry enough when the grafts were made, and there was bleeding at the graft. Once there is moisture in there, there is almost no hope for the graft to make it. The healing of the cambium layers will be ruined by the attack of bacteria and fungi in the liquid.

    It seems strange, but the understock must be almost dry when grafting starts, and must be kept almost dry for a few weeks thereafter to allow the healing to take place. Its hard not to water, and I have a tendency even now to over-do it a bit. Still, its essential for grafting success. Once the grafts have sprouted they can SLOWLY be given more water. The more leaves, the more water, until they are fully leafed out and normal watering can be done. My last post shows two maples fully leafed out, and they are now getting regular, full waterings. But a couple of weeks ago they were still only getting about 1/2 waterings. You must let the graft heal before the plant gets too much liquid.

    I think Parafilm is excellent and helps keep the graft wounds as sterile as can be expected while the healing occurs, so I will continue to use it.
     
  7. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    RE-GRAFTING

    As your grafts start to mature you inevitably have some that don't make it. Either the scion was bad, the understock failed, there was bleeding at the graft union, or a fungal attack got the better of it - and it will happen to everyone who does any amount of grafting, no matter how "good" they are. It just goes with the territory.

    So the question then becomes, what to do with these failures? Being the die-hard that I am, I've taken up the habit of re-grafting. In this procedure I remove the failed graft and make another graft elsewhere on the understock. I can't always reuse the understock - sometimes the problem is with the understock itself. Sometimes the failed graft union is really diseased looking, and sometimes the grafting wound is too low on the understock and too horrific to bother with. But I try to graft a little high most of the time, so that gives me the opportunity to try again lower down on the understock.

    From the pictures below you can see a failed graft. First, I remove the parafilm and grafting strips to reveal the understock. Then, if it looks promosing as a re-grafting candidate, I remove the dead scion. I then clean the old grafting wound with alcohol to get rid of any infections as much as possible. In this example the scion was relatively thin, and the grafting wound is already healing up. Notice in the two close-up shots that the outer flap created by the grafting cut has fused back with the stem of the understock. This is one of the extra advantages of using the 8-point grafting technique. A lot of other techniques lose that outer flap.

    Anyway, if the wound is high enough you can simply make another graft lower down and on the opposite side of the understock from the original graft. If the understock looks relatively good, like this one, but I need to graft above it, then I wrap the original grafting wound in Parafilm so it will heal completely, and go ahead and graft above it. Yes, a wound like the one below will completey heal over in a few months!

    From the last picture you can see that re-grafting really can be successful. The re-grafted 'Beni hoshi' is breaking bud, and in a month or so the top of the understock will be removed and you would never know that understock had been grafted twice!
     

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  8. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    UPDATE

    As you can see from the pics I'm now swimming in an ocean of grafted JMs. I love it! Grafts at this stage have an appeal almost like little puppies or something - nearly irresistable!

    The first grafts are now mature enough and stable enough to be taken off life support - that is to have their plastic tents and bamboo skewers removed. Now they really do look like little trees. The grafting strips and parafilm will stay on a while longer - no need to peel it off, as it usually rots off by itself when exposed to the weather. Speaking of which, I hope to be able to start taking plants outdoors in a few weeks when frost danger has passed. I have a shady area for them that gets a tiny bit of morning sun, which should suit them just fine for the summer.
     

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  9. sasquatch

    sasquatch Active Member

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    I'm starting to think my grafts all failed this year. I did a thorough inspection last week, and while I only found 11 of the 48 grafts showed obvious blackening of the scion, the others worry me.

    The 37 remaining grafts appear alive, or at least they aren't black, dry or shriveled up looking. Many of them have swollen buds, but they seem like signs of growth have stopped. A few even had leaves start to unfold, but even those are not progressing.

    It's been 35 days since I made the grafts. They have been inside the house with temps averaging 55-70 degrees, in a sunny window. I see my outdoor plants are all bursting open, and would expect the grafts to be ahead of them in leafing out since they were inside with warm temps.

    How long should I keep my hopes up?
     
  10. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sasquatch,

    I wouldn't give up just yet, but those are troubling signs. Some grafts can seem to take, but not take well enough to sustain the plant, and it goes into "suspended animation", only to eventually die. I've had a number of these. I've also had many that started slow, then suddenly took off. So be patient. 3-5 weeks is the norm for a graft to take. You're still in that range.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  11. 01876

    01876 Active Member

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    Here is my update. I got about 65% first taken yield including some exciting new cultivars.
    As for cuttings, I salvaged some twigs from those rootstocks used for these new grafts, after applied with rooting hormone I simply inserted them into my mickey mouse setup, you guys gonna laugh; that’s right, it is charismas light rope buried under potting medium. I’m pretty happy with the results on both red and green (pix snapped after 3 weeks)

    Sasquatch - good luck with your garfts.
     

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  12. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Winter,

    The Harvest Orange did not make it. Maybe we can try again now that I know more about grafting? :)


    01876,

    Congratulations! Very impressive group you have there...
     
  13. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    AMAZING GRAFT EVENT

    OK, I had to post a picture of this because its so unbelievable. In a previous thread I reported a vicious VOLE attack on my beloved A.p. 'Tatoo', in which the roots were chewed away from below (darned rodents!) and the entire plant fell over. In a desperate attempt to salvage what I could of the situation, I quickly took some scions from the tree and grafted them. Then, just on a whim, I decided I would take off the biggest branch and graft it too - couldn't hurt, right? The tree was doomed anyway.

    So I grafted the largest branch and hoped for the best. To my amazement it started to sprout leaves after just 5 days! I thought this must be a fluke, or just sap stored int he stem stimulating some unusual growth, but as you can see from the picture, this thing is leafing out big time! I took the picture yesterday, which makes it just under 2 weeks from the time of grafting (look at the date on the tag)!! The planets must have been aligned just right or something...
     

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  14. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Any time.

    I took this photo last year with the camera phone, so it's a little blurry. But I think it shows off how well developed the leaves were on this pruning twig left lying around in the mulch. My recollection is that it appeared alive for over a month before I decided to "transplant" it and discovered it was not actually a plant.

    Hopefully, yours will live. Please do post updates as I am curious to see what happens.
     

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  15. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Bump

    Any updates on the progress of the grafts? It would be interesting to see them as they grow on. This is one of my favourite threads, long may it continue.
     
  16. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    UPDATE
    (dedicated to MAF)

    The grafts are growing well for the most part (see group shot). The bags and other life support have come off. All the grafts have had the understock trimmed completely back, and I've staked many of them as they grew tall in the less than ideal indoor light. Next week I'll probably start taking them outdoors, as long as we don't have 85 degree weather like this week.

    As time has passed it has become more and more evident that I had a large number of understock affected by the cold winter. An example is the sad little picture of a Shaina graft, which started out beautifully, then suddenly keeled over! This is typical of plants with a damaged understock. In many cases the understock itself will soon turn brown and be totally dead. At this point I've lost at least 100 grafts (out of 400 some-odd). I'm hoping the deaths are about over now, but I keep getting surprised.

    Another thing I've noticed is that the grafts in the Studio (cooler, natural humidity) are faring better than the grafts in the house. This speaks to the importance of the environment the grafts are subjected to. I am definitely going to need a greenhouse before this is all over!

    On a happier note, the last picture is my Miracle Graft, A.p. 'Tatoo', that I clipped from the mother plant before it succumbed to VOLE damage. It was really about 1/3 of a branch, and I thought it had about a zero chance of survival. But I tried it anyway (nothing to lose). It sprouted in a week and has never looked back! Of all my grafts I love this one the most. :)
     

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  17. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Looking good K4. Considering a house is less than an ideal environment a 75% success rate is pretty respectable. When I asked how they were doing I didn't know if you were starting to move them outside yet, sounds like that is the next big step, keep us informed.

    Your posts on this subject have been an inspiration. I am germinating plenty of seeds this spring, at least 60 sprouted so far, which means I will have enough rootstock for a serious attempt at grafting come 2012. I only had three rootstock for my last (and first) attempt at grafting last summer, which, not surprisingly, was not enough to practice on properly, and none survived. I did manage to succesfully graft a dead stick to one of them, lol. What is even worse is that the rootstock were quite nice seedlings (Westonbirt purchased, from their old autumn colour trees) which I did not really want to waste as understock, and I tried a grafting method (not sure of the name) where the top is cut off the rootstock prior to grafting. The result of this is what remains of the rootstocks are currently sending out shoots from the 2-4 inch stumps left in the pots; I am sure they will recover fine and look ok............... eventually.
     
  18. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    This is exactly what happened to almost all my maples. They leafed out beautifully then wilted and died. I even moved them into my garage during the cold spells during the winter. I think we had a few weeks of 11 degrees F. I thought maples could survive this but i'm learning the VERY hard way they can't. FYI, most of my maples where 1-2 years old but i also lost lots of 1-3 gallon maples.
     
  19. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Banjo,

    I believe research shows JM roots are killed at 14 degrees. Roots in the ground don't get that cold, but little tiny pots with rootstock in them can definately get the deep-freeze treatment. I will never expose my understock to cold like that again. I may have to keep them in the kitchen, but they won't get frozen! :)
     
  20. kbguess

    kbguess Active Member 10 Years

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    This past winter I had some seed grown palmatum that were one to 3 years old that I left outside, exposed in their pots (because I have way more plants than I know what to do with)

    I was surprised that a number of them survived since we had a low of -20C (-5F) this winter. Not a winter with constant snow cover either.

    Of course the one cv that I missed when I brought my plants into the garage didn't make it.

    Keith
     
  21. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    FREEDOM!!

    Today is cool and partly cloudy, so I decided it was time to put most of the grafts outdoors. Feels good to get them out of the house...
     

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  22. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Now this thread is save in Faq!!:-)
     
  23. sasquatch

    sasquatch Active Member

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    Nice job Kaitain!! I ended up losing all my grafts, but I learned alot, and look forward to trying again. I'm going to give summer grafting a try and see if I have better luck.
     
  24. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    UPDATE

    Here's a pic of my newly up-potted (from 4" pots) grafts. There are 232 survivors. Now they're all in 1 gallon pots where they'll stay for a year. As you can see in the second pic, the graft unions are healing nicely. This one shows a double graft. These did surprisingly well, and I will try to do more of them next year.

    Glad to have all that done! Now its about time for the summer grafting! :)
     

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  25. 01876

    01876 Active Member

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    Bravo K4!
     

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