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 Grafting seal 
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:37 pm
Posts: 3
Post Grafting seal
I am looking for a grafting seal recipe that works well for cleft grafting. The grafting seal sold in most garden centers dose not work to well for cleft grafts I have heard off bees wax and linseed oil but I do not have a recipe for it. I have also heard off using plumbers putty as a sealer. Does any one have any ideas. Thanks Joe


Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:39 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Rochester, WA
Post Re: Grafting seal
I have used grafting wax and it works well. You can get this at many garden centers. Just make sure to melt it thoroughly, then let it cool a bit before applying. I have also heard (but not tried) a wax toilet seal will work. It is the wax seal that goes under the toilet to prevent leaks. I plan to try this next time I do some cleft grafting.

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Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:22 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Grafting seal
Whenever I have done a cleft graft (rarely as I don't like 'em) I have used masking tape over the huge gaps. Keeps whatever seal I am using from running into the union. Then I just seal over the masking tape with whatever compound I'm using.

I think plumbers putty warrants a try. I have read of people using it successfully. No heating of wax involved.


Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:20 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Long Island, N.Y. zone 7
Post Re: Grafting seal
Driveway sealer is coal tar emulsion. An antique method I'm sure.


Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:40 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:16 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Grafting seal
Timing is more important than the seal you use. You want to cleft graft as late as possible while the tree is still dormant. Ideally sap should be flowing but buds should not be breaking. The date will vary from year to year and from location to location. My apple gurus recommend Gashell wax but I use treekote because it is EASY. Use masking tape as recommended above. Your enemies are Dry air and Time not the chosen sealant.

http://www.yankeeapple.com/cleftgraft.jpg


Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:40 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Grafting seal
I learned to cleft graft from Viron. (This is a cue to get Viron to respond). I used plumber's putty as the "filling" so there would be no gaps. You need to seal the outside of it with grafting compound because the plumber's putty is not waterproof. It's cheap and sterile though. Worked great.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:20 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Grafting seal
Quote:
Timing is more important than the seal you use. You want to cleft graft as late as possible while the tree is still dormant. Ideally sap should be flowing but buds should not be breaking. The date will vary from year to year and from location to location.

That may be one of the reasons I just do not like the clunky cleft graft! I consider it clunky, when there are other styles that are less clunk!

I bark graft, and whip&tongue basically all summer. Hardly anything fails if one takes care to ensure that scions do not dry out in the summer heat.

The one caveat of grafting all summer long is this: avoid temps above 95 or so if you can. Once I grafted a whole swack of plums around the 4th of July, and most of them failed. It got to about 105 every day for a while, and I think the heat "cooked" the scions. It cannot be that they dried out since I cover all grafted scions with Doc Farwell glue.

Heck, I even grafted quince last fall (mid-October. Leaves were still on the tree!), whip&tongue style. And you can chip-bud for the following season anytime there are leaves on the tree. I correct myself: you can chip bud when dormant as well, if all you have is a single bud!

Just take measures to ensure that the tissues do not oxidize or dry out.

Check out RJ Garners book sometime! It's an eye opener.


Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:00 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Grafting seal
Hey John - (thanks for the trust) I wouldn’t recommend anything that pours down the cleft, it can easily interfere with the cambial knitting necessary to connect the scions and heal the wound.

Wax cracks, I watched my Great Uncle mess with it - primitive in my opinion. Tar also cracks, and heats up tremendously in open sunlight. Also, it’s liquid enough to run deeper and further than necessary into the void.

The masking tape job bothers me in that it leaves a drying and moisture collecting void under a thin coating of papertape and ‘whatever.’

I once used quarried clay from a local hillside, progressing to plumber’s putty after pluming my house. With no microbes, it appeared inert; and unlike the clay, didn’t crack and chunk out over time. It’s pliable when cool, stable, doesn’t dry or crumble if well coated, and it’s cheap!

I never mash it inside the cleft as to fill every void, but likely fill 80%; making sure not to crowd the scion bases. I seal it over with Doc Farwell’s grafting compound Image (bright yellow) – "two coats," even smear some putty over the extending splits below the scions to fill those cracks”

I use the cleft graft on larger dormant stock, but have wondered (if anyone had the patients) if lopping off said branch and allowing several latent water-suckers to shoot up - then whip & tongue grafting those the following season wouldn’t be a better/cleaner connection?

On larger stocks I Bark, or Rind graft. Did a total of 66 Veneer Crown and Inverted L grafts on several well established trees last spring and lost only one scion! I also squished plumbers putty into all voids, followed by double-coats of Doc!

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Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:33 pm
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