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 Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions? 
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, CO
Post Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
When working with stone fruits in the past I've whip-and-tongue grafted in the dormant season and chip budded in the summer, but this year I'd like to experiment with bark grafting. Since I didn't collect any dormant scions this winter, I'm wondering what would happen if I tried to bark graft with non-dormant scions this summer. To reduce transpiration from the grafted scions before the callouses form, I propose cutting the petioles very short or off and wrapping the entire scion with parafilm. I also plan to use the scions soon after cutting them and could place them in water or wrap them with damp paper towels immediately after cutting them from the donor trees.

I've read that one can bridge graft with non-dormant scions in the event that a tree gets girdled, so it stands to reason that it may be possible to perform other grafts with non-dormant scions as well.

Has anyone else tried using non-dormant scions with grafting techniques in which dormant scions are normally used? If so, what were the results?

I suppose I could go out today and cut some quasi-dormant scions (the buds are swelling on most of my trees now) and see how those fare, provided putting them in the fridge locks them in their current state of growth until I'm ready to graft.

Thanks,
Chris Kennel
Denver, CO (zone 5)


Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:41 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Interesting… I’m wondering why, with a bridge graft for example, you couldn’t take a lengthy shoot of new wood, sometime in August as it would have to be fairly mature, strip off the leaves and immediately insert it beneath the bark at both ends..? You could parafilm or seal the buds as there’d be no need for them and to keep dehydration to a minimum.

Or, you could secure some long pieces of local wood fast and store them for a good month before doing the same thing once the bark slips… That’s the bridge grafting I’ve done, and you could also seal or paint the buds on those scions to encourage ‘through growth’ as opposed to bud & shoot development if they're beginning to push… Personally, that’s the course I’d take; you’re dealing with mature wood as opposed to very new wood and doing it in cool as opposed to hot weather.

…but it appears a bridge graft is only your example of a possible ‘live scion’ bark graft. – thinking out loud ...you wouldn’t be able to make the graft until the bark slips in about a month, and at that time the 'scions' you’d use would be producing leaves or flowers. Unlike the bridge graft above, where you’d discourage the buds – you’d now need a bud to develop into a new stem and harden off in time to survive the winter - then ‘take off’ next spring… And if you waited until …August, you’d be inserting the equivalent of bud graft, with the need for it to knit and survive winter before ‘taking off’ the following season … so why not chip bud or bud graft? The only ‘advantage’ I can envision with a ‘live scion’ bark graft is if the bark were too thick for chipping or budding … the length of scion stick could make contact with the ‘wood’ and pass far enough beyond the bark to catch sunlight.

Bark grafting is fantastic and I recommend it more and more, but the caveat is the necessity of dormant scion wood. If attempting a 'live scion' bark graft I cannot see an advantage over the other two methods of summer grafting.

I’d get to snipping whatever you want right now, wrap it, store it and plan to bark graft it in a month or so. If the buds are too advanced for comfort, snap them off and allow the two auxiliary buds (on either side) to form at their own pace. …or fly out to our Scion Exchange next Saturday just south of Portland and go home with all the dormant scions you can smuggle :mrgreen:

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Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:10 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:02 pm
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Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Last August I acquired 7 scions from a local pear tree that came out of a mass seed planting years ago. The quality fruit are quite good for this area. I did a combination of both bark and cleft grafts using a large pear r/s that was actively growing new leaves/twigs at that time. Five of the scions made it despite this being done in Texas 90 degree (or higher) weather. If you wanted more details, let me know........Also, in july I found a broken, valued paw paw grafted branch on the ground (probably squirrel weight) and used it to form 3 pencil-thick, graft-size scions. After an overnight soaking in Superthrive-enhanced water, I did 3 cleft grafts on a 4 ft tall sucker. All 3 made it. I did similar sun/heat protection manuevers so they might not get scorched......signed, More Lucky Than Skilled


Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:44 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, CO
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Thank you for the responses Viron & growingproblem. I collected some scionwood yesterday, and I like the idea of removing the swelling buds--hopefully that will delay their activity enough to improve my success rate. I don't plan to do a lot of bark grafts, so I'll appreciate anything that will improve my success rate for the few I try out.

I also visited my neighbor who I gave an Emerald Beaut plum to a few years ago, and since it was located in a site that receives winter shade, it was still dormant enough for me to get some good scions.

For branches that are too large/old to bud, Viron's idea of using a bridge graft with fresh wood in late summer as an intermediate to a new limb is interesting. I agree that it probably wouldn't provide much benefit in the long run since one could just do a bark graft the following spring, but it may make for a fun experiment. I suppose it could also be of use to someone who doesn't plan to be around or have access to a particular tree the following season.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:19 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, CO
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Oops I just realized that the Emerald Beaut plum is a patented variety. Two years ago I asked someone from Dave Wilson Nursery if I could pay a royalty to graft their patented trees which I bought bare root to existing ones in my orchard. The representative told me there was no mechanism for giving backyard growers a license to graft patented varieties and pay royalties, but unofficially he mentioned that patent holders are unlikely to go after backyard growers who happen to do a few grafts of patented varieties, especially if they originally purchased a tree of the patented variety.

I've never been to a scionwood exchange, but I'd be curious to know if and how the issue of patented varieties is addressed at these events.

I wouldn't have known Emerald Beaut was patented if I hadn't gone online to find a variety description. I also don't know when the patents of any of my trees that are patented will expire or if they have already expired.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:57 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
I’d also like to thank Growingproblem, I realize the boundaries of grafting are very flexible and wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from playing around or (especially) salvaging a damaged tree. But my concern is for those who really ‘need’ something to take ...folks like us will likely be pushing the envelope forever, so we don’t count :wink:

Ckennel, plum flowering wood, usually the horizontal stuff, swells it’s buds very early, while the ‘water shoots,’ with mainly vegetative growth will stay tight much longer… I was pruning on my Stark Bro’s Red Ace Asian plum last week and began to set the water shoots aside to store for our Scion Exchange… Until I remembered it had also been a patented variety… I think, and that I’d be wasting my time. …beyond the fact I’ve not yet discovered a proven pollinator for it thus would have a difficult time recommending it to anyone. So they’re still on the ground in a pile, tight budded and no doubt ready to ‘graft.’

We’ve a pretty straight-up team of members who stock and work the HOS scion tables. Nearly overwhelmed on the day, they’ll label, record and set out everything that comes through the door. After its all set out (and before we open the doors) they’ll walk the perimeter with a clipboard looking for anything with a current patent – then painfully discard it… They’re very official and no one dares ask for any wood …and if they did, they wouldn’t get it from ‘us.’ I’ve no idea how they update their list (not my department), but it appears to cover everything.

Let us know if you try the ‘live wood bark grafts,’ it’s great to learn what can be done, then tell the world :P

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Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:50 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
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Location: Denver, CO
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Thanks for the explanation about plum buds on flowering wood vs. water sprouts Viron. That makes sense, and I might have even noticed it on my own trees had I not--in a frenzied effort to escape the cabin fever of winter--foolishly pruned most of my trees on a warm January day without thinking that I might want to try a bark grafting later. Fortunately this early pruning didn't seem to harm the stone fruits, but it did reduce my scionwood options.

I'll post the results of my experiment with live bark grafts later in the year.

I teach a summer budding workshop to local master gardeners so I guess it's my responsibility to keep track of which trees have patent restrictions. I wish there were an alternative system for backyard growers to submit royalty payments to the patent holders without having to get expensive propagator licenses. I suppose this would negate the benefits that some nurseries have as exclusive distributors of specific varieties though.

Do you think someone with the HOS could post their list of patented varieties? Some are easy to tell based on their names while others not so much.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:13 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Emerald Beauty, PP9,162, filed November 14, 1994, will expire 20 years from the date of filing, so expires November 14, 2014 . When the plant patent expires, the subject matter of the patent becomes public domain. No royalty required.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:32 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, CO
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
Dubyadee: thank you for that informative piece of information. Is it safe to assume that for the purposes of grafting pome and stone fruits that all patents last 20 years?

Edit: I found the answer here:

http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/patents.jsp#heading-5

20 years from the date of filing.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:43 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, CO
Post Re: Anyone tried bark grafting with non-dormant scions?
In March I posted a question about trying bark grafting with current season's non-dormant scions. I thought I'd report what I tried and what I've found so far.

On Memorial Day I performed bark grafts on established peaches and Japanese plums with dormant and non-dormant scions. I used dormant scions for 6 bark grafts on plums and 6 on peaches. Along side these I tested only 1 bark graft with non-dormant material for each. All of the plum grafts were successful, but so far only 1 of the dormant-scion peach grafts have taken.

I used the same technique for all the grafts with the exception of the following things. To help speed callousing and hopefully prevent the non-dormant scions from leafing out too soon, I dipped both ends of the scion in 0.1% indole-3-butyric acid. I also cut all the petioles off the non-dormant scions, and for both the dormant and non-dormant scions I wrapped the entire graft and scion in parafilm to reduce dessication. Lastly, for the peach's non-dormant scion, I used 1-year old wood whereas for the plum I used this spring's new growth.

Obviously I need to do more grafts to determine whether I just got lucky on the plum or if what I did reliably works. I think I'll experiment with using this spring's peach growth to see if that impacts the results too. I'm also not sure about the quality of my peach dormant scions since the ones I used came from a dormant bare root three that I had ordered. I have some other dormant scions that I collected myself that I should try in order to see if the problem was in my technique, the scions or something particular to peaches.

All the best,
Chris Kennel
Denver, CO (zone 5)


Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:39 am
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