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 rubber bands for grafting 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post rubber bands for grafting
I went to Fred Meyer, BiMart, Office Depot and even the Dollar Store to try to find wide rubber bands. Some of them had size #64 wide rubber bands, which to me are not nearly good enough. My wife bought the good ones from Office Depot a couple of years ago. Like my first batch of grafting seal, I thought it was a lifetime supply, and how wrong I was.

I finally found some at Staples. They were in stock in Tigard (OR). I think that size #84 is the right width. We picked them up just in time. I had run out of the original 1 pound box. WHew! That would have been a disaster. They have their own brand in 1/4 pound bags. Some stores also have a box, 1 pound of heavier duty ones, that are not their brand. They are roughly an equivalent value.

Many people asked for them at the scion exchange, and I wanted to let people know, because it's a bummer to run out of them.
John S
PDX OR


Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:09 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Rochester, WA
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
They don't last forever either. They age even with good storage. 3 or 4 years is all I can keep mine before they will only stay on the graft a week or so in the weather.

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Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:10 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
Keep in mind, those are not “Budding Bands” (or “Strips”) - a heavier duty rubber designed to hold up longer than ‘postal or office bands,’ yet break down over time… The only place folks have found the budding bands around here is at Oregon Bag Company, in Canby: http://obcnw.com/buddingstrips.aspx

If you do continue to use the ‘postal or office bands,’ I’d coat them with Doc Farwell’s grafting seal to keep them from breaking down as fast. The commercial budding bands don’t need such a coating and it’s best they don’t get it. But the combo of the office bands and Doc should work just fine.

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Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:48 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:00 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
I was using rubber bands until I ran out, so I switched to flagggers tape. Anyone else used the tape before? I havent seen any results yet.


Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:02 pm
Posts: 10
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
For cleft and bark grafts I usually (1) wrap with Parafilm to seal (2) spiral wrap with spaced 1/4" wide Office Depot rubber band to squeeze the pieces closer, and (3) loosely wrap 1" white plastic non-stick flagging on top of the graft. The 2 reasons that I cover the graft with the several layers of white flagging are, first, the Parafilm and rubber band will not soon degrade under the Texas heat/sunlight, and second, a very experienced grafter here said that some fruit trees' graft-area tissue growing works better when under a dark shelter/cover. Two years ago when I pulled off the tape/plastic to check on a graft's healing progress, I was really impressed with the beautiful plant tissue that had grown around the graft and filled in gaps. I thought that I did not need to cover it back up. It died. So now, I keep it covered for the whole growing season. Today I removed the white flagging covering the rubber band and Parafilm on 5 greenwood bark grafts done on a pear tree last August. Both the rubber band and Parafilm were still intact. I sliced all of it away. When doing these in 90 to 95 degree sunny, dry August 2010, It sure seemed necessary to provide sun protection for the freshly-cut scions. They were pre-wrapped with stretched Parafilm to hold in moisture, and after grafting, I loosely,spiral-wrapped the overlapping 1" white flagging all the way past the top bud. After a couple weeks, once leaves began to push out on 5 of the 7 scions, I removed the flagging so the leaves had room to grow outward. I thought that the tender, tiny leaves would be stressed by the blistering Sun, so I covered each of the 5 growers with a very loose 'tent' made from a scissor-cut and Skotchtaped -together piece of thin, white grocery bag. As leaves grew out and matured, I removed the 'tents'. Each of the resulting branches are about 2 feet tall as of today. I am sure that all kinds of wrapping materials have been used successfully before the existence of these, but these also work......usually.


Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:34 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
I use paper masking tape over stretchy rubber electrical tape (has a paper backing that needs peeling off prior to use) to keep the rubber from breaking down so quick.

Usually it has broken down in about a year anyway, so girdling is hardly ever an issue.

Just cover with masking tape to keep UV rays off.


Last edited by plumfun on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:44 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
You can generally let regular vinyl electrical tape stay on for a whole season. But you need to get it off for the second grow season or you will likely see signs of girdling beginning. Sometimes it starts the first season, but is not much of an issue if you get it off for the second grow season.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:11 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: rubber bands for grafting
If you don't want to use rubber bands and only have a couple of grafts to do, you can use strips cut from the clear produce bags that you put vegetables in at the store. They don't break down very well in sunlight, so you hafta remember to take it off after a grow season.

I started a dozen years ago out using this substance (should have read up on this grafting business on the internet first!). I first used dental floss to bind the union together since it is waay strong and brought the two surfaces together well. Then I went over the floss with vegetable bag.

Since it is non-sticky and wants to unwind, you'll need to use a bit of string to keep the last wrap in place. Still, it works to keep the union from drying out!


Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:16 pm
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