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 TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT 
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:13 am
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Post TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
TUTORIALS STATE CLEFT GRAFTS CAN BE DONE IN LATE WINTER WHEN BOTH SCION AND STOCK ARE DORMANT. DOES STOCK NEED TO BE BREAKING DORMANCY?
OKIE


Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:48 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
No, but it’s best to have it happening sooner than later.

Bark (or "rind") grafts, my preference over cleft grafts, must wait until the bark is ‘slipping’ on the stock before they can be made. But in both cases the scion wood must be dormant.

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Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:52 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:04 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
Here in southeastern Tulare County (CA) I have had much greater success grafting plums in late December as opposed to the "usual" late February grafting schedules practiced here. The graft unions heal much better, resulting in more vigorous growth once the scions break dormancy. My percentage of "takes" has increased by about 25%.


Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:14 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
Coltatcdp; Interesting, there must still be enough activity within the tree's structure (in your location) that cell formation continues beyond the time it slows or stops in more northern latitudes.

What kind of grafts are you making?

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Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:20 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
The latitude here is about 36.5 North, if that helps. I have been "early" grafting plums successfully for a few years, as have some of my associates. I do not get any improvement when grafting apricots early though there is slight benefit when grafting apples and pears.

I do note that the rootstock trees I use are often not fully dormant, having a few well-colored leaves remaining, while the scion wood is fully dormant.


Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:27 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
I’m still curious about the graft/s you’re using. I assume it’s a ‘dormant’ graft, such as a cleft, or whip & tongue. And now I’m curious where you get your dormant scion wood at that time of year – from ‘up here’?

If you have rootstock with color in the leaves it seems not all that energy heads down. Interesting …apparently enough finds its way to your graft to make the cell connections before full dormancy. Guess it makes sense that it would be ‘ready to grow’ come spring with the connections already made.

I’ve been told there’s a rush of ‘sap’ that will apparently overwhelm the delicate ‘knitting’ process necessary to callous over or connect the tissue of a dormant graft with some trees. English Walnuts seem a good example. ‘Around here’ old-timers will graft them extremely early so the cells nit before the rush of sap. Cherries seem a close second and I’ve had poor ‘takes’ on them. HOS members remind me to graft them early as well…

Apricots are nearly an Exotic here in the Willamette Valley, sad to say … so few of us bother with them. But just up our Columbia River they thrive!

I’ve been doing more bark grafts lately, but the downside is you’ve got to wait until the bark slips in spring, and keep your scion's dormant for a longer period. And, unless you can get a lot of them done in a short amount of time, you get a ‘staggered’ growth rate as the last ones grafted will lag significantly behind the first. …now if I could get my hands on some ‘dormant’ scion wood in late fall, and the bark was still slipping …that might give the results you’ve described. Hummm, scion’s from Alaska 8)

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Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:12 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:04 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
I get excellent healing of the graft unions when I graft plums early... then the scion buds really pop and take off come early spring... same with the apples though not to such a degree.

As for dormant scionwood, usually I get it from growers much more to the north, especially Washington State, North Dakota, Minnesota, or from some I have kept moist and chilled (usually a few near (not at) tip buds of a 36 inch or so scion are still viable after 9 - 10 months in refrigerated storage IF the scion is large enough to contain sufficient carbs to keep the cells alive)

I am going to try some experiments starting tomorrow comparing grafts on plum, apricot, apple, pear, and peach/nectarine, to see just how early I can graft with reasonable success and how the success rate increases or decreases till spring. That might even keep me off the streets and out of mischief but I cannot guaranty side effects.

The very early grafts are cleft, usually 2 opposing scions, in 3/4 inch to 1 1/4 inch stock, or side grafts in 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch stock... I HAVE been successful with whip and tongue early grafting, particularly with apples and pears, but not to the extent of the cleft on plums, so I do not regularly do that now.

I don't particularly like bark grafting but I have had a few successes. I just may try it now when the stock is not fully dormant just to see what happens... I have more plum rootstock than humans should be allowed to have (as Letterman would say). So, why not?


Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:27 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT/other GRAFTs
I find these ideas to be intriguing. I have some cherries and plums that I will be grafting and I may try to graft some a bit early to see if it improves my percentage of take. I have already grafted several-all whip and tongue-but my % of take is not that great.
Thanks for the ideas.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:37 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:04 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
I am also going to try sweet cherries on Nanking and Western Sand to see if I can get a sweet cherry hedge... cant find Royal Anne scions lately but Ranier might so since I have it... oddly, my Black Tartarian has proven inferior compared to Van for pollination of Stella, Ranier, and Lapin....

I would like to hear how your early grafting success rates turn out

John W colt at cdp (Casa del Potro Ranch, mine till physical disability ended my serious large-scale ag adventures)


Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:49 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
Excellent! When you try bark grafting, the bark has to ‘slip’ clean away from the wood stock, not tear… But when it does, those slick living cells on the stock bond soooo well. If I’ve the patients and good wood, bark grafts are near 100% take on everything I’ve worked on, though by the sound of it is not quite as extensive as you. Very impressive posts, thank you!

I have more plum rootstock than humans should be allowed to have” -- That’s great! Reminds me of a fellow I’d met in our society years ago, he’d bought a homestead that had umpteen European Plum seedlings scattered around from a one-time ‘prune orchard.’ He went nuts! It was a blast to see the menagerie he ended up with. Too bad he sold it around ten years ago ...and I’ve not checked in with the new owners, though they appear (from the road) to have left the bulk of his work. He’d leave our yearly HOS Scion Exchange with arm loads of plum scions, both Asian and European …which caused me to chuckle at your comment above - … more plum rootstock than humans should be allowed to have :mrgreen:

Please keep us posted on your endeavors …I’m also curious what kind of trouble a fellow grafter gets into given spare time :P And on the serious side… maybe I, too, could/should be starting some grafting projects up this way sooner than later – great stuff!

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Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:24 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:04 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
Since you are good at bark grafting please share more of your secrets? I did bark grafting when I had 13 acres of navel oranges some years ago.

What cherry varieties do you have? This 9b climate zone sometimes stresses mine on summer's hottest days but so far they are doing well. When I had the citrus ranch I had grafted Van cherries onto Nanking, so I had a huge hedge of sweet cherries.

John


Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:09 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
John,

I’ve no more cherries, and was on a much smaller scale (the ‘home orchard’ thing). I had planted two ‘miss-marked’ cherry trees and got little to no production - and could only guess what varieties they actually were. I’d planted a ‘Stella,’ hoping it would pollinate them, but it died -- over a three year period, one branch at a time. My last attempt to salvage them, two, 15 year old beautifully structured cherry trees, were several multiple cleft grafts on 4 inch dia. branches (the smallest uprights they had). I split the stocks in quarters, two opposing knife cuts, and had made a trip to our HOS Arboretum for the scion wood -- but no-go. So for the last 8 years those three “cherry trees” have been Desert King fig trees, magnificent and consistent!

My most recent work with bark grafting has been a top-working project on around 60, 30 year old apple trees to cider producing varieties. There were a couple of options… One that works well is to hack off the limbs (about now), allow them to send up ‘water shoots’ from near the wounds (for a full season) – then make dormant (February up here) whip & tongue grafts the following season to those shoots. Though it leaves a large wound, the water sprouts have a perfect bond to the stock tree - and whip & tongue’s are a bullet-proof graft for apples. The project’s main problem is acquiring enough scion wood to top-work so many trees :roll:

Cleft grafts are so brutal, splitting limbs once or twice then trying to block rot from the crevasse. The lopping-off-early method at least leaves a clean stock cut, as the stock sends up it’s own replacement shoots…

Bark grafting also avoids the deep ‘cleft wounds.’ But as mentioned, doing that many trees it’s difficult to wait until the bark slips (mid April up here) sufficiently to make them. And, it’s not my profession, so I can’t devote days… only a couple of hours at best on ‘sunny spring’ evenings …or a (rare) decent weekend. Which, ‘up here,’ have been crap for the last two years. The coolest wettest Springs I can remember!

Bark grafts are so simple and allow for so many connections. I generally use the ‘crown’ and the ‘inverted L.’ The crown grafts heal the lopped off branch, as they circle it, spaced accordingly; and the inverted L’s can be plugged in to provide more ‘recovery foliage’ and an additional limb where necessary. Often tacked with a small ‘headed’ nail, or not, then sealed with simple & cheap plumber’s putty is about all that’s needed. …other than arm-loads of scion wood – which, as mentioned, is the real trick :P

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Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:52 pm
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Post Re: TIMING OF CLEFT GRAFT
I am too chicken to try bark grafting anything larger than perhaps 2 or 2 1/2 inches in diameter! And, my bark grafting techniques are ALL the types discussed by the University of California (Davic Campus) professor Hudson T Hartmann so I am rther limited in methods. He lists "type 1, type 2 and type 3, which really are just centered or offset scion and taped or nailed bark flaps. And, ALL his bark grafting reports are for citrus!

Yes I can see topworking requiring a lot os scion wood! Being a mathematician and engineer, and therefore enheritantly and terminally lazy, when I top work I do perhaps 3 ro 4 grafts in "stratetic" locations and then wait for the trees growth to fill in the top with the new cultivar. A local grafter changed 5 acres of plums to an new cultivar using cleft grafts, but he worked very low on the trees so no more than 3 grafts per tree were needed. Sure it took longer for those trees to bear the new variety, but doing a lot more grafts higher in the tree was, he said, only something a "further deranged" grafter would do. And here I thought grafting meant I am "socially maladjusted with tendencies bordering on megalomania" rather than just being "deranged". Ah, mia culpa.

I found a few cherry varieties but I will keep looking for the Royal Ann. I have that new "Carmine Jewell" but frankly I think it is really over in the sand cherry family like the Nanking. We shall see. Now, if I can just find cuttings from Brown Turkey and Black Mission fig then that part of my home orchard will be complete........ well, until the next time I run across a tasty variety I dont already have... heeheehee

John


Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:24 am
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