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learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Posted by cousinfloyd NC 7 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 11:51

I've never grafted any kind of stone fruit before and I'm interested in playing around/practicing before I spend any money. I have sour cherry sprouts/runners and wild black cherries (prunus serotina). If all I can graft is wild cherry buds back onto wild cherries that's fine, but if I can possibly get some use out of any successes, too, that would be great. Are there other no-cost options I could prepare for next year or the year after? (I could save and plant some pits from chickasaw plums or peaches or maybe European plums, for example, if that could lead to anything useful.) Thanks for any suggestions!
-Eric


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Sure, plant all the pits you can find then graft them all to each other in a few years, and/or whatever else you can get your hands on. To make it more rewarding I would find some real cherry/peach/plum scions and graft those on to your seedlings, you could make friends by giving away any that worked.

Scott


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Yes..your sour cherry could be one to try grafting sweet cherry
on, you might find one in your neighborhood, just when the bud
swells, cut, [scion] and graft in the same time, ...very good results.
I do mostly bark grafting,...link.

Last year I has some Stella Sweet on Evans sour cherry.
Stella July 23, 2011

Here is a link that might be useful: Konrad's modified bark grafting


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

How much compatibility is there between stone fruits? Could I graft a peach or an apricot or a European plum or a chickasaw plum on P. serotina or P. cerasus? And how would seedling rootstocks for the different stone fruits compare to whatever commercial nurseries would normally graft onto? Are any stone fruits normally grafted onto their seedlings by commercial nurseries?


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Floyd-

Everything but sweet cherries. You need some special interstem to graft a sweet cherry onto the same tree as a peach (i thinks). Everything else, at least generally, is pretty compatible, if you have the right rootstock. I'm a little unsure of Euro plums, but i would think you could have a tree with peaches (all of the various types), along with plums (both euro, jap, hybrid), pluots, apriums, apricots and so on... I think that Joe Real guy could probably shed more light on this, but I think he only posts over on the citrus forum (not GW).

Grafting stonefruit like peaches, requires chip budding...which is pretty straightforward.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

There isn't a comprehensive list of graft compatibility; the best one I have seen is the table and discussion in the below link.

Frank, any fruit tree can be grafted with grafts besides chip budding. Chip budding is just the way the pros make peaches (and most other trees these days) since it is more reliable.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Scott-

How come no one carries dormant scion of peaches? I just figured no one does it (graft) and everyone buds during the summer. I find it easy enough and hope to have a lot of takes from ones I made last summer.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

floyd,
I played around with some stonefruits 10 years or so ago.
Have grafted Japanese hybrid and European plums onto angustifolia, and it works OK, but as you probably know,it suckers like crazy, and you wind up with a thicket of Chickasaw plums surrounding your grafted tree.
Peach and Japanese hybrid plums will work on Nanking cherry - and it is VERY dwarfing.
IME grafting stonefruits with dormant scions works OK, but the window of opportunity is very small - I often have some difficulty keeping the scions dormant in my home refrigerator, and they're often 'farther along' than the rootstock that spent the winter in the nursery bed or orchard when the time comes to attempt the graft.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

So if I do try dormant grafting stone fruit, what methods of grafting would work best? Would Konrad's modified bark graft work well with any stone fruit? I can't tell from his pictures how far along the rootstock is at the time of grafting. And could someone explain exactly how to do the following: "I should have noted,.. most of you know this already, in the first picture, total of four cuts are needed, angle cut, parallel, and the most important, two cuts, 90 degree from the parallel cut to expose the cambium or bark along the long portion, for good tissue join on root stock." If I cut away that long thin piece of wood will the cambium layer stay with the bark? Do I then do the opposite with the rootstock, taking away the bark but not the cambium layer and put the two cambium layers face to face?


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Floyd, I have done dozens of every type of graft on stone fruit: wedge, chip, T, cleft, bark, whip n tongue. I don't think there is a huge difference in takes on the methods; the main trick for peaches is you need to graft when the leaves on the stock are pushing maybe an inch and the temps are in the 70's to low 80s high for the next few days -- they are very picky on temps. For this reason many backyard grafters don't have much luck with peaches.

Frank, the problem with budding is its harder to get budwood compared to scionwood. The commercial nurseries already have mother trees right there so its trivial for them, but for backyard growers its hard to source. My feeling is its partly related to the tradition that wood is swapped in winter, and partly because people are idle in the winter and planning their orchard whereas in August its harvest season and people are out in the orchard and not thinking about budwood. Shipping is also more dicey in the August heat, the wood can fry and Fedex and $$ are needed for reliable shipping. I offer peach scionwood through SSE just because there are so few sources.

Scott


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 1, 12 at 9:33

"I often have some difficulty keeping the scions dormant in my home refrigerator, and they're often 'farther along' than the rootstock that spent the winter in the nursery bed or orchard when the time comes to attempt the graft."

This is exactly the problem I've had Lucky. I've tried all kinds of things to try to keep the scions more dormant (i.e. keeping the fridge so cold it freezes food, storing the scions inside a water bottle (in a sealed plastic bag) then placed inside the fridge) and nothing seemed to work. The peach scions always seem to break dormancy by the time it's time to graft.

Later summer budding works better for me (when temps don't get much above 90F).

"How come no one carries dormant scion of peaches?"

Frank, I think the reason no one carries dormant peach scion wood is because it's so freakin' hard to Spring graft peaches. Scott's about the only one on this board who seems to be able to do consistently.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

I have used peaches as rootstock for all most all stone fruit other than cherries. I spring graft with dormant wood and get about 90% takes with simple methods like cleft and whip grafting. mainly use cleft because it is fast and when you have 200 + grafts to do. it works well. Planting peach pits would give you a cheap good all around rootstock for for most stone fruit. But the key to stone grafting is temperature. I have found Peaches need to beat lest 65 for most of the day to callus properly. But they do not like to be overly warm. I killed a whole bunch of grafts in a greenhouse by letting them get over 105.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

mac-

Interesting. Up here that would mean May...probably try to find a warm spell. I have a greenhouse and a ton of seedlings (probably 30 or more)... I'll have to try a few and post my experience.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 1, 12 at 10:20

"I spring graft with dormant wood and get about 90% takes with simple methods like cleft and whip grafting. mainly use cleft because it is fast and when you have 200 + grafts to do. it works well."

Macmanmatty,

Sounds like you operate a small nursery. Just curious, why do you use peach rootstocks for most of your stone fruit?


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

To the original poster:

If you are just learning to graft, I strongly recommend you start on apples or pears, not stonefruit, because you will probably get really frustrated and disappointed. But if it must be stonefruit, then probably cherries would get you the most takes. Don't even bother with peaches until you have your first apples or cherries growing well. And even though it is not cheap, you must get parafilm--my grafting improved 100% when I started using it.

Carla in Sac


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Carla, I don't know the terminology quite well enough to know whether you mean grafting as opposed to budding is difficult with stone fruit or whether you mean grafting including budding is difficult with stone fruit. If budding is an easier way to propagate stone fruit, then that's what I'd most like to learn. In any case, I have already been whip and tongue grafting apples, pears, mulberries, and native persimmons over about the last three years.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

Sounds like practicing on your wild cherries is a fine idea, then....

Another direction would be to dig up a peach seedling out of a vacant lot and try that out.... Or.. Plant out peach pits and see how many take..... Then, use those for rootstock... You could even practice grafting from 1 peach pit seedling to another just to see how it goes....

This summer - there will be hundreds of peach pits at the ready... All you gotta do is eat a basket of peaches..

;)

Thanks


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

"Macmanmatty,

Sounds like you operate a small nursery. Just curious, why do you use peach rootstocks for most of your stone fruit?
"

On the ones I sell I use marianna 2624 for plums apricots and pluots But I also use nemaguard for them and I also use that for peaches. In my personal orchard all of my my plums and cots are nemaguard mainly because that's what I had at the time but I also have sandy soil and nematodes can be a problem so I like it for the nematode restistance that it has too as do some my customers who have nematodes. Also it very vigorous and adds precocity to plums and cots. Oddly it does not sucker for me when plums or cots are on it either. I have asian plums and hybrids that have put 15ft of combined growth (main trunk plus laterals) in first season from a single bud cleft grafted on to peach.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

macmanmatty-

Do you ever use apricot seedlings for rootstock?


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

cousin
I've never done peaches because they don't grow here, have done lots of plum.
If I was you, then I would experiment with what you have on hand..suggested in my first post and graft onto your cherries first,...or some apple branches near the end, not heavier then your thumb. It can take a couple of years to get good at it.

To your question about the cut..
The length on the root stock is about 1 1/4",...matching the length of scion, [first picture] sraight with a flat knife, [I use the large OLFA] put on the bark and push into it, when you feel resistance from the wood below, then stop, while blade is still down in the wood, twist knife both ways to loosen bark slightly, making the scion wood slide down easier, that's all needed on the vertical cut.

The scion, [first picture] you see remaining bark on top, the front side you see exposed, this will meet the sides on rootstock as you push it down.

On cherry, because the bark is very flimsy and thin, I find it's not the easiest to graft, apple and pear are easier.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

macmanmatty-
Do you ever use apricot seedlings for rootstock?

No But, I have just raised a bunch of seedlings of tasty rich apriums I am really hoping to get some good fruit from these on what i chop off to graft but the rest will most likely be used as roostock for plum and cot.


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RE: learning to graft/bud stone fruit on the cheap?

If you grow rootstock from a seed, how long do you grow it before you attempt a graft? I saved a hundred or so seed from Redheart plums that I thought I would plant. Do you think I could grow those out for rootstock? This is all new to me.


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