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Saving peach tree with bridge graft?

Posted by marc5 z5OH (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 25, 12 at 11:06

In trying to save my peaches, I may have lost my tree. I placed my raccoon trap just a tad too close to the tree, and after he was caught, his final revenge was to claw and chew the trunk. The Red Haven tree is approximately 3" in diameter, and 3/4 of the bark has been lost. I wondered about simply wrapping the trunk with Saran Wrap to keep it moist, but then I thought I would attempt my first bridge graft. I've read up on the subject in Garner's textbook. For those of you with first-had experience, is it important to use wax to seal the grafts? I have never used wax before--this doesn't seem like a good application for Parafilm.

Thanks for ideas.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Saving peach tree with bridge graft?


Bummer!!!! Unfortunately from my view the prospects for your tree aren't good even with a successful bridge graft. If it were an apple it might well survive without help. But a peach in zone 5 is already on the edge.

It won't hurt to try but don't get your hopes up. I'd plant another tree and hope this one makes a few more crops.

Maybe someone with first hand experience will say I'm all wet. Good Luck!!

RE: Saving peach tree with bridge graft?

Ditto. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on.

RE: Saving peach tree with bridge graft?

Yeah, that's pretty much a mess. But I've had them as bad from deer "buck rub" and survive at least a few years. That is a very, very big gap to cover. Honestly long term, though, it will probably get some kind of rot and die in a couple of seasons even if it can compartmentalize this damage and survive for a while. That was the scenario on mine. I've had oh sooooooo many trees killed by Bambi over the past couple of decades, or at least damaged.

I assume the back side of the tree has intact bark? It will survive that way at least long enough to ripen a crop if you have one this year.

In my crazy horticultural mish-mash world, I say try it if you feel you must, because you don't have a lot to loose. But I have a thought for you. Rather than trying to bridge graft with bark, is there any possibility you could get your hands on a pretty thin, young, whip type peach tree, plant it on the damaged side, and do an inarch graft???

Also, fungicide is your friend at this point, I would dust the wound with something like Captan powder to help keep it clean, or even maybe Rootone F to promote healing. Once again, I have NO scientific proof this works, but I do it and it seems to work for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: North Carolina State University extension brochure that shows inarch grafting

RE: Saving peach tree with bridge graft?

My final thought. We're getting into sale/clearance season at nurseries. Might be able to pick up a nice replacement at a bargain. Baby it all summer in a pot and it will be good to go for fall. I've seen some pretty big potted trees out there at some of the local nurseries and even at Wal-Mart (yes, I go there once in a great while to the garden center) and HD/Lowes.

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