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  • My first fig graft.

    Yesterday I preformed my first fig graft. It was a tongue in groove and I have to say, in comparison to my attempt at this graft with a cherry tree last spring..it went very well. I read something the other day about using a caliper to measure grafting stock and scion for a perfect match, although eyeballing it will most likely work just fine I thought it sounded like a good idea. I don't have a caliper but I do have plenty of sizes of open end wrenches so I use a small wrench as a guide. This worked out pretty well, I would say that I probably got at least a 90% perfect match.
    I grafted Black Madeira scion to Union Berry Unk stock. I have a much bigger yearling UBU that dropped the main crop figs I let it keep last year, it has a bunch of breba on it now, we'll see how this year goes..maybe I can get some brebas maybe main crop, I don't know if it needs a wasp or not but it is healthy as a horse and grows like a beast. If nothing else, my bigger one will make a great tree to graft several varieties to.

    I'll update this in 2-3 weeks to show the hopefully good callus growth. The graft union is at the level of the drop of latex in the first picture.
    I still can't get the picture to show when I attach it using the phone so you have to click on the link, sorry.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by cis4elk; 03-18-2015, 01:33 PM.
    Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
    Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

  • #2
    Looks good Calvin, I'm sure it will take and do well.
    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • cis4elk
      cis4elk commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Scott, I'm hoping!

  • #3
    Calvin,

    Did you knock off the bud below the union?
    Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
    N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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    • cis4elk
      cis4elk commented
      Editing a comment
      I did, I removed the 1st bud below the union and left the one below that which I plan to remove after the graft takes.

    • cis4elk
      cis4elk commented
      Editing a comment
      Should I have left it?

    • Bijan
      Bijan commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL. I'm not really sure. That's why I asked.

      I *think* it depends on the size of the root stock. When top working larger trees, I've seen people argue to leave one of the smaller limbs on the tree. The idea is there is a lot of moisture being driven up from the roots that. By leaving a limb on, the moisture has somewhere to go without blowing out the graft.

      I don't know if this applies to smaller trees.

  • #4
    Looks good, hope it takes for you!

    I might try grafting some varieties that have been giving me trouble rooting and air layer, we'll see.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

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    • #5
      Originally posted by cis4elk View Post
      Yesterday I preformed my first fig graft. It was a tongue in groove and I have to say, in comparison to my attempt at this graft with a cherry tree last spring..it went very well...
      When I talk about my first graft it's always tongue in cheek...
      Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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      • cis4elk
        cis4elk commented
        Editing a comment
        Ha!

    • #6
      Good luck.
      Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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      • #7
        Nice job Calvin.
        Rafael
        Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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        • #8
          Last year a graft I made looked something like this and I was optimistic...but then it failed. I hope yours makes it. I will try again in a couple weeks when the buds on my outdoor figs start to swell. I'm going to a grafting workshop in the meantime so I hope that makes a difference.
          Steve
          D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
          WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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          • #9
            I just returned from a tree grafting clinic (mainly apples and pears) this week. It was only three hours but it was good information. At that clinic as in others I have attended there are usually several options available depending on the time of the year. They stressed developing your own preferrences and use the ones that work for you. Cambium match up being of course the most important thing.

            Someone asked about grafting figs and they thought it was a bit humorous as in why would you want to do that they root so easy!!!! Later I talked with them about that and explained that just like with other fruits some people due to space constraints may want more than one variety per tree and not all figs root so easily.

            They also recommended cutting off the terminal bud if present. They sealed all cut ends with Elmers glue. In fact he used a glue stick to do it which I thought was pretty convenient.
            Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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            • #10
              Thanks for sharing that Charles.
              My biggest concern is too much moisture and not the cutting drying out. There was a grafting video from an old California chestnut grower and he would put cuts and drill holes in the trunks of the chestnust stock he was grafting onto to reduce sap flow. I wonder if I shloud do that, it's not latex anymore but there is liquid running down from the union. I have heard of grafts failing because of it, so I don't know when to say it's time to intervene.
              Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
              Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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              • Harborseal
                Harborseal commented
                Editing a comment
                Was he realllly, reeeaaaallllllllly old and smell like rat?

              • cis4elk
                cis4elk commented
                Editing a comment
                LOL

            • #11
              Calvin, I think I saw the same video as you did - but it was a walnut grafter wasn't it? I too wonder about the sap leakage from the union. Last Spring I had a lot of clear sap leakage from punning cuts made in February so I'm not surprised by this at all. It seemed like the guy in the video used the black pruning sealer (forget the brand) over the grafts as well as wounding the trunk below the graft.
              Steve
              D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
              WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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              • #12
                Steve, you may be right, he probably was a walnut farmer. I look at that black sealer stuff and just think eesh, there can't be anything organic about that.
                Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                • drphil69
                  drphil69 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Lol. Tar is natural, they have pits of them in CA. And fully organic In the hydrocarbon sense as well.

              • #13
                What's a little tar on your plants Calvin????
                Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

                Comment


                • #14
                  Scott, do you use any sort of sealer on your fruit tree grafts besides tapes and/or wax? Given the amount of non-fig fruit tree grafts you have done, would you worry about flooding the graft.
                  Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                  Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Great work and good luck on the graft.
                    Otmani - Dallas, TX - Zone 8a
                    Wish List: Col de Dame Blanche, Brogiotto Bianco, Sicilian White, Panache

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                    • #16
                      Congratulations! I cant wait til I can start grafting

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                      • #17
                        I've had really good success with cleft grafting and side veneer grafting. The key to it is to match the cambium layers up and to make a very tight air tight seal with green plant tape and then wrap with parafilm tape. In the past 3 months i was able to graft RDB, Black Madeira, Black Jack, Battaglia, Atreano, and a green unknown on to various black mission root stock. I was also able to graft White King Shatoot mulberry on to a male mulberry plant and Kaffir lime leaf to a grapefruit root stock. Good luck with the graft!!!
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 10 photos.
                        Quy
                        SoCal, Zone 9b

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                        • drphil69
                          drphil69 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Looks like saddle graft, or inverted saddle graft. Did you do them by hand? I have a tool that makes the cuts for me. It works pretty well but is mostly suitable for pencil sized scion or a bit larger. Great success with pear, about 60% with plum, but I have not tried figs yet.

                      • #18
                        Thanks, mine seems to be flowing less now and the bud is swelling.
                        Nice work on your grafts!
                        Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                        Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

                        Comment


                        • #19
                          Update, it failed.

                          Where to begin?

                          First of all I think it got flooded, fluid leaked from the graft on and off for at least a couple weeks, probably longer to varying degrees. I contemplated putting some cuts in the trunk but this was my first go so I let it ride.

                          Second, it was a terminal end scion. The terminal bud broke and started to grow after a couple weeks, and then it withered and died within another couple weeks.

                          So the terminal end died and eventually shriveled up, but the interesting thing was that the lower 2/3 of the scion remained plump and normal looking with some dormant buds visible through the tape. I could never see any callus through the tape but figured there must have been at least some to keep the scion alive. So for the last month I have been just sort of waiting for one of those lower dormant buds to swell and bust through the tape. Yesterday my curiosity got the best of me and I unwrapped the scion and inspected graft union. No visible callus on the union but like I said, 2/3 of scion still looked viable so maybe some callus had formed somewhere in there. As I was taping the graft back up, I felt the union shift or sort of break free. Meaning there probably was never was any worthy callus in the first place.

                          So the up side? I cut 2 chip buds from the scion and grafted those to the root stock. Down side? It was a moment of inspiration and afterwards I looked it up and may have done the cuts somewhat wrong. We'll see if it works anyway. I didn't take any pictures, but if they take I will update again with some.
                          Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                          Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

                          Comment


                          • #20
                            Originally posted by cis4elk View Post
                            Scott, do you use any sort of sealer on your fruit tree grafts besides tapes and/or wax? Given the amount of non-fig fruit tree grafts you have done, would you worry about flooding the graft.
                            Sorry I missed this before Calvin, I use stretchy green nursery tape when I'm grafting a scion to a similar size branch or a rootstock tree. I only use wax on those if I am dissatisfied with the seal. I then take a paper lunch bag, cut the corners off of it for ventalation and tape it on over the graft for 3 or so weeks.

                            When I graft to large branches, such as top work, once the scions are placed and taped, I cover everything that's exposed in wax and cover with a bag.

                            Be sure to wax the tips of the scions that have been cut.
                            Last edited by COGardener; 05-21-2015, 01:33 PM.
                            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

                            Comment


                            • #21
                              This is similar to my experience with fig grafting. I'm zero for three now. I'm waiting on a couple other grafts that haven't done anything over a 6 week period but don't seem to be dead. The last two years I have been 100% with tomato grafts so I know I'm not a complete klutz. Fruit tree grafting is easier said than done.
                              Steve
                              D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
                              WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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                              • #22
                                you guys laugh about tar grafting paste....for a verrryyy long time Grants paste was the go to grafting paste.

                                I haven't been able to find it lately and so resorted to using the latest, thin, liquid sealing compound and for larger cuts have resorted to incorporating cut up fiberglass mat in the liquid to prevent cracking. You want a waterproof cover... parafilm works well...and under duress I used a beeswax candle last season..until I came up with the liquid stuff on the market today. Figgary and I were having this very conversation yesterday....all cuts on scions get it....entire grafts get it....

                                I guess its like whitewashing tree trunks...old school, but works well on new and growing trees to prevent scalding.

                                There are some things that you will have to pry from my wrinkled and dying hands....Grants would have been one of them...LOL

                                BTW....nice work on the grafts guys.....
                                Last edited by rusty hooks; 05-21-2015, 04:14 PM.
                                Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

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                                • drphil69
                                  drphil69 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Nothing wrong with tar. It's natural, organic, works well and cheap!

                              • #23
                                Sucks that the graft didnt take Calvin. The initial pictures looked perfect.
                                Quy
                                SoCal, Zone 9b

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                                • #24
                                  Q*, that's what I thought!
                                  When I unwrapped it the graft/union site was still locked-in nice and tight, there just wasn't any callus what-so-ever to bond it and the scion side was a little bit desicated from the cut to the first node. I'm pretty sure flooding was the culprit, which I don't get..seems like some extra moisture would be a good thing, the joint didn't rot. Maybe that same graft needs to be done in late winter during dormancy versus at bud break. I should add, the root stock was breaking bud and the scion I had kept dormant, after grafting it was kept at room temp and in indirect light until the shoots from the stock shaded the graft(~1 month), then it went outside.

                                  The root stock now has 2 good shoots growing, so that should divert some flow. The chip/bud grafts I did aren't flooding at all so far. I made those cuts backwards though, if it even matters. I made the near perpindicular(to the stem) cuts above the the buds and the tapered intersecting cut from below the bud.
                                  I found a pic! Either this is a feasable method, or the artist doesn't know what he's doing either!


                                  This is exactly what I did.
                                  Last edited by cis4elk; 05-22-2015, 07:50 PM.
                                  Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                                  Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

                                  Comment


                                  • #25
                                    I'd guess that the reason your graft failed is because you apparently did not "bleed" the rootstock. When I graft figs or mulberries I make several cuts about 1/3 the way around the branch/stem of the rootstock a few inches below where I plan to make the graft. I make several cuts so that they overlap one another (but not connected, though I don't know if that matters). I usually do this maybe 5-10 minutes before grafting but it would probably be better if done at least a hour before to reduce sap flow. I am guessing that the heavy latex content of the sap interferes with callusing of the graft union. I still get some flow later on from graft unions but believe this gives the union a chance for healing before the cuts are healed back together.
                                    My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                    • cis4elk
                                      cis4elk commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Thanks Harvey. I remember you posting somewhere and mentioning that you make cuts to reduce flow when doing whip type grafts. It was already too late for mine by time I read your post.

                                      You don't make bleeding cuts when doing a bud graft though right? Or is that circumstantial? For example, the stock has other vegetation besides the chip grafts, and isn't leaking any fluid. No reason to cut right?

                                    • HarveyC
                                      HarveyC commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      If it's not bleeding I don't think you would need to make those cuts, though I think it would probably be a problem for budding if the same tree was also bleeding when doing whip grafts. I see no harm in doing it any of the time. You can tell after making the first cut if it is bleeding or not.
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