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  • Dormant grafting.

    An old grafting thread just came back, and it reminded me to bring this up in it's own thread. For grafts such as whip/tongue etc. where you attach a section of twig to twig, wouldn't it be best to do the process when both parties are completely dormant? Or does callus not form during complete dormancy? It seems to me that the facilities that do millions of bench grafts do it during dormancy and don't have to worry about excessive sap flow. In a similar fashion, don't some people clean their cuttings up and then put them in the fridge to callus before rooting(I don't do this but I swear I read about it at times). I know facilities that do mass grafting use a warmer temperature for about a week and a half after grafting before holding in cold storage, but I'm not sure how they avoid excessive sap flow..maybe because the rootstock is bare-rooted it doesn't have much flow?.

    I'm just wondering if it would avoid some headache and possibly increase success ratios for the novice by grafting way before spring. I might get some cuttings this winter from a deal I worked out this past summer, if I have an extra one I think I'm going to reduce it to a few scion pieces and give this a go. Of course the union and entire scion will be wrapped so they don't desiccate.

    Any thoughts or relevant experiences?
    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
    Definitely makes sense. When I graft apples, it is towards the end of February or early March. Both parties are dormant, and the rootstock is just starting to wake up for the year. I don't see why it wouldn't be the same for figs.


    • #3
      I have been thinking the same thing. I notice lots of sap oozing when I prune. I seems like that would be a problem. From the topics I read about grafting figs, not much is said about oozing sap, so I don't know. Maybe it doesnt hurt anything.

      Maybe if they are at risk of dessicating, painting with parafin would help.

      For most of my fruit trees, I try to graft just before growth begins. I may try cutting scion early this year, seal it up in the fridge for use in case growth starts early this year.
      Last edited by Daniel-PacificNW; 12-15-2015, 09:50 AM.


      • #4
        I also am interested in learning to graft fig trees. I found this vid on google about budding grapes. Toward the end sap flow is addressed. I believe Harvey C addresses sap flow similarly in his discussion about grafting fig trees.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b


        • #5
          Different species callus at different temps. Pome fruit doesn't mind the cold, stone fruit needs some heat.
          I don't know what figs like, they are just too easy to root. I would suspect they would not callus in the cold, as the cuttings I keep in the fridge don't callus over until they warm up in the rooter. Other scion has callused in the fridge for me.
          Every time I start considering grafting onto a fig to grow multiple varieties in the same pot I end up deciding that just growing multiple cuttings and pruning as one tree would be much easier and it is likely they would root graft anyway.
          Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List


          • #6
            Grafting figs could be an advantage in several instances- propagating hard to root varieties, lending vigor to FMV afflicted scion, or taking advantage of established roots to boost growth. My own fig grafting trial was done just at bud break of the rootstock plant (BT) and used dormant scion (Preto). Whip and tongue, was a bit of sap, but not much bleeding afterwards. Leafed out and seemed to be doing okay, then an accident dislodged the graft union, which obviously
            lacked much strength a month or so later, it's always something! I would think that figs do require some heat to callus, this is sometime accomplished locally to the union so the roots don't wake up. Excessive sap flow can be lessened by cutting around the stem below the graft to bleed it off before it reaches that point, this is done with grapes.
            Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
            Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties