Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Tropical Fruit => Tropical Fruit Discussion => Topic started by: mbmango on October 10, 2019, 05:36:09 PM

Title: First time grafting jitters
Post by: mbmango on October 10, 2019, 05:36:09 PM
I'll go practice with some seedlings before I try with some real scions.

Oh, look there's an offering on TFF!  It's GO time!
Ok, lets see what I'll need. Schick, handle, rubber, tape.  M or grafting?  Why can't this ship to Cali?  Eh, just get the cheaper one.  Click, click, click...

Ooh, pretty scions.  Alright let's wrap them.  How do you do the tip?  I don't want to snap off anything.  Oops...
Where should I put this?  Brown looks too tough & green is too high.  Alright, the middle then...
I don't want to just cut off this fine branch.  Let's try with just a veneer type then.  The sizes don't match anyways.
Now, how far do I cut into the stock?  Well, that must be straight enough.  Where's this cambium?  Somewhere between green and beige, I suppose...
Trim this flap?  Stop it!  You're thinking too much and time is ticking!  Just leave it...
Damn, why can't I slice this thing straight!  Oh shoot, it's not flat now...
Well, let's try to line up the border on one side at least since these clearly don't match size-wise...
Darn, it won't sit flat.  Let me shave the stock a little higher... Aww, that's really not straight now.
The thing keeps moving every time I wrap this rubber around!  Is that tight enough?  The cuts weren't really flat.  Let me tighten that some more.  Crap, it moved again!
Man, this tape keeps snapping!  Grr, why do little holes keep tearing in it?
Hmm, how to seal the crotch?  Let me just drape some tape around there... (bumps scion)  Is it out of position now?
Oh, this is going to get too much sun.  Need some foil...
There!  Only 4 more to go!
Let's try a bark one like they were talking about on TFF.  So cut horizontal, then verticals, then pull... Why doesn't it pull off?  Oh that doesn't look smooth at all...  Let's just stick with the easier way for now...

They aren't dead yet!

I should've put that scion on that other branch over there.

I hope that condensation in the tip won't cause problems...

Will I have to wait till next year for some action?

Is that swelling?

Will it really be able to push through the tape?

( (

Booyah!  Welcome a new master gardener!
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: Johnny Eat Fruit on October 10, 2019, 08:51:26 PM
Time will tell if your graft takes. It's late in the season and I have had similar new growth at this stage fail.

Hopefully, you will have some luck on your side and warm temperatures.
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: simon_grow on October 10, 2019, 11:16:04 PM
Haha, welcome to grafting! I had very similar experiences when I first started grafting. The more grafts you perform, the easier it gets. YouTube videos are very helpful.

It is getting late in the season for grafting mango but it can be done if your rootstock is strong and still pushing with vigor. If you have an indoor setup, you can graft pretty much all year long assuming you can get scions that arenít about to push blooms.

Iíve learned to be fluid and adaptive when grafting because things donít always turn out the way I plan. The first few grafts of the year are usually quite sloppy for me because I donít perform too many graft in Winter. When I mess up on a graft, I may have to re cut the scion to make the union straight or if I mess up the rootstock, I will have to re cut lower down. Messing up is part of the learning process and it will help make you that much more prepared if you make a similar mistake next time.

Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: mbmango on October 11, 2019, 12:18:09 AM
It was pretty warm when I started this, but we're dipping into the 50s overnight now.  These stocks are on the west side though, against a block wall, and surrounded by concrete so I'm guessing that's why at least 2 of the stocks are still actively flushing.  The main one, where I put on 4 scions, is the only one to not flower after last winter, so it actually got to put out 3 flushes this year, and those grafts have also started pushing.

I blame it all on the luck of checking in and seeing Phelipe's offer for trees.  Soon after, I see Behl's scions.  After grafting Behl's, I was feeling pretty good about it in general, and then I thought why not try to save some of the terminals from the shipping-stressed trees that had already defoliated their freshest terminals.  So, clipped those, soaked them in a glass of water to plump them back up, and did those too.  It was already dark by the time I was doing the last one.  Plus, it was at the highest point of my precious branch, so I was pretty much blind and just doing it by feel.  I wasn't really expecting much, but 2 of the 3, including the last one, are looking surprisingly good.

My current project is putting up a mini-greenhouse for the new trees and any future projects.  They're currently sitting in my office for now.  Will try to get some new seedlings ready for next year.  Still got the jumbo Mexican Keitts left at 99 Ranch.

Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: Oolie on October 11, 2019, 12:27:24 AM
Some helpful advice I found was to always cut the rootstock first, as it can pull moisture from the soil, where a scion will dry out. Additionally, when using a sharp knife, always be careful of using two hands, one hand doesn't necessarily follow the lead of the other, and sometimes this can lead to injury. If at all possible, try to cut away from yourself and use a single hand. This takes practice, but it's better than slicing through your nail or worse.

The cambium is the layer between the wood and the bark. It doesn't always slip (pull away cleanly), but if it does, it gives you more options.
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: simon_grow on October 11, 2019, 12:36:16 AM
Well, congratulations on getting started! Now that youíve got your hands wet, itís not so intimidating next time you graft. The schick razors are excellent for cutting softer green scions but if you are cutting thicker or harder mango wood, a grafting knife or even a good box cutter works great.

I have special grafting knives, budding knives, grafting tools, V cutter and even the Scionon grafting shears but I use my plain old box cutters the most.

Iíve done a lot of experimenting with rootstocks and I have found Keitts to be very slow growing and at least at my place, they donít make good rootstocks. Kent, Haden and Tommy Atkins works great for me. The first definitive, successful graft is extremely rewarding and hopefully it will motivate you to continue grafting.

Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: OCchris1 on October 11, 2019, 01:02:22 AM
Oh man that was funny! So perfect. Great job. Good luck with the new scions
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: mbmango on October 11, 2019, 02:12:33 AM
Thanks for the tips!  I did cut the rootstock first, since I was thinking the same thing (even though most videos seem to be the other way).  And I also do cut away from myself since I'm allergic to my own blood oozing out of my body.

Although I've studied the cambium diagrams, it just wasn't very clear to me in practice since it's more of a gradient from green to beige, at least in the branches I was working with.  When I did finally get that one piece of bark to pull out on that one attempt, it had beige on it, so I wasn't sure if I just failed and happened to pull some sapwood up with it, or if it was supposed to look like that.

Good to know about the Keitts.  I usually only buy Kents, Keitts, & Ataulfos, but I don't have any Keitts that have survived a winter here yet.  I could have sworn I had a couple Kents left, but my notes say I only have 1 left, and the rest are Ataulfo.
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: Orkine on October 11, 2019, 06:58:45 PM
Congratulations on your grafting success.
Whatever happens in the next few weeks, you just got bitten by the bug.  Its addicting and despite failures to come in the future, you will find yourself doing grafts and loving it, take or not.
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: mbmango on October 27, 2019, 04:22:15 PM
An update: It (Peach Cobbler) hasn't done much.  Just a smidgen of growth:
( (

The other graft (Orange Sherbet) on the same tree started pushing.  The tips just started drying up, so it may have been the recent heat/dryness, although the PC doesn't seem affected?
( (

This is the tree:
( (
The new flush to the right started after the initial post above and has progressed quite a bit, so it looks like there should be sufficient energy for the grafts, but not sure how to get more of the super juice to go to the grafts.  I rubbed out all other buds that were pushing on the tree, but left 3 on that one branch, to allow for some net new growth in case neither of the grafts were successful.  Should I just cut those off too?

I started thinking the rubbers might be girdling somewhat, so unwrapped a bunch of grafts to satisfy my curiosity.  For some, I could feel the impression left on the host branch, so maybe I wrapped too tight?

This is the PC union:
( (
( (
There was a lot of extra sap that had oozed out under the wraps.  Some had hardened, but the whole joint was still pretty oozy.

This is PC#4 on another tree, that had even more ooze out (the big blob still being visible).  No other grafts have had as much ooze out, or at least still wet at the time of unwrapping.
( (
It had also pushed out a bud, but has also kind of stalled, while another graft (Fruit Punch) continues to push.

Finally, this one (Sweet Tart) doesn't look like it'll make it:
( (

I rewrapped all the unwrapped grafts with just parafilm for now.  Interesting to see things progress at various stages or with varying results, and then guessing what may be happening.
Title: Re: First time grafting jitters
Post by: simon_grow on October 28, 2019, 12:23:48 AM
You may have wrapped a bit to tight but at least you caught it and relieved some of the pressure. If you wrap too tight, it may inhibit the flow of energy/fluids to the scion.

When I Graft Mangos, I use multiple clothespins and put a lot of pressure on the graft union for about 1-2 weeks To ensure the scion and rootstock makes good contact. After about two weeks, I usually remove 1-2 clothespins to allow the fluids to move to the scion easier. I keep the uppermost clothespin because the tip of where the scion and rootstock joins is usually the weak point where the rootstock May spread open if there is not enough pressure there.