Author Topic: Avocado Scion Cuttings  (Read 777 times)

Keala Grower

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Avocado Scion Cuttings
« on: September 06, 2022, 06:34:45 PM »
Hello All,
I just found this forum and I am very excited to gain important knowledge of tropical fruits. For context I am located in Kauai and we have close to 200 avocado trees which are about 3.5 years old. This is the first year that we will have a significant harvest starting now through early spring.

My question mainly revolves around scion wood for grafting. I have heard the only time to cut scion wood for grafting is when the tree is budding, I just wanted to verify if that is true or not.

Also we have 8 different species of mainly Hawaiian avocado on the land and we are looking into potentially selling scion wood from all of these depending on demand. Is there a general ratio of scion wood that you can cut as to not affect your harvest in the following season? Obviously any pruning will affect the production of fruit but since pruning is recommended anyway, is there a rule of thumb for taking scion wood off a healthy tree?

This may be very specific but any information regarding cutting scion wood for grafting purposes would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Bush2Beach

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2022, 10:47:15 AM »
There are some Avo growers and other fruit growers in Kauaion the forum to link with as well.
You can look at videoís of how commercial avo growers like brokaw graft.
You want to see little buds on the hardened off last years growth and that makes for good scion and where the growth comes from.
Were the treeís labeled or do you know what varieties your working with?
HTFG could potentially help ID and there is a 1 day fruit conference coming up in November or Kauai to check out and gain some knowledge and links.

Kevin Jones

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2022, 08:52:18 PM »
Get in touch with Brad Spaugh here on the Forum. Very knowledgable!
And while you are at it take a look at his avocado video on Youtube... excellent information about varieties.

Kevin


spaugh

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2022, 12:09:13 AM »
You can just feel the scion wood and flex it and tell if its the right hardness to use.  It should also have buds forming in the crotch of the leaves.  Im sure Ive posted some pics of good avocado budwood in the for sale section in the past.  You can take cuttings any time of year as long as the hardness (semi hard) and buds are there it will work.  It will work even with no buds but its better if buds are starting.  They may be flower or leaf buds.  Doesnt really matter.  But the best time to take it is in December-March for my area.  I think thats also the time they do it in south florida so should also apply to HI.  But that is just my opinion, I see other people saying other times of year.  But if you go read up on some technical papers by the old school avocado growers they are saying also best time is early in the year.  You can graft later into the year if the weather is conducive.  Its too hot and dry at my location past March to have good success grafting.  Also once the warm weather comes, the trees flush and the new growth is soft and needs to harden off again to be used for scion wood.  Thats one of the reasons to use wood from late winter, its hardened off already and about to pop for spring.  And if you are in a proper avocado growing area with no frost, the grafts can easily handle the cool winter months and have ample time to heal before growing out.

As far as how much you can remove off the tree, thats up to you.  You will figure that out pretty quick that even on a big tree you won't want to take a ton of wood because it sets the tree back and exposes the wood etc.  Some varieties take that kind of pruning better than others.  Nabal for instance always has the best scion wood and can be pruned hard.  Other varieties not so much.  You will figure that out by doing it.  Same goes for getting the timing down and when your trees have the best budwood and when to graft. 

That said, most sellers dont care and are just out to make a buck and will cut it whenever.  Or the buyers dont care its the wrong time of year and want to graft on a whim etc.  People ask me for avocado scions all the time and I usually prefer to just collect it in January or February because I know thats when my trees have the best wood.  And I know they will have best results grafting then.  Of course some people are able to graft in summer if they live in a mild environment or are skilled but generally speaking late winter, early spring is best. 

Good luck with the trees.  Growing avocados living in Kauai sounds pretty great.  Maybe grow some mangos and coffee, get a couple pigs to cook, you be in paradise. :)
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2022, 10:52:14 AM »
Backing up what Brad said, I've grafted avocados successfully in every season of the year. Choose your scions wisely, make sure your blade is sharp as a new scalpel, and line up good unions with the cambiums, you'll get takes more often than not.

Bush2Beach

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2022, 11:31:24 AM »
I think year round Avo grafting is much easier and actually possible in humid climates, such as FL and Hawaii. Brad is in the desert, most of the CA AvO growing groves are in or adjacent to the desert, so dry as hell, rocks, cactus.
Like Brad I get 1 shot to graft Avoís and most everything else for the year and then itís to dry or unpredictable weather wise to get a high percentage takes, even in a protected setting. I am by the coast with fog and much more humidity, but still nothing comparatively to actually humid places.

Keala Grower

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2022, 12:03:00 PM »
Thank you everyone for the advice, all very helpful information.

Has anyone stored scion wood for over a month or two? Is there a recommended method for doing so? We experimented with grafting 6 month old scion wood that had been refrigerated and had a 20% success rate (higher than I thought considering some of it was molding). I was thinking of maybe sealing freshly cut scion with wax, vacuum sealing the pieces, and storing in the refrigerator. Obviously grafting fresh scion will probably yield better results but I just want to experiment with a few different methods.

Also does anyone have a favorite grafting knife setup? I have been using a regular box cutter which seems to work but from what I've seen there may be oils on those replaceable razors that could affect the growth.



spaugh

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2022, 01:13:11 PM »
you can wrap the scions in buddy tape and store in the fridge but its best to use it right away.

the best knife setup is what Carlos turned us onto.  Medium (#2) XACTO handle with schick injector blades.
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2022, 10:30:55 PM »
I am in Corpus Christi TX area which is hot and humid. I hadnít thought about the humidity until Bush2Beach mentioned it, but I have had success grafting avocados all seasons here. The take rates are higher in the spring. I just grafted last month with some 7 month old budwood I had left over in the fridge and had 30% success. I am sure it would have been better with fresher wood. With respect to Buddy Tape I donít like it after using it several seasons in a row. The scions tend to rot and I have less success than when I used parafilm.

MasonG31

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Re: Avocado Scion Cuttings
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2022, 10:44:39 PM »
Thank you everyone for the advice, all very helpful information.

Has anyone stored scion wood for over a month or two? Is there a recommended method for doing so? We experimented with grafting 6 month old scion wood that had been refrigerated and had a 20% success rate (higher than I thought considering some of it was molding). I was thinking of maybe sealing freshly cut scion with wax, vacuum sealing the pieces, and storing in the refrigerator. Obviously grafting fresh scion will probably yield better results but I just want to experiment with a few different methods.

Also does anyone have a favorite grafting knife setup? I have been using a regular box cutter which seems to work but from what I've seen there may be oils on those replaceable razors that could affect the growth.

I put my avocado scions into a ziploc bag, seal the bag tight (no air in there), then put it in the fruit and veggies section of the refrigerator. My personal record is 6 weeks of storage with most of the grafts taking.

 

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