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newguy

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Reply with quote  #1 
I know it is almost time to start grafting... However I don't have these skills.  Does anyone know where I could learn near southern california? I tried the books and youtube videos they seem to work (Maybe a key step is missing), but as soon as the heat started to get a little high the scion wood dried out. 

This year I want to be more prepared. 
Dieseler

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Reply with quote  #2 
This thread i created for you and others to see may be of help as it has pictures in that link on
differents types of grafts with explanations.

http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/For-your-Interest-Jardin-Mundani-6185548
DesertDance

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Reply with quote  #3 
JD got me this tool for my birthday, and although I have never used it, I plan to use it a lot this year!  It seems easy!

Good luck!

Suzi

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saxonfig

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Reply with quote  #4 
Welcome to the forum newguy.

I learned to graft myself during the winter of 2010/2011. I learned the most from this guy's videos on youtube. I highly recommend watching this one particular fellows vids if you haven't already. You may have to search around a bit on his channel to find the most pertinent information: http://www.youtube.com/user/stephenhayesuk?feature=watch

Although he focuses primarily on grafting apple trees, the principles are all the same for grafting any type of fruit tree. I found his vids to be very precise in most of the important details.

Now, to focus on your question directly. The one thing that wasn't made clear to me in all the information I read, and all the vids I watched, was the importance of wrapping/sealing the scion once it is grafted onto the rootstock. Maybe this should have been a "no brainer" for me but I just didn't think of it until I was losing a few grafts.

So, once your graft is in place, be sure to wrap your cutting with something like parafilm or seal it in some other way with wax or latex paint. This is especially the case if temps are expected to get hot soon after grafting. It's easy for the scion to dry out until it has taken hold real well.

That should answer your question. Make sure you protect your grafted scion, in some way, from drying out in the summer heat. This may be the "key step" you were missing.

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Bill - SW KY. Zone 6b. 36.5N 
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DesertDance

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Reply with quote  #5 
If you want to learn to graft, take a look at Martin's post today right here on this site.  WOW!  So much info, I am lost in this site!

Take a peek!

Suzi

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saxonfig

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Reply with quote  #6 
I agree Suzi. there is a lot of good info on that site. I'm enjoying it as well. Thank you Martin for posting that.  

The titles of the graft types might be a little misleading for us in the US though. Most of them go by different names here. Still seems to be great grafting info though.

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saxonfig

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Reply with quote  #7 
By the way Suzi. Does your grafting tool make that Omega type graft that's illustrated in that link Martin provided? I know that one of those tools is not necessary to make successful grafts, but it sure makes a graft union that fits like two puzzle pieces! Very nice! May be enough to sway me toward getting one of those tools :-).
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DesertDance

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Reply with quote  #8 
Bill, it makes a puzzle piece graft.  This is why I wanted it!  Can't wait to use it!  I think the scion and the branch cut for the graft need to be the same size.  Other than that... seems easy! 

Suzi

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JR

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Reply with quote  #9 
I too had to teach myself how to graft some 15 years back .  As far as the scion dying off goes I have a few tips:  First, the crown (aka kerf) and the crack (aka wedge) are probably the easiest for the beginner to use as they yield more success... but use a very sharp knife (I use a razor knife).  The reason is that the cambium layers will attach better with a fine cut rather than a rough, jagged cut (much like the way a skin wound would heal).

Second, make sure your cambium layers of the stock and scion are aligned properly with one another.  

Third, I use a juke (sp? jute?) twine to wrap the scion tightly to the stock.  It's important to have it tight, but not too tight (no room for wiggle).

Fourth, and probably most important, like saxonfig said, seal your wrapping - I prefer grafting wax, which you can get at any good nursery.  Make sure you seal the tops of your scion with wax also, if they've been cut.  

I take my twine off after about 8 months and reseal it with wax.  

Good luck!
pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #10 
Most CRFG chapters will have grafting demos over the next few weeks. The Orange County chapter also sells a video about grafting and air-layering.  http://www.crfg.org     and  http://www.ocfruit.com/

The quick answer is that you learn by doing. For 98% of what you will want to do, learn the splice graft, which can be improved by turning it into a whip-and-tongue graft. After that the wedge graft (and the saddle which is an upside down wedge) is quite useful. Finally there is chip-budding and T-budding.

For chip budding figs, see http://figs4fun.com/More_Info_Grafting.html and a pix or two of wedge grafting.

The most important thing to understand it that you need to match the cambium (green layer under the bark), so that it makes contact between the rootstock and the scion. No contact means no success. All grafting techniques are designed to make that contact possible, under a variety of different situations and conditions.

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aphahn

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Reply with quote  #11 
A new edition of the Grafter's Handbook is being printed this year. You can per-order it on the big book site for delivery in Feb at this point.

To keep the scion from drying out here in CO I use parafilm and after making the graft tie a paper sandwich bag over the whole thing to protect it from the wind. I actually wrap the scion in parafilm before grafting when doing a whip-tongue or the like so I don't have to wiggle the graft around after.

Like the others posting, I learned the little details by trial and error. Start trying and you will find what works for your climate.
To get "back in the groove" every year I practice with what I take off while pruning.

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garden_whisperer

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Reply with quote  #12 
Grasa on this forum has done some very neat things with grafting. even grafting roots onto scone wood with great results. there are many threads with pics look up threads that she started.
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bada_bing

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hello newguy, I'm another newguy.

I'm a total neophyte with figs, but I have done quite a bit of hobby grafting on citrus and stone fruit. If that experience is any guide, I would say that having the right basic tools and materials and working at the right time of year makes all the difference between total success and disappointment. Some of the stuff that makes grafting pretty easy for me:

Parafilm tape: For an inexperienced grafter, I would think that having parafilm is almost mandatory for success. It doesn't seem to be easy to find at nurseries and garden centers. Fedco is a good place to order single roll quantities online.
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/search.php?search=parafilm&item=9172&index=1

Grafting knife: The main requirement is that it be very sharp and smoothly polished on the blade (as opposed to a "toothy" sharpened blade). Stroping a sharpened blade, even a new disposable utility blade, on an old leather belt is a good practice to get a smooth as well as keen edge. It is somewhat useful for the knife to have a single bevel edge on the blade used. A single bevel edge (as opposed to standard edge beveled on both sides) makes it easier to hold a flat, true single pull cut on scion wood. "Real" grafting knifes have single bevel edges and should be resharpened that way. Disposable single bevel edged blades are available for utility knives. They are sold as carpet knife blades and are sometimes available in the carpet section of big box home improvement stores. A couple hours spent practicing grafting cuts on prunings will make someone pretty proficient before they attempt their first "real" graft.

Rubber grafting strips: It is useful to have good strips available. I use #64 natural rubber bands, available at most office supply stores. The natural rubber holds good tension and lasts about the right amount of time in the sun before it cracks apart.

The omega grafting tool mentioned above has a pretty poor reception among a lot of hobby grafters of citrus and stone fruit. I have one but haven't used it in years. The take rate on omega style grafts seems significantly less than well executed traditional grafts and the graft union seems weaker. It is hard to resist a shiny hi-tech tool, but my experience is that if the money is available for fancy tools, it is way better spent on a "real" grafting knife and a little practice whittling on garden trimmings.

All the above said, I have never grafted figs, so I'm sure there are fig specific variations. One of the most important tips for grafting outdoor citrus and stone fruit is to attempt it at the right time of year. If done early in the season as the bark first starts slipping, successful grafting is almost child's play. If done in the heat of summer, it is almost impossible. I imagine the calendar influences fig grafting in a similar way.

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bada_bing in Tucson, zone 9a
or at work in Prudhoe bay, I don't think the zones go that low
My in ground trees: VdB, Panache 
My potted figs : Vista, RdB, Strawberry verte, Atreano, Black Madeira
Tissue culture plants: Hardy Chicago, "Blue" Ischia, Desert King, LSU Purple, Kadota, Celeste  
Hope to find: CdDx, Maltese Beauty, BlacK Ischia, desert adapted figs
Cajun

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hey newguy,
I have grafted 4 varieties into my fig tree and performed numerous other fruit tree grafts with high success. The most important things are sanitation, a thin sharp blade (i.e. an art knife), and sealing the scion with parafin wax. My favorite graft is the whip and tongue. If you line up the cambium layers, use a sanitized sharp knife, and seal the scion with parafin wax, you should have good success.

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saxonfig

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Reply with quote  #15 
- Suzi. Makes sense that the scion & rootstock would have to be about the same diameter when using that tool. Still makes a real nice union though doesn't it. I wish you the best for when you get to use yours. You'll have to let us know how it goes.

- JR & bada-bing. Welcome to the forum to both of you!

- newguy. There has been a lot of excellent info provided in this thread on grafting. Should be enough to help you take it to the next level ;-) .

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Bill - SW KY. Zone 6b. 36.5N 
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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #16 
Yes, Parafilm is a must. There are other options, but Parafilm is so clean and easy. Thin, softer wood can be done with a fresh X-acto knife blade, but if you plan to do a lot of grafting, a good grafting knife, from Victorinox, or equal is worth the investment.
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mgginva

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Reply with quote  #17 
New guy. Call your state extension agent. They usually give classes on grafting. Also through VA Tech, I took a 1 night class on grafting Apple trees. Depending where you live you may be near a land grant university that has folks there responsible for your state's orchards. They get paid to help you -- that's their job. Ask for help.
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Reply with quote  #18 
My favorite knife is the Tina 685.  Best price I've found is at http://www.frostproof.com/catalog/h685.html  I've used it for thousands of grafts.  I know use diamond sharpening stones (four progressively fine stones) and am very pleased with the results.

I've bought 3 variations of omega grafting tools but just don't care for them.  They probably work okay for some things but tend to crush some branches and just don't seem as precise as what I'm able to do with my grafting knife.

I've used cleft grafts so far for figs and it seems to work fine.  Nobody seems to like my video I've linked before but I'll post it again even though some sections are out of focus (my son was shooting it with a point and shoot camera with autofocus which means it automatically focuses on the wrong subject at times).  It's a video of me grafting white sapote but still shows my use of the cleft graft fairly well, IMO.



You can use any kind of rubber band but I prefer wide ones and use ones sold at a vineyard/orchard supply store nearby.

Some things do not need parafilm or the other films available (I prefer Nescofilm which is no longer produced and then BuddyTape and then Parafilm, in that order).  It really depends on the species being grafted, vigor, humidity, and temperature.  For figs, I always use a film to seal.

The best teacher is experience.  I now graft things that I would never have thought would work when I first started grafting about 20 years ago, such as green scions of pears, etc.  You'll never know unless you try.

Very rarely talked about is surface temperature of your stock.  Different species have different requirements for callusing.  Grafting something in too cool of weather means the scion is going to remain dormant for a long time and be at greater risk of drying out.  Some people in cool climates will wrap their graft unions with black electrical tape to warm them up.

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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #19 
Good video, Harvey.

A couple notes.

A regular wedge or cleft graft is with two pieces of the same diameter, add the wedge is cut down the center of the rootstock. Harvey has shown and offset wedge of cleft, which is used when the rootstock and scion are of different sizes. The wedge is cut off center at a point where the width of the cut is the same as the width of the scion (smaller).

You can also use the green nursery tape to bind the two pieces together, rather than the rubber bands.

Wrapping the scion before inserting, as Harvey did, makes that part of the task much easier.

You can also take some white paper and make a shade to slide over the graft. This keeps the scion cooler (doesn't get cooked or dried out as easily), until it calluses together.

The scion will grow through the Parafilm, so don't worry about covering up the buds.

Take some cuttings of apple, or pear, or something that is handy and practice using the knife, and making the cuts.

Finally, make sure you know where the knife will go, and what it will cut off of your body, before you make a cut. Sooner or later it is going to slip. If it will cut wood, it will cut you really easily. In other words, make sure you body parts are NOT in the direction of the cut.



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HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hmm, learned something new, never heard of the term "offset cleft" before.  Garner's doesn't make any distinction and the only time I use a cleft graft is when the stock and scion are different diameters.  If they are the same, I use a whip and tongue graft.  I have a video of that but want to re-shoot that before uploading (I used a DSLR on a tripod to eliminate the out-of-focus issues and i worked solo and discovered I was sometimes working out of the frame...doh).  The video above starts the cleft graft at around 4:50 and the first half is a rind bark graft which I'm not sure would work on a fig (have never tried lifting bark on a fig).
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newguy

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Reply with quote  #21 
I want to say THANK YOU for everyone that added their knowledge.  I read every post and now I know about the crfg and other great public access information.  In West LA there is a meet up this Saturday (9th), in the following weeks there is another meet up near Orange County (17th), and next month in San Diego March 9-10.   Due to work constraints I will try to attend at least one, maybe two of them.
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Reply with quote  #22 
Harvey,
I liked your video. thx
btw it was the first gardening type video I've ever seen where the narrator had clean finger nails.

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Reply with quote  #23 

Good video Harvey,

I use that same bark graft on almost everything I do, excepting maybe something like a Japanese maple where I care more about the aesthetics of the union.  For me without good small motor skills and clumsy it is the easiest graft to make good cambium contact. Making that small cut on the back side of each edge really helps. The only issue I have sometimes is that it is a weaker graft initially than many other grafts. If the scion really takes off sometimes I have had them break at the union. Just a little support with a small stick/bamboo can help when you see that.


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Reply with quote  #24 
For those who are within driving distance to South east Pennsylvania there will be a grafting workshop at the club that I volunteer at called the Backyard fruit gardener. There are a few forum member here that are also members of the club. It will be held towards the end of March. Contact me if interested in more information.



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