Sunday, June 01, 2014

Bud Grafting Asian Plums. 5.31.14

Bud Grafting Book Illustration
Yesterday I cut some shoots from the Vancouver plum trees, to provide buds to graft onto the younger plum trees in Battleground.

Bud grafting needs to be done when the bark is loose, or "slipping" as stated in books.  If an incision is made in a fairly young stem, the bark lifts from the underlying tissue fairly easily.

I wanted to work quickly, so did not take photos of the process.  I have never done or seen this procedure, so it's a gamble.  That never stops me.

The illustration is an old book illustration.  It is long past copyright.

Shiro bud graft on unknown stock.

Red leaf plum bud graft on unknown stock.
 First, I made the T incision on the stock.  I chose branches that looked juicy and young, this year's growth or 1 year old.  I eased the bark off the underlying tissue, then placed it back while cutting the bud scion.

Then, I cut the leaves from the scion branches, leaving the amount shown.  That serves as handle.

I used a very sharp grafting knife, cutting through the young bark to make a shield with central bud, as in the illustration.  I peeled that off the donor branch.

The shield is slipped into the T incision, then wrapped with plastic grafting strips.

It sounds easier than it is, but I felt like most of these attempts had a chance to survive.

I noticed, the moist inside wood was white, but changed to brown in a few minutes.  I don't know if that's harmful, but I suspect it's not good.  I proceeded as quickly as possible.

This is early for budding.  If they take, it's possible they will start growing in a few weeks.

Shiro bud graft on Methley stock.
If these grow,  they will provide pollinating branches within each tree.  In addition, the unknown plum tree doesn't seem productive.  It might help to have pollinating branches on the tree.  These grafts could also be the start of converting the tree to proven varieties, such as shiro.

Budding now also gives me practice to try again later.

I also noted one of my pruning efforts earlier this year stimulated one very vigorous new growth, with easily sliced and manipulated bark.  That served as stock for two budding attempts.  If they take, ultimately they might replace a branch of the tree.

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