In July or August we have a Summer Scion Exchange for types of plants that can be grafted then, like citrus, stonefruit, persimmons, etc. See the Calendar for dates.
Greenwood Scion Collection Tips from Joe Real
- Almost any fruit trees can be grafted using live wood in the summer for budding or bark grafting. You can graft stone fruits to stone fruits using non-dormant wood. The main restriction is you should keep them very fresh, in a cooler.
- The day before you gather the scionwood, make sure your plants are fully hydrated by watering them if they were not watered earlier. Prepare also cut-up sheets of newspaper (or paper towel) moisten them, and store them in the fridge to chill.
- Early morning the next day. prepare a clean portable cooler. If you want you can sterilize it with lysol, place an inch or two of ice underneath, and then place a plastic sheet over the ice.
- Then set out to gather the live scionwood; be it citrus, avocado, apples, stone fruits -or any fruit tree-, during the cool morning hours. This is the time when the stems have been hydrated, and it is cool in the morning, so they are in a suspended mode of growth.
- Prepare a spray bottle with 70% alcohol or lysol and use it to sterilize your pruning shears . Snip off the scion leaves first, before you cut the stems. This is to minimize water losses after the cut. Make sure to spray lysol or ethanol on the cut portion of the leaves, and also sterilize your pruning shear before you move on to collect scionwood from another tree.
- Immediately wrap the live scionwood in cold moistened newspaper after cutting and seal in plastic bag, label the bag, and set into the portable cooler.
- Bring the cooler to the greenwood exchange.
- Then do the exchange, making sure to keep everything in the cooler. Upon arriving home, transfer the scionwood into the fridge. The very next day, early morning, do your grafting. This method works well with all types of fruit trees that I have experimented on. The big caveat is that the greenwood of stone fruits and other temperate fruits deteriorate much faster than those of citruses. Some citrus cultivars can be kept for over a year and they would still take if you have handled and sterilized your wares carefully. The greenwood temperate fruits on the other hand, can be kept for about two weeks but depends on cultivar. It is always best to graft the soonest time after the exchange when it comes to greenwood.
Some excellent handouts about citrus growing & grafting which can be downloaded in pdf form by clicking here. (3MB file)