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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have 4 varieties of fig my intention is to graft 3 varieties onto my brown turkey fig when is the best time of year to graft ?
fignutty

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Reply with quote  #2 
It depends on the type of grafting you want to do. Now is a good time to do T budding or similar techniques that require slipping bark. Most of the techniques that use dormant scionwood are done in spring. You can chip bud in fall.

I'd start out trying to T bud now. If that fails try chip budding later this month or next. If that fails try cleft or whip&tongue in spring.

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've never grafted before but I bought a grafting tool from Amazon and will try to do a cleft graft
jrdewhirst

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Reply with quote  #4 
I did something very similar this spring.  Three varieties onto one.  I used T-bud grafts, which were easy.  I agree with Steve that T-bud grafts are the place to start.

Look for my thread re bud grafts on the other forum.

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Joe D
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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hmm looking at cleft and t bud graft I think cleft looks easier to do since I haven't done any grafting whatsoever
fignutty

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dactriusUK
Hmm looking at cleft and t bud graft I think cleft looks easier to do since I haven't done any grafting whatsoever


You might do a cleft at this time if you remove all the leaves off the scion and wrap it with parafilm. You can't do that now with a green, non dormant, scion unless you do something to stop water loss from the scion until the graft heals.

T buds aren't hard as long as the bark is slipping. To get the bark slipping, if it isn't, water every day for 7-10 days.

Here's a T budding tutorial I did: http://growingfruit.org/t/t-budding-tutorial/6167

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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Jsacadura

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Reply with quote  #7 
You can do chip budding in the spring, summer or fall. And they are one of the easiest types of grafts you can do. (More information on chip-budding figs - Here and Here)

And you don't need the bark to be slipping as you do with other types of graft, like t-budding. Cleft grafts will probably fail in this time of year if you try to use non dormant scions (too much moisture loss).


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Jaime - Zone 9b - near Caldas da Rainha - Portugal
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fignutty

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Reply with quote  #8 
Jaime:

IMO chip budding is much more difficult than T budding esp for a beginner. It's very easy to line up the cambiums with T buds if the bark is slipping. Not so with chip buds. That's my experience anyway.

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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Jsacadura

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Reply with quote  #9 
Steve,

T-Budding involves precision and fine manipulation to be able to remove a bud without destroying it (unless you cheat and remove it with some wood, effectively doing a chip-t-bud) and to create the appropriate slot to insert it (without destroying the bark peels in the process - too many things that can fail and most of the times the scions are precious and scarce).

It's much harder for a beginner to do that without errors that will destroy the material. Another drawback is that it's usually done with greener scions and root stocks (most material we receive is dormant and hardened) and the bark has to be slipping.

In my experience, by comparaison, chip-budding is a much more forgiving method of grafting. It's works with green or hardened scions during 8 months of the year, so much less initial requirements. 

But the real key is, you just have to master the same 2 movements, over and over again:
1. making an angled cut below the bud
2. placing the knife above the bud and learning to slide it (doing a controlled rocking motion helps to pass the bud in the case of figs) until you reach the initial cut.

If you repeat those 2 movements on the root stock, you create the slot to insert the chip-bud.
Done! 

Regarding alignment of cambiums. You just have to try and make the slot about the same size (using the chip-bud you have cut, as a guide).
When you insert the chip-bud into the slot, the cambiums always cross at some point (in the straight zone of the chip and in the bottom angled support cut).

I have done more than 100 chip-bud grafts this year. I never try to align anything. I just try to fit the chip-bud in the slot i created.
For a beginner, I always recommend starting with a shallower (and narrower) slot, similar to the chip-bud, but trying to be conservative.
When inserting the chip, if it's smaller than the slot, you can correct the slot, cutting again, a little higher. If the slot is too narrow for the chip, cutting again, in the same place, at the same height, will also widen it.

Even the chip-buds that later fail to develop have fused the cambiums with the scion (they may not develop for several other reasons, like dehydration or bad scions to begin with)

I started grafting figs, inspired by what i have read in this forum. Axier for instance, recommended chip-budding over t-budding, saying it had a much higher percentage of success with it.
And after a few years grafting figs, i agree with him, in this matter.

Jon has posted an excellent  sequence of photos regarding both methods:

T-Budding


Chip-Budding

In those photos i believe it's clear that t-budding is much more complex for a beginner (much more steps that don't forgive errors - and due to the hardened wood he is using he also cheats, removing the bud with wood - so, he is removing a chip-bud).

With the alignment of cambiums being a non-issue (at least in my experience) i can't recommend t-budding over chip-budding when grafting figs.


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Jaime - Zone 9b - near Caldas da Rainha - Portugal
Wish List: Sofeno Claro, Preto do Calvário, Belmandil, Castelhana Branca, Pardinho, Coll de Dame de Ciutat, Marabout, Paratjal, Bournabat, Ponte Tresa.
fignutty

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Reply with quote  #10 
Jaime:

I don't see what's so hard about T budding. The bud doesn't have to be sized to fit the T. You can't say that about chip budding. A size match between bud and stock is essential with chip budding. Chip budding does have advantages, bark doesn't need to slip, but sizing is more critical and there is more cutting into hard wood. I can do T buds in very difficult positions where making the chip bud cuts is nearly impossible.

I've had nearly 100% takes with T budding figs and many other fruits. My best success with chip budding is seldom over 50%. But I suspect it's mainly a matter of experience and having the right tools. I think a sharper knife is needed to chip bud than T bud. That may be part of my issue with chip buds.

I do appreciate your chip budding guidance..!! I think I can do better with more experience.

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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cjccmc

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Reply with quote  #11 
The videos and other instructions available are good and provide most of the key info you need. But if you have limited scion or rootstock to work with I'd suggest practicing a few cuts with something less valuable before doing the real deal. Experience is a good teacher.
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Conrad, SoCal zone 10
dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #12 
What grafting /budding knife would you recommend?
Jsacadura

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Reply with quote  #13 
Steve,

I didn't say that i had any difficulty doing T-buds. I do them all the time for other fruit types, like to graft peaches and plums. They are also essential with citrus, for instance.

I just don't recommend them for figs because they don't work so well with the dormant scions we receive in our tradings (while chip-budding works with any scion wood - green or not), so people really have to learn this technique (or whip and tongue, that i also use a lot) if they want to graft any cuttings they receive in dormancy.

But i still think that, if i teach a beginner both techniques, he will learn chip-budding much easier than t-budding.
The size issue is easy to solve. Just place the bud in the slot. It stays there without problems because of the bottom flap that holds it into position. Then, if needed (less and less with experience), slice a bit more bark of the root stock at the top and remove that small bit from under the chip with the knife tip.

I really don't agree with the difficult or impossible positions to chip-bud. You really have to be aligned with the branch to make a perfect T cut, not so with the Chip-bud slot. I have done it in very awkward positions with branches that were very difficult to reach and where making a T-bud would be almost impossible to do. 

I have found the PDF on grafting that Axier published a few years ago. It's final recommendation is:
"The best method is the chip graft. The T graft or the side graft can work but fail more frequently so I don't advise them"

I don't agree with everything he says in this document but he has very good advices in it (the importance of protecting the buds, for instance). He doesn't recommend other methods besides chip-budding, like whip and tongue, due to low percentage of takes and, to me, whip and tongue it's the method i use in figs that has the highest percentage. He also prefers root stock and scion of the same year and i have no problem using older wood with very good percentages of takes.

In the end, it all comes down to personal experiences.

So, everyone should do what they are confortable with and gives them good results. I have good results with chip-budding that's why i recommend it.


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Jaime - Zone 9b - near Caldas da Rainha - Portugal
Wish List: Sofeno Claro, Preto do Calvário, Belmandil, Castelhana Branca, Pardinho, Coll de Dame de Ciutat, Marabout, Paratjal, Bournabat, Ponte Tresa.
Jsacadura

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Reply with quote  #14 
dactriusUK,
A sharp grafting knife is key to have good success in grafting. I have the good fortune of having very good craftsman in our country (there's a small village in the north of Portugal, Trás-os-Montes region, village of Palaçoulo) which is famous for the knifes they make and that sell them cheap. Like this one, or this one

They do make sharp knifes (they are known by 'navalhas' in portuguese - which is better translated by the word 'razor' and they should be razor sharp and be able to cut paper like we see in this video - this is not a grafting knife but it's made in the same region and with the same quality)

But you can also buy this one, it's also very good for almost all grafting jobs. This one is essentially a budding knife. They have several grafting models but that one serves the purpose well.

Just be sure to keep it sharp if you end up doing lots of grafts. I use japanese sharpening stones and sharpen them myself, but you can simple take the knife to the shop and ask them to sharpen it again after 1-2 years of grafting if you don't use it much.

One of my grafting projects - 10 varieties in 1 fig tree. I went a little over the top with this one to see what was possible. 3-4 varieties in the same tree would be much more easy to maintain.

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Jaime - Zone 9b - near Caldas da Rainha - Portugal
Wish List: Sofeno Claro, Preto do Calvário, Belmandil, Castelhana Branca, Pardinho, Coll de Dame de Ciutat, Marabout, Paratjal, Bournabat, Ponte Tresa.
jrdewhirst

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Reply with quote  #15 
dactriusuk -- I'd agree with Jaime if you were working with dormant scions.  But you already have growing plants, so you will be grafting green buds.  In that case, it seems to me that T-buds are easier.  I had a similar project; in my first ever attempt at grafting I had 8 of 9 T-bud grafts take.  

IMG_1202.jpg 


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Joe D
Z6B - Bristol, RI
fignutty

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Reply with quote  #16 
Joe D:

You've got it right. For dormant scions chip buds are clearly the way to go. But now with scions and stock both green and growing T buds are clearly the way to start. Or try both T and chip. But a beginner should try T budding at this point.

Jaime:

Look at the second picture in my link above. The one showing a T budded pluot inside of a 10 inch pot with the bud half an inch above soil level. I really think a T bud is more appropriate there. Your knife and hand won't fit inside the pot. Doing a T bud I didn't have to cut into hard wood so I could reach in and do the T from above. Plus the scion was 1/4 the diameter of the stock. You can't do a chip bud when the scion is that much smaller than the stock.

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #17 
so as a beginner growing figs and grafting a dormant scion chip budding is best and t budding is best for current season green growth ?
jrdewhirst

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Reply with quote  #18 
That's right.  More precisely, with a dormant scion, you must use chip bidding; T-budding won't work because the bud won't slip off the scion.  With a green scion, you could use either one but T-budding seems easier.  
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Joe D
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Jsacadura

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Reply with quote  #19 
Steve,

I really have to do a small video of chip-bud grafting so we can confirm that we are talking about the same technique :-)

How can 2 simple cuts in the scion and in the understock be harder to do, for a beginner, than removing a bud, minus the wood, and inserting it under the bark (that you have to loosen first) without tearing it appart. The number of steps in your tutorial and the warnings on how to avoid tearing the bark, shows that it's not that simple for a beginner.

When i do my chip-buds i barely scrape the understock to create the slot for the scion chip. So there's not any hardwood cutting to do (specially in this time of the year, when the wood is greener) so making the 2 cuts is a breeze.
In close quarters or with thinner stock i usually use only the tip of the knife to make the slot in the stock, so not much room is needed. But, in really close quarters and with miniature buds, t-budding might got an edge (but i haven't come across that situation in figs, though)

Regarding the difference in size between scion and stock. You really have a point. It can be done, but we shouldn't select a stock that is 3 or 4 times wider than the scion (usually not a problem with figs if you are using green wood) but, on the other hand, try inserting a bud under the bark of a stock of the same diameter as the scion, without it tearing the bark appart (not a problem with chip-budding, not that easy with t-budding). It can be done, but it usually ends up looking like someone is using clothes from his younger brother :-)

Kidding aside...

I used T-budding a lot before i began exploring Chip-budding. Now, i use it less and i prefer the simplicity of Chip-budding, except for those fruit types where it really shows a greater percentage of success (not that many in my experience).

Regarding beginners and fig grafting, there's no harm in learning both techniques, but if we agree that T-budding can only be used for figs with green scion and with the bark slipping, why make beginners learn 2 techniques when they can get away with only one for almost all fig grafting situations? If Chip-budding was difficult to do i would agree with trying T-budding first, but it couldn't be simpler.

Anyway, i learned and use almost all grafting techniques and i encourage everyone to try them for themselves. So, try T-Budding and Chip-Budding and draw your own conclusions.
Remember that, what works for someone else, might not work for us and vice-versa. I never forget that, if i followed some recommendations, i would never had tried Whip and Tongue for figs, but i did, and i can now say that it's my most successful technique.



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Jaime - Zone 9b - near Caldas da Rainha - Portugal
Wish List: Sofeno Claro, Preto do Calvário, Belmandil, Castelhana Branca, Pardinho, Coll de Dame de Ciutat, Marabout, Paratjal, Bournabat, Ponte Tresa.
dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #20 
hi all 
thx for all your advice on grafting I will try them out , does anyone have any black madeira sion I really wanna try growing this but its expensive to buy on eBay :)

brianm

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Reply with quote  #21 
So all this information is given to you by VERY knowledgeable fig growers and you have the audacity to ask for Black Madeira scions...I'm shaking my head..
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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #22 
@brianm you say audacity!!!!!! I said I appreciated the help but asked if someone had the scion I'm not forcing anyone so you need to take a chill pill !!!!!
FigFriendly

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Reply with quote  #23 
Ask for a cheaper variety on which to practice your grafting... Asking for BM scions is like going from 0-60 in first gear.
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Tony - Zone 7b (North Carolina)
Growing: Brown Turkey, Celeste, Black Italian, Chicago Hardy, Little Miss Figgy, Green Ischia, O'Rourke, Scott's Black, Navid's Unknown Dark Greek, CDDN, CDDG, Black Madeira
Wish List: White Madeira, Col de Dame Vert, Carré de Bordeaux, Madeleine des Quatre Saisons, Fayenbeige Violetta, Genovese Bianco, Grantham's Ignoble, Late Violet, Doctor Hogg's White, Fannick's Green Giant, Nero 420, Purple Ischia, Improved O'Rourke, Kathleen's Pink, LSU Green, Adriano Celentano
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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dactriusUK
@brianm you say audacity!!!!!! I said I appreciated the help but asked if someone had the scion I'm not forcing anyone so you need to take a chill pill !!!!!

You're going to butcher the cutting more then likely. Try something cheap.

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dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #25 
@brianm thx Brian for having no faith in me whatsoever
dactriusUK

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Reply with quote  #26 
hi all thx for all the great comments, what time of year is it best to do a cleft graft ?
Sas

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Reply with quote  #27 
Thank You all for sharing your T and Chip budding experience in this thread along with references.
I always believed that I kept missing the grafting window in early spring, and just let it go.
This discussion was key in making me want to try at least one of these methods as soon as I get a chance.




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Sas from North Austin TX Zone 8B

Timo

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
 hi all thx for all the great comments, what time of year is it best to do a cleft graft ? 
 

In general Spring is the best time to graft. I have good results with cleft grafts in Spring but haven't tried them later. A cleft graft is one of the easiest grafting techniques, but the grafting union takes longer to heal than in other techniques. Therefore Spring is probably the best time. The tree still has several months to heal before Winter comes.

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