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Author Topic: Apple graft nibblers  (Read 1442 times)

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Apple graft nibblers
« on: March 31, 2019, 11:37:36 pm »
A warning to anyone planting newly grafted fruit trees.  Beware graft nibblers !

To make a short story long:  I recently came away from a Nat Trust apple grafting day at Cotehele House, Cornwall with 4 old Cornish varieties grafted onto M9.  They weren't the varieties I'd hoped they would offer, but I was happy enough and looking forward to a successful take.  But alas !! 
The grafts were held together with rubber bands and then waxed (I would have preferred grafting tape, but heh!) and some creature has taken a liking to the wax & bands - wax gone/bands shredded/unchewed scions on the ground (so the culprit was not after the bark).  This is inside rabbit/deer fence so will be voles, mice or birds. I'm inclined towards the bird option, but who knows ?

I have tree guards that I could have (wished had) installed, but it just did not occur to me that something would "eat" the bindings/protection.

And then, perturbed by the finding, I picked up the scions without noting which was which ("stupid boy").  A snip at their base later suggests they might still be viable, but I think I will now try them out as hard-wood cuttings for rooting (they are soaking in willow water for planting tomorrow). 
Luckily I do have some scion offcuts stored in fridge (with variety tags !!) - hopefully they will be viable.  Will try some new grafts tomorrow. 

Very disappointing though to lose grafts with very fresh scions.  Beware the nibblers !
 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 11:53:04 pm by arobwk »
Voss Electric Fence

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 01:12:28 pm »
I had a disaster with my apples last year. Most grafts took, then all but one were pecked off, run over or snapped with a football, toy or otherwise! Kids, chickens and grafts don’t mix. Lost 20 odd, such a waste!

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 04:39:12 pm »
Well, that was definitely not good @Steph Hen
Did you replace or give up ?

While I'm on:  a note about parafilm grafting tape - is it me or have I got poor quality tape?  Bl***y stuff instantly crinkles up into a mess as soon as I rip a length off the roll.  (It might be me:  for instance, my 1st ever wrist watch - a mechanical-wind Timex - wouldn't keep time unless I wore it under wrist rather than, as normal, over wrist !!!  Perhaps I'm just super-charged with something  ;) :D ).

Please - can anyone recommend a brand/supplier of good grafting tape that doesn't instantly bunch up into a narrow thread of "plastic string" ?

Or, what alternative do you use ?

In the meantime, with little else available, I resorted to cutting compostable kitchen-waste caddy bags (the pale green ones) into strips.  Actually the resulting "tapes" proved quite good:  they do stretch and mould themselves around lumpy grafts rather well (but need to be stretched gently and not too much).  Whether they will prove to be a good substitute for "proper" tape remains to be seen over the next couple of months.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 08:19:36 am »
I would like to get some proper parafilm like the stuff used to use in the lab. The stuff I got off Amazon was as you describe, pointless. The “top quality grafting tape” from Amazon was also a waste of time. Strips of freezer bags as Stephen Hayes recommends. They need to be removed obviously, but so would anything else as materials may not breakdown in time to avoid girdling.

 We’ve also just moved house so I’ve had to dig the lot up (actually still need to go back and dig up the rest) and find places to put them here. - I decided not to bud last summer or graft; decided it wasn’t worth the risk knocking them off again during move/replanting. I don’t mind, they can grow on a bit and I’ll top work them in a few years if need be.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 12:47:33 pm »


Please - can anyone recommend a brand/supplier of good grafting tape that doesn't instantly bunch up into a narrow thread of "plastic string" ?
Ordinary kitchen cling film.
It also provides a sap link for ring barked trees provided you catch them whille sill damp - my plum tree has been done that way. Lost all my apple trees to deer when they started building in the field opposite.  Poor things had nowhere else to go for their supper and bed but my orchard  :'(
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 10:27:22 pm »
Unfortunately doganjo, kitchen cling film and I don't get on either !!  :(
(Interesting thought/experience as regards expedient repairs to ring-barked trees though.)

 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 10:30:16 pm by arobwk »

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 11:01:23 pm »
Unfortunately doganjo, kitchen cling film and I don't get on either !!  :(
(Interesting thought/experience as regards expedient repairs to ring-barked trees though.)
You DO need to use the best quality clingfilm, not the cheap supermarket stuff  :innocent: :eyelashes:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 11:16:13 pm »
Unfortunately doganjo, kitchen cling film and I don't get on either !!  :(
(Interesting thought/experience as regards expedient repairs to ring-barked trees though.)
You DO need to use the best quality clingfilm, not the cheap supermarket stuff  :innocent: :eyelashes:

Brand examples doganjo ?? 

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2019, 10:15:39 pm »
Lakeland, Baco
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 09:51:13 pm »
Ta @doganjo - I'll check out.

Here's a thing though:  before buying 2 diff’ widths of the crap green-tinged grafting tape, I had bought a roll of clear grafting tape from somewhere (I’ll check later).  Unfortunately the latter was found by my (then) new pup and thoroughly chewed on the edges.
I now find that I have not thrown the chewed roll away:  so, as an experiment, I have tickled a length of the frilly-edged tape off the roll.  Although I would not wish to use this frilly-edged tape for critical grafts, I find that this tape does NOT instantly crumple into a mess in my fingers when a strip is ripped off the roll.
So clearly there are some really good and some really bad grafting tapes out there.  However, I will check out the suggested cling-film options (thanks) along side the caddy bag strips I mentioned.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 03:27:58 pm »
Yes, Lakeland cling film is better than others I have tangled with.  However, in my hands, still not a perfect solution for grafting tape.  (I probably need to wear an earthing wrist-band/lead.) 

Lakeland's easy cut dispenser is really good though, enabling quite a narrow ribbon of film to be easily produced for grafting use (by those who are not so electrostatically challenged !). 

I think I will stick with the scissor-cut strips of compostable kitchen waste-caddy bags, for now, despite the tedious production and unknown longevity.  (I can't imagine though that the caddy-bag strips will lose their holding strength/weather-proofing ability within a couple of months.  I'll find out idc !)

Now I'm pondering how long (time-wise) 299.5m of Lakeland "Super Cling Film" will last me in the kitchen:  probably a very very long time and I just can't decide which of my off-spring should inherit what's left.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 04:10:41 pm by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 03:48:26 pm »
Ha ha haaa !
Daughter (staying over) - "Do you have any cling-film father ?" 

  where-upon I proffered the 299.5m of Lakeland's best.

Daughter (un-cued by me) - "Which one of us are you going to leave this to in your will ?"   :roflanim:   Of course, I then explained why I was laughing.

More seriously:  the cut strips of compostable plastic bags (cpb) have worked-out well as grafting tape.  My apple grafting skills have yet to be honed (about 60% success from this year's grafting trials), but the cpb "tape" has performed well and is now starting to break-down (becoming fragile) so that's good and bindings shouldn't need to be cut away.

I will consider additional means of binding grafts more tightly though (to hopefully up the success rate):  elastic bands first maybe with outer cpb binding perhaps !?




« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 11:25:04 pm by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Apple graft nibblers
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 06:31:59 pm »
Update on use of cut strips of compostable plastic bags (cpb) as grafting tape: 

I find that cpb strips work even better if applied in two layers at once - in other words, put 2 strips together before starting to wrap the graft.  Allows much tighter wrap with much reduced mid-wrap breakage while still being very moldable to stretch around all types of graft. 
(Width of the cut strips can, of course, be varied according to the type of graft.)

 

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