Bench Grafts Done Right
Bench Grafts, also called “whip grafts”, are a favorite at Whitney’s Grafting. There is nothing magical about making great bench grafts if you start with top quality rootstock, combine them with properly stored scion wood (the stick that is grafted on), then have them grafted together by a skilled tradesman and sealed with our own special hot wax — always kept at the perfect temperature to prevent harm to any buds or cambium.
Top Quality Supplies for the Job
Most of the rootstock comes from suppliers such as Treco or Copenhaven Farms, who specialize in growing top quality roots that are perfect for grafting. The customer can purchase them and have them delivered to our facility or, for an additional fee, we will try to find and negotiate the purchase for our customer. Whenever possible, rootstock should be shipped to our facility well ahead of schedule, so when the time is right we can graft them without delay. We are able to graft inside our work room in any kind of weather, and typically operate from January through March.
The Process in Pictures
When all of the materials have been gathered together (scion, rootstock, wax and people), our team begins work, assembling up to 25,000 grafts each day.
|Preparing scion wood for grafting|
First, we make matching cuts on both the scion and the rootstock, and then notch them so they will fit together with the most cambium contact possible, as this improves the strength and success potential of the graft.
|Scion being notched|
After they are assembled, they should look like one single stick. The sign of a great graft is when you cannot tell where the rootstock ends and the scion begins.
|Scion and rootstock assembled and ready for taping|
We use grafting tape to hold them together so they can heal.
Next, we dip the grafts into hot wax, to seal them, and protect the scion from loss of moisture and viability.
|Grafts after being dipped in wax|
Now, all that’s left is to bundle the grafts so they are ready to go to the customer.
|Bundled grafts, ready to grow|