Grafting, Budding, and Germinating

Today I stopped by the Hort Unit before heading to my office. I spent an hour  cleft grafting and T-budding with apple rootstocks and scions. The cleft graft involved chopping off the root stock, splitting the stem, cutting a scion with a tapered end, and inserting it into the slice. Care must be taken to align the vascular cambiums of rootstock and scion on one side of the graft. The graft is them wrapped with grating tape and painted with grafting seal to prevent desiccation.

A cleft graft before wrapping and dealing.

A cleft graft before wrapping and sealing.

T-budding is a very cool type of graft that involves cutting a T into the bark of the stock and loosening it. A bud is then sliced off the desired scion and slipped under the bark. The graft is wrapped in parafilm to hold it together and prevent desiccation.

A bud slipped under the bark of the stock (notice the T sliced into the stock bark).

A bud slipped under the bark of the stock (notice the T sliced into the stock bark).

I grafted five plants. Two of them have cleft grafts with reversed polarity (which will doom them to failure). I intend to photograph the reversed polarity grafts this summer. Ideally they should show a healed graft with a scion that fails to grow properly.

A cleft graft .

An apple with cleft graft and T-budding .

After the grafting and budding I checked in on some cactus seeds that were sowed a few weeks ago. Some of them have germinated. Cacti look very interesting as newly germinated seedlings. Instead of a thin, spindly stem like most seedlings, these cacti have a little portly stem.

Ferrocactus alamosanus seedlings.

A Ferrocactus alamosanus seedling.

I like the little cephalium on top. It looks like a mohawk.

I have a lot of work to get done this weekend. My hours in the office were not as productive as I would have liked them to be. . .

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