Grafting Tree Peonies

Page 4


6.) Fitting the scion and rootstock: The surface of the triangular cut on the scion must fit flush with the surface of the root. The surface can be adjusted by sliding the scion upward or downward on the rootstock for best alignment. Although there are distinct vascular layers in the tree peony scions, there is no need to line these up perfectly with the herbaceous nurse root. In herbaceous peonies the vascular tissues are disbursed throughout the root tissue. The two parts should fit as closely as possible.


Good fitting wedge graft

Good fitting 'approach' graft.


7.) Securing the Graft - Wrap the banding material around the graft joint. Wind the band around the rootstock below the cleft and lap over the beginning, continue winding the band around the root and scion securing the scion to the root try to cover the entire joint.  Tuck the end of the band under the last turn. This must be firm and make the scion immobile.  Cover the entire joint with Parafilm or other seal.  Pull the Parafilm or tape firmly to make a waterproof barrier. The entire combination of scion and nurse root is now called 'a new graft'.


A complete new graft, ready to heal.


8.) Allow the Graft to Heal - Place the new graft in a Ziploc bag with a barely moist paper towel, peat moss or similar.  Label the bag with the cultivar's name.  Grafts should be oriented so they are upright. The bag with the graft should be held for approximately one month or no longer than six weeks in a warm environment.  Possible locations include the top of the hot water heater (if not too hot), over a lighting fixture or top of the refrigerator.  A florescent fixture over a grow table produces heat from the lamps that is moderately warm.


9.) Planting - A planting site should be chosen so the plants can be left in that location for two years.  The site should be in full sun or light shade and in a protected area. The grafts should be planted in late fall with the entire graft union below the ground. This protects the scion from being disturbed by anything on the surface.  Use a small bit of fencing around the planting area for each cultivar to help deter neighborhood pets from stepping on the immediate area where the grafts are planted.  Newly planted grafts can be covered by a light mulch of straw or leaves. Remove this mulch in spring before the new grafts begin new growth.


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