Central Coast Chapter CRFG
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California Rare Fruit Growers – Central Coast Chapter

March 2019 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

Meet the Magicians Meeting (aka Annual Propagation Meeting)

Joe Sabol leads off the magical grafting demonstration by explaining how the cleft graft is performed. Photo by Steve Schubert.
This was a Super Fun meeting! Arriving at the Seven Sister’s Master Garden location we found a plant swap in action. There were a multitude of plants you could swap. If you brought Basil, you can swap it for a Tomato or a Cherimoya. What a way to kick off Spring, albeit a bit early.

Alisha encouraged people to participate in the Plant Swap and to follow up by taking photos of their plants' progression. Alisha also announced that next month we will be touring a “Fruit and Nut” wonderland. Yep, that would be Jack Sword’s place. So cool!

Today we will be graced by 4 amazing Grafter Magicians: Joe, John, Larry and Marv.

Cleft Graft
Joe started us off with the Cleft Graft.
Joe suggests the easiest tips to be:
  • Start with good clean clippers, know the “Cut” side from the “Mash” Side of the clipper.
  • Using your Grafting Knife, avoid hitting any buds when making your cut. Make a nice clean cut.
  • Locate your knife on top of the rootstock and use a hammer to pound cleanly into the rootstock
  • Find Scion that is the same diameter to your rootstock. See that they “Match Nicely”.
  • Joe says this is the best grafting method for a beginner. Shazzam!
Joe explains about the cleft graft while Marv stands by ready to whack the grafting knife with his hammer. Photo by Steve Schubert.
Parts of a branch. When grafting, it's important to line up the cambium layers!

Whip 'n Tongue Graft
John instructed us on how to do a Whip ‘n’ Tongue Graft
  • Match up your Scion to your Rootstock, most specifically that the Cambium layers match.
  • John shares that the Whip is the first cut on either scion or rootstock, but the Tongue is the Magical part that helps hold the two parts together.
  • The “Tongue” is cut {Open Sesame} one third the way down on each the scion and the rootstock.
  • John likes to finish off with vinyl tape to secure the graft.
  • You can place a dab of goop atop the top side of the scion.
John cut these tree branches to give us a larger-than-life example of what the steps of the Whip 'n Tongue graft look like. Branch photos by Alisha Taff.

Chip Bud Graft
Larry instructed us on the Chip Bud Graft.
  • This bud is great because it can be done any time of the year.
  • Always make your labels first. You will be glad you did.
  • Using your grafting knife cut the chip. Make a 45 degree cut below your chosen bud then slice it off from the top.
  • When you make the rootstock incision, make one clean cut. No whittling.
  • Once you place your bud, you can ...{Alakazam}... use a pushpin, yes that’s right, a pushpin to hold your chip until you can tape the graft.
  • Using parafilm tape, wrap the lower part of your graft. Once the tape is holding, you can remove the pushpin. Wrap your graft well, using only one pass around the bud itself.

Omega Grafting Tool
Marv showed us his “Handy Dandy Grafting Tool.” Pretty slick!
  • You can buy one for anywhere from 20 dollars and up.
  • Marv has grafted one Scion atop another Scion atop another Scion…5 Scions deep and every graft took! Wow.
  • The tool makes a beautiful clean cut every time.
  • As always, match your rootstock/scion diameters for cambium contact on all surfaces.
  • Marv likes to use parafilm to finish.

We all strolled into different corners with our own particular wizard, who then flourished their talents, and gave us some up-close-and-personal instruction to boot.

Thanks Joe, John, Larry and Marv. That was Pure Magic.

Plum Bud Gall Mite Fact Sheet

The following was sent to us by Susan Casner-Kay. Thanks Susan!

The Plum Bud Gall Mite is a newly found pest. Please read the fact sheet for more information about identifying and reporting the pest. I ask that you all check for the pest on your own trees (plum, pluot, almond, and apricot) and report any findings. To report the pest, please do one of the following:
  1. Contact your local county agriculture department. Inform them that you wish to report a Plum bud gall mite pest sighting. For the Santa Clara County Department of Agriculture, call 408-916-4600.
  2. Complete the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) "Report a Pest Sighting Form" online and submit via email to the CDFA Pest Hotline.
  3. Report a pest by calling the CDFA Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.
Thank you all for your attention to this.
Kind Regards,
Krysla Grothe
Master Gardener/Master Compost Program Manager
University of California Cooperative Extension - Santa Clara County
Email: klgrothe@ucanr.edu Office: 1(408) 282-3113