This coming weekend we will be guests of the local California Rare Fruit Growers. From the local (West Los Angeles) chapter's newsletter about the upcoming scion exchange:
Scion Wood Preparation
Select straight wood from last year’s growth and cut as near to our scion wood exchange date as possible.
Wood should be ¼” – 3/8” diameter (pencil size) and contain several buds.
Cut to lengths that fit easily into a Ziploc-type bag. Cut with a slanting cut on the top (distal) end and flat cut on the end that would have been nearest the trunk (medial).
Bundle by variety in a moist paper towel(s) and place in a Ziploc-type bag, leaving a slight opening in the Ziploc bag for the wood to breathe. Put only one variety in each bag. Make sure that the towel(s) stay damp as long as the wood is stored.
Label the outside of the bag with fruit type and variety, as well as any additional information you feel is pertinent (i.e. minimum chilling hours; needs pollinator; vigor; area where successfully grown, etc). It’s nice to add your name so that those collecting your wood know where the wood came from and can ask you questions about the parent tree.
Keep the scion wood bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator until the morning of the exchange. Be careful not to let the scion wood freeze!
At the exchange, please wait to make your selections until directed by the Chair.
Please limit your selections to two of any variety, until everyone has had an opportunity to collect wood. Then feel free to go back. Please do not collect wood you do not plan to use.
What to do with your collected scion wood after the scion exchange:
Try out the techniques you have learned as soon as possible! If you don’t plan to graft as soon as you get home, remember to add moist paper to the bag and refrigerate until you have the time to graft. Do not freeze!
Be careful with the label. An all too frequent mistake is to put the label in the bag with the wood. Then, when you add moist paper, the label becomes unreadable.
To avoid bringing disease into your garden, immerse your chosen scion wood cuttings in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water for 10 seconds.
Have fun creating your trees!