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Dr. Natelson preparing an approach graft.
While most people probably spend last Thursday night with their special Valentine, I drove out to the Bear Creek Extension Office to attend the Gulf Coast Fruit Study Group grafting program. I had been asked to assist Dr. Natelson and George McAfee, but I don't know why. Those two master grafters had everything under control all by themselves. Dr. Natelson began by giving a great introduction to grafting and the benefits of learning to graft, such as being able to grow several varieties of fruit on a single tree, or being able to top-work a bad tree into a better variety. Then George McAfee gave a detailed presentation of his grafting toolkit, discussed how to select good budwood, and demonstrated how to cleft graft citrus. I learned that cheap electrical tape can be used instead of parafilm, and that razor blades can be handy for making clean final cuts on a scion.

Overall, the program was not at all like what I expected. The only other grafting program I've ever been to is John Panzarella's annual grafting class in Lake Jackson, where a few grafting techniques are demonstrated, and then everyone gets to try to do it themselves to gain some hands on experience. I guess I just assumed that this would be very similar, which is why I hauled so many rootstocks down there. Of course, I had to leave before the program ended, so people may have had the chance to try their hands at grafting after all. I would have liked to have stayed until the end, but the presentations were still going strong at 8:45 pm. Dr. Wife was home alone with some really cranky kids, I had work the next morning, and it looked like the program might go on to 10 o'clock or later, so I had to call it a night. I feel bad that I had to leave when I did because I hated to leave a bunch of plants for someone else to have to deal with, and I had told one gentleman that I would help him graft his rootstock to a Cara Cara. I really hope that Dr. Natelson or George were able to to it for him, and that everyone that wanted some rootstocks to practice on was able to take some home.

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The masters explaining the tools of the trade.
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George McAfee demonstrating how to cut a scion.
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George McAfee demonstrating a cleft graft.
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Rootstocks I brought to share. Hope they all found homes!
 


Comments

Larry Cabness
04/08/2013 10:31

When is your next grafting class, I would like to enroll.
Thanks

Reply
Larry
09/05/2013 12:49

Please notify me of when you next class will be held.

Reply
10/02/2013 00:56

I would have liked to have stayed until the end, but the presentations were still going strong at 8:45 pm.

Reply



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