I got 50 Antonovka, 25 Manchurian Crab and 25 pear seedlings to use as rootstocks. I got my scions out of cold storage this AM and they are moldy, the trees I cut them from have started to leaf out. What is the best way to hold over the seedlings until next year and be able to access them for grafting next March rather than May?

Spliced Wire Farm & Apiaries
Zone 4b NE Corner of McKean County, PA
Is the scion wood so moldy that it is decaying? It might still be usable if the mold is just superficial. There is no way to hold rootstock over an entire year. You should plant it out in a small nursery row(s) and plan on chip or T-budding the rootstock in August using buds from 1st year wood from the trees you cut the "moldy" scion wood from.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
My hope was that the seedlings could be planted and dug again in the Spring. My only grafting experience has been with cleft grafts. How readily do bud or chip grafts take if I get my part done right?
James, I had 300 new roots and my scion didn't show . I planted them in my " nursery " about one foot apart and grafted in place the next year . I had some loss because birds try to sit on them and my dogs are doing their thing with other critters that are about . They stayed there until ready to transplant .
Yesterday I grafted 40 rootstock in the nursery that I didn't get to last year. (This happens when you buy considerable rootstock for grafting classes that you weren't really hoping to have to graft yourself!) These were quarter-inch caliper MM.111 last spring and had easily doubled in girth at "grafting height" being 6 to 8 inches above the ground. A whip and tongue union could have been done higher up the stem closer to 20 inches but instead I prefer to do a single bark graft closer to the ground. A single slit in the bark of the rootstock and the scion slips right in. This turns out to be fairly expedient as far as field grafting goes. The real benefit of "rootstock in the ground" is that the rooting aspect of recovery has already been achieved.

Summer budding "liners" (which are basically small caliper rootstock when planted in spring) supposedly results in one-year-old trees that next summer with better lateral branch development than traditional bench grafts, according to my friend Seth who grafts for Fedco Trees. Bench grafts in northern zones typically want two years in the nursery . . . so you will see lateral branch development on two-year-old trees. I've been meaning to do some budding just to get a comparison of the resulting tree from all three methods.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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