Persimmon grafting - How far can you stretch the envelope?


Active Member
I've had erratic success over the years, grafting my native persimmons. I'm a slow learner - and I've found that the longer I delay grafting - going deeper into springtime, the better results I get. My question is, what would you guess is the latest that I could graft (as measured by leaf growth) and still expect success?
Can you wait until the natural leaves are fully emerged? What are the risks with late grafting? - insufficient time to get a good union before autumn dormancy?
My answer to that would be "no". I have a little success with Grafting pears but have failed more often. My most recent failure was on four trees in pretty much the scenario as you describe.
My success came in March couple years back. My neighbors tree was just showing spring life. I cut scions and bark grafted them directly the same day. Some scions that I wrapped and put in frig did not work.

But I keep trying because on one tree I got pears in two years after Grafting

I've done a lot of bark grafting of persimmons. The sap needs to be running good when you bark graft. In my area, zone 7a, May 10th is a pretty good target date. That varies year to year based on weather and such. I'm guessing there are a lot of factors that go into the chances of success. I'm guessing your location may play a role. Hot weather and drought are risks, I'm sure. You can take some precautions like using aluminum foil to shade the graft from the sun. You can use parafilm-M to wrap the scions to help prevent them from drying out. When the sap is running well during spring green-up, the bark peals back easily. I don't think lack of time to form a union is the biggest issue. Keep in mind that the green growth needs time to harden before winter.

I would guess, the longer you wait, the lower your success rates would be. I think once we get much into June, success rates would drop in my area.
Your own results are showing you that waiting a little longer is giving you more success, so I would go with what is working best for you in your location. My thoughts are that you could wait until the leaves are completely out, but I wouldn't go much longer than that due to the hardening off issue. The biggest risk is the drying out of the scion before it can push leaves. As already mentioned, you could shade it and/or take other precautions to prevent that from happening.

PS - This year we had a late frost when persimmon leaves were about 3/4 out. It completely killed all of the persimmon leaves but didn't hurt other species like apples and pears that were already leaved out and hardened. Our persimmons are making new leaves right not, and I didn't see any today that were completely out.

My only other suggestion would be to use larger diameter scions if you are pushing the envelope on time. It seems to me that the larger ones would be less prone to drying out quickly in the increased summer heat. Good luck.
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i just did my first bark graft two weeks ago and don't have any buds yet. how long does it typically take and by what point will it be assumed to be a failure
i just did my first bark graft two weeks ago and don't have any buds yet. how long does it typically take and by what point will it be assumed to be a failure
Generally you will get buds within 2-3 weeks, but I had two trees that I did this year that took 28 days before I saw a bud.