Bud Wood Selection

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During the contract tree production process, TreeLogic uses either dormant or actively growing graft or bud wood for tree propagation.  In some cases, TreeLogic provides quality wood from documented sources for varieties it is licensed to grow.  On other occasions, TreeLogic relies on the customer to supply graft or bud wood for the propagation process associated with their tree order.

Locating, selecting, and properly processing quality graft or bud wood demands extreme attention to detail!

Dormant or Actively Growing

Some trees are dormant grafted during the winter season prior to lining out in the spring and other trees are budded in the nursery row during late summer (August).  The tree type you ordered will determine whether dormant or active wood is to be used.

Quality Selection

Graft and bud wood selection offers the single greatest opportunity to boost fruit uniformity, quality, and profit.  Pay attention!  Therefore, both dormant and actively growing graft or bud selection requires that the one cutting it applies sound technique.

To secure dormant wood…mature trees being used to cut graft sticks from must be assessed for fruit uniformity and quality during the prior growing season when fruit was present on the tree.  Only those parent trees exhibiting the most desirable fruit and tree growth characteristics should be chosen and marked for dormant graft wood source material.  Graft wood caliper is determined by the size of rootstock one has ordered for grafting.

To secure actively growing bud wood sticks…only scions visibly free from disease and insects growing in full light near tree perimeter or top should be selected.  Do not use shaded less-mature inner tree growth.  Likewise, extreme care should be exercised to select bud sticks past visible fruit of desirable size and quality to avoid potential reversions.  Stick caliper should average pencil size and larger with a minor percentage smaller than a pencil.  One can adjust size based on plants being budded.

Wood Preparation & Storage

Dormant grafting wood…should be harvested after full dormancy is achieved, but before  severe winter temperatures are experienced in an effort to avoid collecting damaged material.  Cut each stick of the desired caliper full length from the parent tree leaving the terminal bud intact if possible.  Then, tie in bundles of 50 to 100 scion wood sticks depending on caliper.  Once cut and bundled…store horizontally in bins between layers of moist decomposed sawdust or shavings in a storage held between 33 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  Monitor media moisture levels regularly and water as needed.

Actively growing bud wood…sticks should be harvested after August first when buds are fully formed and mature.  Active bud sticks should be cut a maximum of 18 inches long for ease of handling by the budder.  As bud sticks are collected from parent trees, they are then taken to the warehouse with leaves on for a trimming crew to clip foliage off leaving a half inch long stem intact.  Once the sticks have been cut, trimmed, and prepared…they should be tied in bundles of 50 to 75, wrapped in moist burlap, and be promptly refrigerated to between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit until used.  For best results, cut fresh wood every day in a quantity close to need.  Do not use bud wood more than 2 or 3 days beyond collection date.


All graft or bud wood should be refrigerated and protected during transport between acquisition source and destination for best results.

Final Preparation

Upon receipt of wood and just prior to use…the nursery will grade and size dormant wood to match rootstock.  Actively growing bud wood sticks will be graded for quality and then be trimmed to final leaf stem length for accommodating either tee or chip budding.


If you have questions regarding the quality selection, preparation, storage, or transport of dormant graft or actively growing bud wood…contact TreeLogic today!


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