Central Coast Chapter CRFG

Annual Scion Exchange and Grafting Party

Scion exchange attendees in a large room looking at bags of scions
2018 Scion Exchange attendees perusing a wide variety of scion wood. Photo by Joe Sabol.

This is our Chapter's biggest single event, free to members of our chapter and the public. Held on the third Saturday of February, it takes place at the Crops Unit, a large building on the Cal Poly campus. People are invited to take scions to graft to their own fruit trees and to bring scions for the exchange.

Rain does NOT cancel this event!

At the scion exchange you will find rows of tables laden with bags of scion wood from a wide variety of trees. At 1:30 pm the doors open and people enter to peruse the tables for scion wood they want to graft to their own fruit trees.

This excellent article by CRFG Central Coast member Rachel Duchak will give you a feel for what a scion exchange is like.

Scion exchange attendees in a large room looking through bags of scions
Scion Exchange photo by Ron Blakey

What Should I Bring to the Scion Exchange?

While some of these items may be provided at the scion exchange, bring your own and save time by not having to search or wait for hundreds of people to finish using them:

  • Ziplock baggies, with one moist paper towel in each.
    You'll wrap the paper towel around the base of your scion(s). You'll put the baggie in the refrigerator (not the freezer!) when you get home until you're ready to graft your scions.
  • Your own Sharpie pen: to label your scions and baggies
  • Masking or painter's tape: to wrap around scions for labeling

This detailed video by by John Valenzuela, a member of the CRFG Golden Gate chapter, will give you an idea of what to expect from a scion exchange: CRFG Scion Exchange What to Bring.

Sample scion bag label including lines for kind of fruit, varietal, description, grow location and 
		                 chill hours, and original source.
Sample scion bag label. You can print your own sheets of these labels on Avery label #8164, or cut and tape them to your bags.

I Have Scion Wood I'd Like to Contribute to the Scion Exchange!

CRFG members and guests are invited to bring scions from unusual or lesser-known varieties of trees. Note: it is a good idea to clip the top of the scion at a 45 degree angle to distinguish it from the bottom.

Please label your bags of scion wood. You can print these labels and tape them to your bags, or print them on Avery label #8164. Write the specific varietal: scions of unknown/unmarked varietal will not be accepted. Please also include the variety's chill hours and whether or not the variety is self-pollinating, if you know that information.
Please arrive at 1 p.m. to donate your scions to the exchange. By donating, you will also be among the first to choose scions.

This video explains how to select and cut scion wood:
CRFG Scion Exchange Collecting Scions

This flyer from the Golden Gate chapter explains when to cut scions from certain varieties and how long the scions will last:
Collecting and Grafting Evergreen Scionwood

"How to Collect and Save Scion or Bud Wood.pdf," is a helpful instruction sheet created by Tom Del Hotal (CRFG San Diego chapter). Please note his strong emphasis on checking the dormant buds!

What Not To Bring:

Two grafters smiling over a newly grafted tree; and the same tree later, in bloom.
We all laughed when this little apple tree was grafted with four scions... but the tree had the last laugh when all scions grew!

I Could Use Some Instruction on Grafting Scions!

We have a different guest speaker each year to help improve our grafting skills. In addition, several members have volunteered to demonstrate their favorite grafting techniques at the Scion Exchange. One grafter will be working specifically with avocado. Grafting demonstrations start at 1 p.m., so be sure to take advantage of this while you are waiting for the doors to open! These demonstrations will go on all afternoon and are free.

Marv Daniels grafting a scion to rootstock
Marv Daniels
CRFG Member since 1994.
Grafting since 1999.
Favorite Graft: cleft, side graft and using the omega grafting tool.
Art DeKleine demonstrating how to cut the bottom of a scion
Art DeKleine
CRFG Member since TBD.
Grafting since TBD.
Favorite Graft: TBD.

Roger Eberhardt grafting a scion to rootstock
Roger Eberhardt
CRFG Member since TBD.
Grafting since TBD.
Favorite Graft: TBD.

Pat Moudakis grafting a scion to rootstock
Pat Moudakis
CRFG Member since 2012.
Grafting since 2013.
Favorite Graft: cleft.

Dick Pottratz grafting a scion to rootstock
Dick Pottratz
CRFG Member 20+ years.
Grafting 30+ years.
Favorite Graft: whip an tongue.

Craig Righetti demonstrates grafting avocado to attendees
Craig Righetti
CRFG Member since TBD.
Grafting since TBD.
Favorite Graft: TBD.
Main interest: avocados.

Robert Scott: "I have learned that the right time to graft sub-tropical and tropicals is when the mother plant is pushing new growth and bud wood has small growth buds showing in general!"

Roger Eberhardt: "I like to put 2 scions on thick root stock or branches, same or different varieties to optimize success and opportunities."

Marv Daniels: "Line up the cambiums." (Novices: the cambium is the growing plant tissue between the wood and the bark.)

What Supplies Will Be On Sale?

The store opens at 1 p.m.
We sell grafting tape, grafting "goop," grafting knives, and rootstock to members and guests at this meeting. Green garden tape (ribbon), tree seal (black and yellow!! Doc Farwell tree seal!!!) and pheromone loops for control of the apple worm will be on sale.


We will also be selling budding tape (aka "Buddy tape") and budding rubbers for those who would like to try budding (where a bud is taken from one plant and grown on another).

Joe Sabol's comments on budding: "Rubber strips are used in budding. Buddy tape is used in budding. I like the rubber strip to wrap a bud tight. Then, as an added insurance for success, wrap with Buddy tape to keep the bud union moist and happy. I know of NO ONE who would use both. Most folk would laugh at wasting time and effort to use both. I think the extra effort and "double wrap" will help those of us who are still looking for 100% success with budding!!!"

Join Our "CRFG Central Coast Scion Exchange" Google Group

Our Scion Exchange Google Group allows people to request scion varieties they'd like to obtain, and for others to offer these scions if they have them available. Donors and recipients can meet up at our Annual Scion Exchange meeting (third Saturday in February). Please remember: no citrus or patented varieties!