Friday, December 19, 2014

Budding Over Buds

I have been asked whether it's possible to insert a bud where the stock naturally grew one. Yes, it's possible, and it can work, but here is the potential issue...

I deliberately inserted this bud of the proposed "Real Bloomfield Abundance" over where I (hopefully!) thoroughly removed the buds from the piece of Pink Clouds. All of the Bloomfield Abundance buds have definitely taken, but this new shoot may actually be one of the Pink Clouds guard buds remaining in the stock after I attempted removing them. Had this been above or below the Bloomfield Abundance bud, I would know it was definitely a "sucker" from the Pink Clouds. 

All six of the Bloomfield Abundance buds are green and swelling, almost two months after being inserted into the stock. 
 But, because I inserted this one over where a stock bud grew, I'll just have to wait until it grows and possibly flowers before I will know for sure what this growth is. Having only seen what the proposed Real Bloomfield Abundance's foliage looks like on the cuttings these buds grew on, and not really remembering much about them due to the urgency I felt to get them budded, I can't tell yet which this is. 
If it is Pink Clouds, I have budded this one in a manner permitting a suckering issue which may cause the desired rose to fail. So, while, yes it IS possible to bud where the stock grew a bud, as I suspected, it probably isn't something you really WANT to do. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chip Budding

Chip budding is basically slicing upward through the bark to reveal the cambium, then sliding the bud up into the slice. As with T budding, the bud should be the same size or narrower, from a thinner gauge bud stick than the stock. You can easily bud something from a quarter inch thick bud stick to an inch thick stock, but not vice versa.
As with any budding or grafting, you need good cambium to cambium contact. As you know, cambium is the juicy green layer just beneath the bark or skin. It's the circulatory system of the plant. It's basically stem cells. It becomes whatever is needed depending upon what conditions it encounters. It's what calluses to become roots when provided darkness and dampness, as with wrapping cuttings. It becomes scar tissue to heal wounds if left exposed to air. When in contact with other cambium, it knits the two pieces together, forming new capillary action between them so the two pieces become one. If you push the prickles off a fresh flower stem and then observe the juicy, brighter green tissue exposed where the prickles were, that's cambium.
You want to make sure the buds have cambium and not pith behind them. A bit is acceptable and will work, but the more cambium tissue remaining on the bud, the faster and stronger the knit will be. Cambium won't grow to pith and vice versa, so the more wood behind the bud, the greater the chances of failure or of future breakage if the cane suffers trauma or wind stress.
If you practice slicing buds from canes you don't care about, you will quickly learn to see whether there is too much pith or not and how to more consistently remove the buds with the correct tissue behind them. The smaller bud has cambium; the larger has less cambium and more pith. Had I made the cut shallower for the larger bud, there would have been less pith and more cambium exposed.

If the brighter green rings around the perimeter of the shield make decent contact with the cambium of the stock, this bud may work, but the smaller one above has cambium across its interior surface, so its chances and speed will be greatly increased over the larger one.
An interesting side line..I've found it is possible to cleave the bud in half top to bottom, resulting in the bud knitting to the stock and growing, as well as the remaining tissue in the original plant growing a new cane. Of course this requires you to harvest the bud from a cane remaining on the original plant. I've done it so I didn't have to remove much wood from a smaller, struggling plant. It's almost like splitting a liver to transplant half of it to another person.
Once you've removed the bud or buds you wish to insert into the stock, you need to keep them moist until they are inserted. Mel Hulse, who used to be the volunteer coordinator for The San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, kept the bud on his tongue until he finished the slice to insert it into. I use either a shallow glass of water in which I put the bud stick to prevent it from drying, or a shallow jar lid with water in it. If you drop the bud into a glass or cup of water, you have to dig it out of deeper water which can be frustrating. If it's in a shallow lid or small pan of water, it's easier to remove from the water to insert into the stock. Both bud and scion can be thoroughly wet. It isn't so much water getting in to the slice in the stock as it is dirt and fungal or bacterial contamination from the soil that can cause failure.
You may either make the cut in the stock first then harvest the bud or buds, or vice versa. As long as the buds are kept moist, you can wait hours to insert them.
Ideally, you want to de bud your stocks before you root them. It's easier, faster and you'll be less likely to damage the inserted bud removing the buds from the stock. It may surprise you to discover how deeply you need to slice into the stock to remove not only all of the primary bud tissue, but also the guard buds (one on each side of the primary bud) so they don't later become suckers.
Making the cut. It may be easier to look at the photos than for me to explain them. Notice the brighter green, juicier rings around the perimeter of the cuts. That is what you want to see on the reverse of the buds and (ideally) across the surface of the cut. If you don't, then you want to match the cambium on the bud reverse to the ring of cambium around your cut edges. All it takes is one contact point for it to knit together and grow. The more contact, the faster it puts out growth and the stronger the joint, but like Brylcreem, "a little dab will do you."

Then, tie it in securely. I like the Parafilm products. You can find the Parafilm 1/2" wide budding tape very inexpensively on Ebay. They stretch, increasing the pressure holding the two plant pieces together. That reduces "bleeding" from the wound and allows for a stronger bond. Parafilm also adheres to itself so it doesn't have to be tied to remain where you wrapped it. I often even wrap across the bud itself, burying it under layers of Parafilm. The film deteriorates in the heat, water and Ultra Violet and will begin splitting as the plant thickens. Buds can actually grow through it so you don't have to remove it as the bud grows. Wrapping across the bud also helps prevent it from drying out until it knits to the stock, drawing moisture and nutrients from the stock.
You can see the film splitting in this shot.
When the stocks are vigorously growing, buds should knit to the stocks in roughly three to four weeks. The less actively they're growing, the longer it takes to knit together and increasing the chances of failure. Often, as long as more mature buds are used and the stocks are growing very vigorously, they will begin pushing new growh at three to four weeks after insertion. You can actually use fairly mature buds as long as they haven't literally begun unfurling leaves. The flatter the bud, the longer it will require to mature and begin growth.
After three to four weeks, as long as the buds are still green, they should have taken. You may choose to leave them alone until the following spring/summer if you're concerned they will be too soft to withstand the extremes your winter may give them if it's later in the year. You may do the traditional breaking the tops just above the bud so it remains attached, supposedly continuing to feed the stock and bud until the bud begins growth. Or, you may elect to sever the stock above the bud at the three to four week mark. The main issue I encountered was extreme bleeding from the cuts. I looked for the pruning stick I used to see in the nurseries, but could find none. I didn't want the spray asphalt as it would make a huge mess. I tried tying the Parafilm over the top like a bandage and it worked for a few of the weaker bleeders. I also tried Elmer's Glue, which must be applied either after the sun begins setting or before the sun hits the stocks, as when the sun isn't shining on them, they stop bleeding. Once the sun shines on the stocks, they bleed like mad. What finally worked best was dripping candle wax on the wounds before the sun shined on them so the dried wax would seal the capillaries. Some required several applications to finally fully seal the wounds. Don't worry if you drip wax on the buds. It isn't hot enough, nor enough of a "seal" to harm them. Once I stopped the sap loss, the increased pressure in the stocks began pushing buds like nobody's business!
If you have many of the same bud and want to conserve stocks, and if you've rooted longer pieces, you may insert many buds in each stock. You may also root a long whip of a rambler or climber and bud along the more horizontal surface of the longer whip. That will actually push growth faster for the same reason training climbing canes to a more horizontal direction will push lateral growth along the cane. The multiple buds growing on the same stock can be used to provide extra cuttings for own root propagation, or, if you allow enough room between them, once they have knit and begun growing, their first winter they may be separated and wrapped or otherwise treated as individual cuttings, producing individually budded, rooted plants.
 If you have a mist system set up, you can bud to unrooted stocks, then root them while the buds knit. Sequoia did that for mini standards all the time.
The first cane to grow from the inserted bud is the "maiden". When you read older rose books and they talk about the finest exhibition blooms are from "maidens", this is what they mean. I let them grow out and flower so they are mature when I cut them and so their foliage begins feeding the stock. You have to cut the maiden back pretty far, close to the stock, but leaving a bit of tissue there to potentially provide a few buds from that main cane. Cutting it back close to the stock encourages the guard buds to break into growth, producing the multi branched growth you look for when selecting a bare root. The "one cane wonder" bare roots are usually un cut maidens. Mistakenly, we tend to leave that original main cane so all future growth comes from it, when we SHOULD cut it back to an inch or so to encourage side branching from the guard buds.
See the main bud in the center and the two guard buds, one on either side? 

That's what you want to cut sufficiently deep to remove when you de bud the stocks to prevent suckers. There is enough growth material from all three buds remaining in this stock to produce suckers from all three. Plus, I removed enough material of all three to produce new growth once inserted into a stock. That goes back to splitting a liver above. And, this illustrates why simply cutting a sucker off results in the growth of two or more from that cut, and why they have to be ripped or dug from the stock.
This is one I left too long and it actually set out its own roots. 

You actually don't HAVE to leave the top flap on the cuts to insert the top of the shield under. It makes it easier, but it isn't absolutely necessary. If both the stock and shield (scion) have droplets of water on them, the water will act like glue, causing them to adhere to one another until you tie them in. 

Don't worry if your results look inelegant. With practice, your 'elegance' ability will significantly improve and it doesn't seem to make a bit of difference to the plants. I have quite a few where there is a lot of scar tissue, thickened cambium, between the bud and stock and they're growing and flowering just fine. Some are going to make Grade 1 budded plants fast. Others will make Grade 2 or 1.5 and take their time. Some of that depends upon the variety, some on the size and maturity of the buds used. Prevailing weather conditions probably play a role, too.
The most common causes for bud failure are:
Insufficient cambium layer on the back of the scion/too much pith
Mismatched cambium between the scion and wound in the stock
Buds drying out prior to insertion
Stocks drying out prior to the buds knitting
As long as you've gotten the stocks growing vigorously, keep them well watered for the next month or a bit longer to keep that sap flowing freely so the buds knit and start growing ASAP. They don't require "full sun" and may even perform better in fewer hours than they normally might in your climate. In the "garden" mine would usually receive six to eight hours of sun. In the front walled garden, they receive only three to four hours of direct sun, with strong, indirect light the remainder of the day. Budding works almost flawlessly in front and fails out back.
If you really catch the bug for budding, you can raise your own rose seedlings, root pieces from the more vigorous types then bud to them as they would be RMV free and could provide you with a steady source of root stocks. Or, you can plant a mother plant of the type you wish to use and continue rooting pieces of it for each stock you desire. I hope you have an outlet for the extra budded plants you will probably generate. If you're already pretty tapped for room, get ready! You're very likely going to need to start some new rose friendships to take care of your "excess"!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Announcing the 2014 pollination results

I knew I had to control myself, or there would be FAR too many seeds to make room for, so I stopped pollinating about the first of August. I figured that way, I could make sure all the hips would ripen prior to the squirrels and rats feasting on them and it would (hopefully) limit the quantity of seeds. It almost worked...
It's now November 11 and all but six hips have been harvested, cleaned and stored. There are still way too many crosses and hips, but that's all part of the fun, isn't it?
To help in selecting potential seedlings to grow on further, I've separated them into a few categories so when they flower, I hope to be able to remember why I made the cross and use that memory in evaluating the results.

This is what I accomplished this summer of seemingly endless extremes in sun, heat and lack of water. Considering all the plants endured, the results are probably pretty good. 

I had the fun of using quite a few of my own roses in these crosses as well as three of Jim Sproul's and two of Robert Rippetoe's. L56-1 is a very healthy, very fertile, single, saturated red "mini" containing Jim's Thrive!. M37-1 and O117-5 are two of Jim's unreleased Hulthemia seedlings. Carlin's Rhythm X China Doll is a large flowered, single pink floribunda Robert sent me some years ago. Due to the extreme conditions this summer hit us with, both M37-1 and Carlin's Rhythm X China Doll are gone. Fortunately, they did provide some seeds, which, hopefully, will germinate. 

(L56-1 X Indian Love Call) X Dawn Crest
X (First Impression X April Mooncrest)
M37-1 X Dawn Crest
X April Mooncrest
(Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest) X 4N07
X Dawn Crest
L56-1 X April Mooncrest
X Dawn Crest
First Impression X Dawn Crest
X April Mooncrest
(First Impression X April Mooncrest) X Self
X Front Page
X 4N07
X Lost Tag
X Miracle on the Hudson
X Lynnie
X Grandmother's Hat
X Blue Curiosa
X (Pretty Lady X Lynnie) 
X (Cal Poly x April Mooncrest)
X (IHTXLB X Pookah)
X Singing in the Rain
X (April Mooncrest X Joyberry)
Singing in the Rain X Dawn Crest
X (First Impression X April Mooncrest)
Art Nouveau X 4N07
X Dawn Crest
April Mooncrest  X Fire'n'Spice
(Too Cute X Verdun) X Dawn Crest
(First Impression X ?) X Eyes for You
Tournament of Roses X Eyes for You
Singing in the Rain X Eyes for You
Art Nouveau X Eyes for You
(L56-1 X Indian Love Call) X Eyes for You
Prairie Lass X Persian Sunset
IHTXLB X Persian Sunset
Blue for You X Persian Sunset
(First Impression X April Mooncrest) X Eyes for You
(Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest) X Eyes for You
Carlin's Rhythn X Eyes for You
First Impression X Eyes for You
X Persian Sunset
O117-5 X Grey Pearl
X Rayon Butterfed
L56-1 X Eyeconic Lemonade
X M37-1
Lynnie X Persian Sunset
Eyes for You X Singing in the Rain
X (Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest)
X (First Impression X April Mooncrest)
M37-1 X (Pretty Lady X Gina's Rose)
X Renae
X Rayon Butterfed
82-03-02 X R. Roxburghii
X R. Minutifolia
(First Impression X April Mooncrest)  X Banksiae lutescens
First Impression X 86=3
X 1-72-1Hugonis
Mrs. Charles Bell X 1-72-1Hugonis
Carlin's Rhythm X Dr. E.M. Mills
Art Nouveau X R. Minutifolia
Golden Horizon X 86-3
X R. Minutifolia
42-03-02 X Banksiae lutescens
Pretty Lady X R. Minutifolia
(L56-1 X Indian Love Call) X R. Minutifolia
X Banksiae lutescens
Ping Dong Yue Ji X Banksiae lutescens
X R. Minutifolia
Torch of Liberty  X Banksiae lutescens
(Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest) X Banksiae lutescens
X 86-3
(Art Nouveau X Blue for You) X Banksiae lutescens
Raspberry Kiss  X 1-72-1Hugonis
Pink Petticoat X (Clinophylla X Bracteata)
(L56-1 X 1-72-1Hugonis) (repeat) X Self
Tom Brown X R Minutifolia
X 1-72-1Hugonis
IHTXLB X R. Roxburghii
1-72-1Hugonix X Self
X Grandmother's Hat
X Joyberry
(DLFED 3 X Midnight Blue) X Self
? X 1-72-1Hugonis
Maytime X Banksiae lutescens
Blue for You X Banksiae lutescens
X R. Minutifolia
X 86-3
X 1-72-1Hugonis
Lynnie X R. Roxburghii
X 86-3
X (L56-1 X 1-72-1Hugonis)
X R. Minutifolia
X 1-72-1Hugonis
L56-1 X 1-72-1Hugonis
X 86-3
X Banksiae lutescens
X (Clinophylla X Bracteata)
X Puzzlement
X R. Minutifolia
Banksiae lutescens X (Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest)
X First Impression
X 1-72-1Hugonis
X Blue for You
X Lynnie
M37-1 X 1-72-1Hugonis
X 86-3
X (Clinophylla X Bracteata)
O117-5 X 1-72-1Hugonis
X Banksiae lutescens
L56-1 X Mutabilis
X Crestline Mulberry
X (April Mooncrest X Pookah)
X Manhattan Blue
X Basye's Legacy
X 0-47-19
X Burgundy Iceberg
X (Art Nouveau X Blue for You)
X Mystic Ruffles
X Passion Ruffles
X "Loan" SJHRG hybrid multiflora
X Fire'n'Spice
X MORjerry
X Renae
X Grandmother's Hat
X (Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest)
Crestline Mulberry X Fire'n'Spice
Quinceanera X Self
(First Impression X ?) X Self
Indian Love Call  X Joyberry
Ping Dong Yue Ji  X Mutabilis
Art Nouveau X Tom Brown
Blue for You  X Rayon Butterfed
(Pretty Lady X Maytime) X ?
Rosarium Uetersen X Self
Halo Glory X Magic Wand
Prairie Peace X Self
? X MORjerry
Singing in the Rain X IHTXLB
X Passion Ruffles
Renae X Basye's Legacy
X Mutabilis
Tom Brown X Crestline Mulberry
X Art Nouveau
X (Carlin's Rhythm X China Doll)
First Impression  X Gina's Rose
X Crestline Mulberry
X (Art Nouveau X Blue for You)
X Mutabilis
X Art Nouveau
X (Pretty Lady X Gina's Rose)
X Fire'n'Spice
Pink Petticoat X Mutabilis
X (Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest)
X Fire'n'Spice
X Mutabilis
X Pretty Lady
X (Art Nouveau X April Mooncrest)
(IHTXLB X Pookah) X Self
(L56-1 X Indian Love Call)  X Mutabilis
X Art Nouveau
X Carlin's Rhythm
X Manhattan Blue
X Gina's Rose
X (IHTXLB X Secret Garden)
X Self

Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Been A Good Year For Budding!

I consciously rooted both long and short root stock pieces of Virus Indexed IXL, Virus Indexed Fortuniana, Cardinal Hume and Pink Clouds last year and this, using the "Burrito Method" detailed here in earlier posts. I intended to create patio standards of polyanthas and some of my seedlings using the longer whips of the IXL and Cardinal Hume. A few of these have been budded this summer, but several have been used to maximize my chances of success budding varieties I wanted to make sure I succeeded in adding to my breeding stable. I inserted up to fifteen buds of the same variety on a long whip in hopes several would take. It has worked! The goal wasn't to create a garden plant from the longer whip, but to establish the variety and generate more propagation material from the initial buds. Once they are well grown, I also intend to cut the longer whips apart and attempt rooting them with the scions already successfully budded to each shorter piece of root stock. 

I decided to only use The Chip Budding Method Burling Leong of Burlington Roses uses as it is the fastest and easiest budding/grafting method I've seen. It has been remarkably successful this summer! Several varieties were budded on both Pink Clouds as well as the Fortuniana so I can plant them near each other and compare their performance. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the more dramatic results here. So, here goes!

This is a crested seedling a fellow member of the Rose Hybriders Association raised from Tournament of Roses and Crested Jewel. This was budded to both Fortuniana and Pink Clouds on June 4, 2014.

This is the Fortuniana plant. 

It expresses a significant amount of cresting which I hope to mine for further breeding.

The same crested seedling also budded on June 4 to Pink Clouds.
I realized in the twenty-one years of her life, I'd never attempted to bud Annie Laurie McDowell, a failure I needed to remedy. Annie Laurie McDowell, budded on June 16 to Pink Clouds.

Annie Laurie McDowell budded on June 16 to Fortuniana. 
Ironically, the foliage of the young, budded plants aren't quite as deep green as the own roots. Perhaps the extra push the stocks provide requires heavier feeding than the own roots demand?

Not all pushed as quickly, as this Annie Laurie McDowell bud on Pink Clouds, also from June 16, demonstrates.
 This Annie Laurie McDowell on Pink Clouds wasted no time in pushing. 

 I also tried buds in several different stages of development to determine how they might react. This is a quite immature bud of Annie Laurie McDowell on Pink Clouds from June 16. It has successfully knit to the stock, but will require more time to mature before it begins to swell and grow. 
 A more mature, slightly swollen bud of Annie Laurie McDowell wasted no time developing on Pink Clouds. (June 16)
 C04, a crested Moore hybrid, which isn't a very vigorous growing plant, budded to Pink Clouds on April 28. I didn't head the stock back until just a few weeks ago, worrying perhaps the buds may not have knit, but they all took and are now pushing growth. Many of the stocks healed themselves and stopped "bleeding", but several refused. I attempted sealing them with Elmer's Glue, which did work on a few, but those which pushed high sap pressure, dissolved the glue and continued weeping. A few drops of wax from a cool melt candle, not hot enough to damage the plant nor burn my fingers which I accidentally dripped the melted wax on them, took care of the problem on all but two or three. More wax is obviously required to seal the wounds from the tops being removed above the buds. 

 Golden Angel X CA Nana is a Moore species hybrid I wanted to test as a budded plant. Several buds were inserted in this longer IXL whip. It seems all have taken but this one really took off! This is the growth since the buds were inserted on June 19! This flowering branch would be called a "maiden" if it was the single bud grafted to the stock. To produce the branched bare root we're all used to, this initial stem would be pruned back to encourage the two guard buds (one on each side of the primary bud) to begin growing, producing the branches we expect to find. 

Centre Stage is an extremely prickly, crawling, creeping "shrub", I thought might make an interesting shorter weeping standard. Here are it buds on a three foot Cardinal Hume whip, budded on June 17.

 A dear friend had lost her Noisette, Cinderella to gophers. I knew one person who still grows the variety, so I begged some bud wood year before last and created a budded plant for my friend, which I delivered to her last month. She felt quite a bit of pressure knowing there weren't any back-up plants in case something happened to the one I propagated for her. I budded five Cinderella buds to this IXL whip on July 8. All five have succeeded with three already pushing growth. 

 Not all the insertions are as elegant as some and not all are as eager to grow, but at least they are alive. This is Climbing Columbia, inserted into Pink Clouds on June 14.

I promised another friend I would try budding Eugene de Beauharnais to Fortuniana for her. That can take a while! First, the stock has to be rooted, then the budding occurs. It's already been over a year since I made the promise. I hope to be able to pass the plant on to her later this year. This was budded on June 19. You may notice I inserted two buds into this stock. If only one had taken, the plant would be fine. Since two succeeded, it should become fuller, faster, or I could cut them apart this winter/spring and try rooting the top bud individually. 

Eyes for You budded to Pink Clouds on June 7. This wasted NO time in pushing new growth! I wanted to bud Eyes for You on Fortuniana, but I was limited by the gauge, the thickness of the material I had to use for stocks. You can put a smaller (narrower) bud on a thicker stock, but not vice versa. I had pieces of Pink Clouds greater than thumb thickness while Fortuniana failed to generate anything thicker than a # 2 pencil. 
My final budded Grey Pearl has threatened to commit suicide for the past two years, so I figured it was now or never. This is Grey Pearl budded to Fortuniana on June 7.

And to Pink Clouds on the same date. 
 Lilac Charm grows OK own root, but nothing to write home about. Here is a double budded Lilac Charm on Pink Clouds, budded on June 16.

 Manhattan Blue is one of several varieties of bud wood I received later this summer. Several buds were inserted into this IXL whip on July 1. Nearly all are already pushing!
 MORcrest is the first of Ralph Moore's crested breeding roses. It is not a strong plant own root. The plant from which this is budded is own root and hasn't put out more than two inches of growth per year the past several years. It had one flower on it this year. The multiple buds inserted into this stock were budded on June 17. There is far more growth from these two buds than from the entire own root plant in the past two years. No exaggeration! 

 MORsoul is a Soulieana x mini cross Ralph Moore created and never released. Its other name is String of Pearls. It grows like a ground cover, making it another interesting candidate for a shorter weeping standard. This is about a three foot whip of Cardinal Hume into which several buds of MORsoul were inserted on June 20.

Moser Striped is the possible Rainbow, the striped sport of Papa Gontier, though a more vigorous version, from The Sacramento Cemetery. I'm not happy with its meager growth as an own root plant in my conditions. This is the more vigorously growing budded plant on Pink Clouds, budded on June 14. Particularly for standards and weaker growing types, using multiple buds can more quickly result in a fuller plant. And, should one not make it, can save the stock and prevent having to attempt re budding it. I only put the same variety on the stock used for it previously if I have to attempt re budding. The chances are many of these roses are already virus infected. By only using the same variety on the stock upon which it was previously budded, I don't run the risk of passing any potential virus infections around. 

I've tried rooting R. Primula before, unsuccessfully, but the multiple buds I inserted into this IXL whip on June 19 have all succeeded with four already pushing new growth. 
My own root Tom Brown has generated almost six inches of growth and put out six flowers this year. I hope these buds on Pink Clouds from June 7 will perform significantly better!

 Yann Arthus-Bertrand, another variety I obtained this summer, also with multiple buds inserted into a longer IXL whip on July 1 and beginning to push. 
There are quite a few more which were budded three weeks later, I'm waiting to see perform, as well as many from earlier budding that are green but not doing much yet. 

The "tricks" have been keeping the stocks well watered so they keep pushing a strong, steady flow of sap and making sure to match at least one point of cambium on the bud to that on the stock. Out of a bit over 140 buds since June, only 17 have absolutely failed. That's an almost 88% success rate at this point. Not bad for being rusty at budding and the weather extremes and severe drought we're experiencing. I can vouch for Chip Budding being the easiest, fastest method of grafting I've ever encountered! If you've been considering trying budding, start rooting your stocks now so when summer hits next year, you are all set. It's much easier than you think!