Chip Budding Questions

I have some background knowledge (and supplies) from years of grafting apples and chestnuts, and am hoping to transfer these into chip budding of roses, something that I’ve not previously tried. I have a couple questions that perhaps forum members can shed light on:

  1. What is the appropriate window of time for chip budding? I had previously thought that it was at bud swell, perhaps about early spring. But I’ve recently heard that chip budding can be done at any time of the year, and heard at least one account of it being done when roses are fully dormant. Is this so?
  2. Is one able to chip bud onto cuttings of easily-rooted types, thus merging the rootstock cutting and scion budding steps into one?

This is something that I have wanted to gain experience in anyway, but it is more urgently on my mind because of a rose that has quite a bit of sentimental value to my wife. The rose was owned by her paternal grandmother, and the rose suffered a rough (very rushed) transplant when we (my wife and I) visited the home for a last time before it was sold. The rose has done poorly since, and in spite of our efforts at winter protection it will probably do poorly this winter as well. I have considered budding it now (December) onto cuttings of something like ‘Pink Clouds’, storing the budded cuttings in the refrigerator over winter, and sticking them in the cuttings bed in the spring. Any input from those more experienced with budding would be appreciated.


Hi Matt!

Those are great questions. Grafting/budding/chip budding interestingly was the topic today for the Plant Propagation class I teach. We talked about T budding and chip budding and the advantage of chip budding since it can be done over a much wider time period. The bark does not need to be “slipping”. The reason is that with careful cuts one can match up the vascular cambium around the whole perimeter of the chip for it to have close contact and heal strongly with the rootstock. The vascular cambium of the rootstock for chip budding doesn’t need to be in as strong of active growth like for T budding with the need for the bark to “slip” to insert the bud. The vascular cambium of the bud shield and the flaps of the rootstock in T budding are relatively close, but typically not in full direct contact and a little callus needs to form for them to heal together. T budding is faster and doesn’t take the same level of detail/care to do, but compared to a well done chip bud, it takes longer to heal really well and be as firmly connected.

This past summer I received a limited amount of propagation material from a friend and did some whip and tongue grafts and a chip bud throughout the canopy of a R. multiflora I had in a pot. They all took thankfully and I am able to get some good cuttings from the material now to continue to propagate it. Late this fall I got cuttings of ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and Burr multiflora from Foundation Plant Services. We need RD for a black spot experiment. I did some stents (cutting and graft at the same time) to try to hedge my bets if the cuttings of RD didn’t root. The leaves were falling off a bit with it being late in the season when I got the cuttings. Attached is a picture last week of the cuttings of both roses just by themselves and some stents of RD on top of Burr multiflora using a whip and tongue graft (you can see the parafilm wrapped around the graft). There is a lot of great new red tinted growth of the RD scions now. Roots are coming out of the bottom of the pots and I’ll gradually reduce the humidity and grow them on. It looks like most of the ungrafted cuttings are rooting too thankfully.

I love your idea of trying to chip bud and grow out your stents as cuttings.
cuttings of Razzle Dazzle and grafts onto Burr multiflora two.JPG

Hi Matt, some other observations you may find useful…Burling Leong of Burlington Roses, propagated (among MANY other functions) for Sequoia Nursery for nearly four decades. Mr. Moore created a rose he called Pink Clouds and released it in 1957 as competition for Ragged Robin (Gloire des Rosomanes) which was then being advertised and sold as “rose hedges” (pre Simplicity). He determined it made a very valuable root stock and was used by the thousands as the mini standard stock at Sequoia for half a century. Burling has used it as her “go to” stock for everything for nearly that long now. It is a cross of Oakington Ruby X Multiflora. She prefers it because in Visalia, CA, it remains in condition for budding most of the year. It roots EXTREMELY easily and, something I observed, multiflora types appear to have significantly thicker cambium tissue, allowing for budding success with MUCH less skill, practice and precision than most other types. I have successfully T and Chip budded on Huey, Pink Clouds, multiflora, IXL, De la Grifferaie, Cardinal Hume, Ragged Robin and many of my own seedlings. The EASIEST, most fool proof of them all has been Pink Clouds. I have Grey Pearl budded on both VI Fortuniana and Pink Clouds (which is also VI as Dr. Malcolm Manners at Florida Southern College tested it) and the Pink Clouds plant actually grows and flowers more in my coastal, Central California climate.

As David demonstrated, budding and rooting may be simultaneously accomplished. Sequoia did it by the thousands under mist. David has shown it is also possible using what he’s pictured above. I’m not sure of your climate, but if you’re in at least zone 7 and interested in Pink Clouds, it roots EXTREMELY easily. It is “virus free” and cuttings are easily available. Burling has also produced regular sized standards up to 5’ tall (weepers) using Pink Clouds for the trunks.

I cannot vouch for it as I have not succumbed and purchased it, but I shared this as an intriguing tool here before. (I have seen one review critical of plastic handles which broke for them. I gather that reviewer was trying some larger woody stuff, but don’t know.) They have a 15% off coupon deal going now, evidently.

I have trouble keeping all the techniques and terms apart, but NC State has a pretty thorough page on the subject:

Or, a single edged razor blade also works splendidly. When it gets dull, you toss it. If you’re concerned about transmitting diseases between plants, use it for one variety then toss it. I have several “budding knives” (somewhere) and none of them have been as easily handled nor as sharp as the blades. And, I have NEVER cut myself with one, either.