Thursday, March 10, 2016

Buddy Tape vs Parafilm

Ever wonder about Buddy Tape as compared to Parafilm for grafting scions? Probably not, since it's kinda lame and probably the last thing anyone ever thinks about.

Except for this guy. =)

Buddy Tape:
Save time and labor costs! The best characteristics of rubber strips, nylon tape, wax and paraffin! Buds and grafts succeed at a high rate. The secret is its elasticity, a gentle stretch makes it self-adhesive. Seals the bud or graft tightly. Keeps the bud moist and secure while allowing air to permeate the wound. Permits a young, healthy bud to emerge through the tape. No need to remove by hand: biodegradable in sunlight. Works well in cold or hot weather. Recommended for: deciduous fruit and nut trees, roses, grapevines, citrus fruit trees, coniferous evergreens, ornamental trees, deciduous shade trees, and bonsai trees. 571 perforated 25 mm tape strips per roll; each measures 151 x 2 3/4" (unstretched), to create up to 1,142 tyings. Fast and easy for both T and chip buddings! 

This tape is mainly used for nursery grafting.*** Parafilm® Grafting Tape is Manufactured by Original Parafilm® M Manufacturer and is an economical plant grafting solution that is easy-to-use, and makes nursery grafting and/or budding efforts efficient for various grafters (nursery, landscapers, and home gardeners). Parafilm® Grafting Tape is Waterproof, Flexible, Stretchable, and Self-Adhering. Its Breathable properties allows gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc. to pass through, and as such offers an excellent breathable moisture barrier. The combination is perfect for grafting which requires a barrier to keep moisture in while allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through. Parafilm® Grafting Tape is not suitable for Laboratory use or in Areas where Temperatures exceed 54°C (130°F)

This video shows the bud of my Black Madeira breaking through the Parafilm tape. Relatively easily after about 3 weeks.

Buddy Tape Parafilm
Cost $40 $8
Durability (5 Being Best) 4 4
Ease of use  (5 Being Best) 4 4
Stretchiness  (5 Being Best) 4 3
Length 90ft 90ft

Yesterday, I used buddy tape on my Ponte Tresa graft. It's perforated into pieces for easy tearing and has a softer feel in the hand compared to parafilm. Like Parafilm you have to develop a feel for the how far you can stretch the tape without tearing it. To be honest, I thought buddy tape was going to have superior stretching ability but it was just marginally better.

I also see the precut pieces as negative vs a positive because they are only 4 inches pieces and I found myself using atleast 4 pieces to do one graft. Perhaps with time I can make one piece go further but even still I wish they were longer precut pieces. With the Parafilm I cut one long piece and I'm good to go.

So is it worth it to buy buddy tape that is almost 4 times the cost? NOPE. I'll stick with Parafilm at 1/4 the price you can buy 4 rolls.

I'll probably do an update to this to test which tape is better at allowing buds to break through it.

Update: 05/16/16

This is the buddy tape in action.You can see where the new branch has broken through the tape and it's begun to peal off of the trunk of the plant. There's very little risk of girdling as the plant gets older and larger.

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