In addition to saving money on plants, knowing how to graft can help you utilize the space on your property in a more efficient manner by allowing you to place two or more varieties on a single tree. Sometimes this is done to add a pollination partner, but other times it is done to add varieties that ripen at different times of the year. It can also be used to replace a subpar variety on a well-established tree, and it can give you the option to use a rootstock that is more compatible with your soil or climate than what would otherwise be available.
Skillcult provides a good amount of information about grafting in his series. In fact, this may be the best one on the subject that is currently available, but I believe there are a few parts that could use some improvement, and while I plan to say a few things about it, I would like to share some of my own experiences as well. First off, I don’t know what his opinion about parafilm is now. Most of the videos within this series were made in 2017, but it became clear in one of them that he wasn't familiar with it up until then. I consider this to be relevant because grafting parafilm is a very common material used for wrapping the scionwood, since UV light causes it to degrade fast enough that it will not girdle the wood; therefore, it does not need to be manually removed in a timely manner.

While I can see his recommendations being quite useful or even necessary under certain situations, such as a need to make tighter wraps around thick branches or on species that would appreciate the extra help, strips of heavy plastic, which he seemed to prefer, really looks like a highly inconvenient material to use. Most people appear to use the more expensive variations of parafilm, but when they do feel the need to make a tighter wrap around the graft union, electrical tape (which Skillcult does mention) or a material that is equivalent to a thick rubber band is often used instead.

Personally, I am not too experienced with these kinds of alternatives. I have almost exclusively relied on parafilm, but I often fold it in half or twist it like a rope partially through to make a tighter wrap around the graft union. I think this method is suffice, but I won’t really know until I spend more time experimenting with stronger material, considering that there are some species that I struggle with – like peach, apricot, and mulberry. However, I suspect much of that is both storage and climate related, since peach and apricot grafts are believed to be fairly reliant on heat and my climate is relatively cold during the most appropriate time to graft compared to what most people experience in the United States.

There are a couple of different kinds of "high quality" parafilm that you can use, and I have tried a few of them. Regardless, it is difficult for me to recommend anything at this time. One of my primary issues is that, out of the three different batches of the 1" nursery grafting tape I have bought, two of them were already quite poor in quality (it only takes a few years for the tape to become fragile). While they were still usable, it definitely made things more difficult than it needed to be. Other than that, I liked it quite a bit, because I could use it, alone, to wrap the graft union and the rest of the scionwood with a good success rate (for at least most species) without requiring any extra steps.

I have also used the 2" laboratory parafilm (M) and the 1" amleo perforated budding tape. Both were acceptable in quality, but I have only tried one batch of each. The 2" laboratory parafilm might be slightly thinner than the nursery grafting tape, otherwise it's quite similar, but it is mostly suitable for folding in half and wrapping the graft union. You do have the option to cut it into 1" strips, so you could use it to protect the rest of the scionwood from desiccation, but this is an extra step I don't bother with, since I tend to do a few hundred grafts each year. The 1" amleo perforated budding tape, on the other hand, is much thinner than the other two. This makes it the superior option for wrapping most of the scionwood, but it won’t make as tight of a wrap around the graft union. It does appear to be enough for the most forgiving species, though (e.g. apple, pear, plum).

For those who are new to grafting and don’t want to spend money on relatively expensive material, I believe a combination of cheap parafilm and electrical tape should be fine, but this is not something I cared to try much. Cheap parafilm is very thin and sticks to itself quite easily, which makes it difficult to manage, and I would only use it if I did not plan to graft much. Alternatively, you could reduce or eliminate the need for it by using wax instead, or some kind of wax mixture, to protect everything above the graft union. If this ends up being the preferrable route, I may only want the parafilm around to initiate the wrap around the union as a protective barrier between the adhesive of the tape and the bark, but this may prove to be unnecessary for some.

Grafting Techniques

In video #9, Skillcult covers bark grafting, or "rind" grafting, as he calls it, but I don't particularly care for it. It’s way too long and I think he over-complicates it with wedges and nails, and while I am not entirely thrilled with this video either, you can watch it as an alternative to get a good idea of how it’s done. However, I like Skillcult's section about the cleft graft in video #8. The whip and tongue method, on the other hand, I don’t have much need for, since I find the cleft graft to be more stable and much easier to do, but it’s a decent watch anyways.

On branches that are roughly two-thirds of an inch in diameter or less, I generally use the cleft graft. On thicker branches, I prefer to bark graft, provided the scionwood is thin enough to make a good connection, but you have to wait until enough sap is flowing through the rootstock, because that is what allows the bark to slip. There is, unfortunately, one potential issue with this technique that you should be aware of. It can cause some species or varieties to grow very fast, and since it lacks the stability of a cleft graft, there is a good chance this extra growth will cause it to snap during a wind storm if it is not staked.

Related: Graft Compatibility Between Different Species