The reason I like to graft/bud low on the rootstock is: I have plastic buckets with the top and bottom removed and split up one side. If a freak freeze is approaching, one can take a bucket, place it around the tree trunk, fill it with sand and throw a blanket over it and save his tree. The graft union is low and covered. A Bonnie Childers trick from years ago.
No I have not. No one answers his phone. Last time I spoke with him was several months ago. He called me a couple of times and I invited him to join us. He did join but never posted a thing. Does not respond to email. His daughter has some health issues recently and I do not want to inquire........he is fading and I miss him