Author Topic: Approach graft  (Read 7304 times)

donmaple

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Approach graft
« on: March 11, 2010, 07:50 PM »
Hi all. My daughter was sick yesterday so I stayed home with her. She went back to sleep and I got bored. Walked onto the deck out back and spotted my victim. I have been nursing this little maple for about seven years now...post accident. It was in a growing bed in Birmingham Al., before we moved and was pummeled by a large tree limb. Hence the accident. Two years ago I air-layered and removed the top to shorten it. I have been looking at it and decided that the large root needed to be removed. I think I am a misplaced depression era baby...just cant seem to throw anything away if I can use it somewhere else. Since there are no branches on this root, I decided to use a low branch on the tree and do an approach graft. Here are some pics showing the progress. The first four pics show the root's location on the tree. It has some nice movement and aged character. There are also more appropriate sized roots under this one that fit the trees overall design a little better.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 08:05 PM »
The next series shows how I marked the location for the proposed graft. Thats crayon if you really want to know. The next pic shows where I intend to remove the root from the tree.  Then the site for the approach on the root. And the branch that will provide the shoot for the graft.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 08:28 PM »
In this series you can see the branch pulled down to relieve the tension on the graft. Next is the graft shoot with the cambium scrapped away. Then the graft being positioned onto the site. I used a temporary wire to assist me in positioning the shoot. Notice the two thin strips of wound sealant along the edges or the shoot. This stuff works great for keeping out bugs and keeping in sap. No need to let your tree loose any moisture at peak growing season. You will also notice that I removed all of the buds from the graft site back to the main branch junction. This is to encourage growth and sap flow beyond the graft site and a better chance for a successful graft union. And the last shot is the final product. Sorry that I couldn't get some mid-wrap shots...only two hands. This is just some kind of grafting tape I think (found it in the garage). I held the shoot in place and wrapped from the area furthest from the tree first up toward the tree and then back to the beginning. All the while guiding the shoot into the notched area that I cut for it. I also guided the sealant along each side of the shoot so that it will be well sealed all along the grafted area.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 08:51 PM »
Sorry gang in all the excitement I forgot to say that this is a Japanese Green Maple. Grown from seed by me. About seventeen years old and I am just now beginning to appreciate it. Here are a few more pics to show the branch with relation to the graft site. A better shot of the graft site, I did not want a strait  graft on this root with it's natural curve so I curved the graft as well. Then the graft as it rests against the tree base. I will leave it in this position for about two months to let the graft heal. Then I will slowly lower the shoot towards the soil. I had envisioned this little one being a Mame cascade. Maybe even draped over a nice little rock. We will just have to wait until next winter when it's removed and evaluate it then. I will keep you posted on the progress thru the growing seasons. Hope you enjoyed my boredom moment, Don.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 12:59 PM »
Great write-up!  Can we see a picture of the full tree?  What are your plans with the hollow?
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 03:10 PM »
John, here are the four views before any work was done to the tree. After this tree was damaged I didn't have much hope for it as a bonsai. But as the years go by it's looks are improving. If you look close at the pics you can see where it has healed over the initial break. I have always imagined the deadwood side to be the back...never really see dead wood on Green Maples. But now that you ask I think I should look again.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 03:23 PM »
Here are the same views after I removed the sacrifice branch on the top. Like I said in the earlier post, I can't throw away useful material  so the original top was air layered two years ago, a new leader was pulled up (you can see the wiring scars) and allowed to grow freely. But now that I look at again....maybe i will make a nice diagonal cut just above the first branch(really second) and the take that back to the first little branch on it. The only thing is not really any branching low on this tree. But it will sprout new growth and then I will not have to grow out the wiring scars. What do you think?     Don.
 

noissee

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 12:24 PM »
I think that's a good idea. Make a short, dramatic tree. That is exactly what I would do with this material.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 01:34 AM »
any follow up? Is this tree still alive? Did the graft take?
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 01:21 PM »
Hey Leo, Funny you should ask. Been busy and putting off working on this one. The first graft opened up and leafed out nicely , then about late spring the branch died back to the sight of the graft. So... the next winter (late) i made a second attempt. Here are the results. Enjoy, Don.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2013, 01:33 PM »
You can see from the previous post that I shortened the main tree apex to get better taper. Just cut back to lateral branch and wired it up. The branch that i pulled the whip from has grown out of control, and you can see the stub of that whip if you look closely above the graft site. Here are some close ups of the graft after I cut the whip back.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2013, 01:51 PM »
I thought this one would make a nice little Mame cascade, so after removing it and potting it up...I tortured it just a little bit. It is still crude and I will allow it to grow freely this year to set the structure/shape if the main line of the tree. You can see that I left the stub of the root as I cut it. I will clean this up next spring to get rid of the lizard mouth. I will post more pictures later, its raining here today, but both main tree and root graft are alive and healthy. Thank you for asking. I had of course taken these pictures to post the update but just had not taken the time. I find this site (BSG) very inspirational to me and only hope that I can contribute a little interest and inspiration back to others. Thanks, Don.
 

donmaple

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 02:00 PM »
OK...just looked at the last post I did. My wiring skills are not as bad as it looks, yikes! This is a recycled piece of wire and I tried to place it loosely so as not to kill any of the graft and minimize scarring. Its ok to laugh at it...I certainly did! Don.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Approach graft
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 01:03 PM »
Great job. I like the cascade from the root. Nicely done. It will be a great little tree in 5 or so years.

Thanks for posting. I learned something from this.

Your wiring is more uniform than mine, nothing to be embarrased about.

You are inspiring me to try my hand at grafting. Thanks