Author Topic: Arakawa thread grafting  (Read 4896 times)

base797

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Arakawa thread grafting
« on: June 15, 2014, 07:31 PM »
So I've got this arakawa that had two shoots coming from a large branch chop from the previous owner. Squirrels actually chewed off both shoots this past spring. I had hoped that it would bud back somewhere on the larg chop, but no luck. To prune the branch back to the trunk would be a serious set back as it would be a sizable wound and with the rough bark, a very lengthy time to heal over. The previous chop hadn't healed over completely. I have been thinking about a thread graft through the old branch, questions is, is it (the branch nub) still alive? With no foliage pulling energy from the trunk through the cut back branch, is this a lost cause? I guess the basic question is, does a large cut back brach with no apparent activity continue to heal over or be viable for grafting?
Last photo shows shoots that were there before squirrels in red, exposed old wood in blue and area for potential graft in yellow.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2014, 10:30 PM »
The stub does look alive, from the rolling apparent in the photos; scrape the callus and see if it's green.  My $.02:
1. A twin-trunk arakawa is a sight to behold, but I'd want the trunks to separate lower, so if you thread graft, I'd go lower than the stub.
2.  Every thread graft I've applied to an arakawa has taken, but needs to be done before buds swell, or maybe now, if you defoliate.
3.  If you prune back to the trunk, save the bark from the stub and press it into cut putty on the wound.  Done right, you won't even notice it yourself after a week.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 10:33 PM by Brian Van Fleet »
 

base797

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 03:12 PM »
Brian,
Thanks for the comments. I'm gonna take another look at the plant with your suggestions in mind. So, if I decide to proceed with my original plan, would you recommend doing the thread graft ASAP and defoliating the entire plant or waiting till late winter next year? If it the latter. I'm mildly concerned that by then the nub may die. It certainly was healing over when the shoots were there, but can't tell if it's continuing or waning due to no more foliage.
Obviously, this is a long term project and I do like the idea of a twin trunk lower on the plant, but wouldn't that really take a long time for that new trunk to catch up and bark up? Isn't it like 15 years to get that corky bark?
Thanks again for your time.

Patrik
 

Jay

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 05:13 PM »
Patrick, I do not have experience with thread grafting cork bark maples. I have been extremely successful with thread grafts on Hornbeams . I ask a question or two....
1- if you are going for twin trunk, I would look lower than the nub, do you agree?
2- if it is a branch you desire, it appears to be too low on the trunk ?
3- either way, I have found thread grafting to be most successful at leaf out in the spring,can you wait?
My thoughts and questions
Jay
 

base797

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 05:53 PM »
Jay, thanks for your time and thoughts. I suppose the real issue is the nub. Unfortunately I was not the owner when the decision of that branches placement was made and I guess I just thought that removing it ( the nub) would set the tree back too far due to the corky nature of the bark. However, Brian made a point that if removed, perhaps placing chunks of the removed bark over the wound would minimize the distraction. With the idea of removal in mind, I could certainly wait and I would almost certainly chose a different location ( lower for twin trunk or higher for a first branch). If I wanna try it at the current location, I would think that time is of the essence since there is no activity being drawn into the nub. In other words, the nub may only be an option if I act this growing season.

Maybe the best things is to simply start over?

Here's one last pic that's on the iPad, in case anyone has other options in mind.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 09:17 PM »
I would probably cut losses on the nub, cut it flush with the trunk and disguise it with some bark pieces.  It's too high for a second trunk, and really too low for a primary branch.

Spend the rest of this year finding the best front presented in the nebari and primary branches, then dig in again next spring.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 09:05 AM »
base797, where'd this one come from?
 

base797

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 04:26 PM »
Brian, yeah, I think that's the way to go for long term potential. Just hurts a little. As well as your advice for the remainder of this growing season, I think I'll try to take some cuttings for approach grafts to improve the nebari. That was part of the rationale to purchase an arakawa, I heard they are pretty successfully propagated from cuttings.

Any thoughts or experience for taking cuttings. Is the timing right currently? Perhaps some video resources? I deal with conifers mainly and have never attempted propagation of deciduous trees aside from germinating from seed. Lastly, I've got the standard cut paste ( rarely do I ever use it though since my garden is full of conifers), seems like over time it dries out and then I would think it would drop the chips of bark?

Bwaynef, I found the seller on eBay, house of bonsai out of California. I'm starting to see why it was on the cheap side. Even if those shoots weren't taken out by the squirrels, as discussed, it would have been to high as a second trunk and a bit low for a first branch. Thanks for the consul.
 

scottroxburgh

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Re: Arakawa thread grafting
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 12:59 AM »
...I think I'll try to take some cuttings for approach grafts to improve the nebari. That was part of the rationale to purchase an arakawa, I heard they are pretty successfully propagated from cuttings.

Any thoughts or experience for taking cuttings. Is the timing right currently? Perhaps some video resources? I deal with conifers mainly and have never attempted propagation of deciduous trees aside from germinating from seed.

Definitely take cuttings, I've had as much, if not more success with arakawa cuttings than regular acer palmatum.

From looking at your last pic, I'd guess it'd be almost time to take some cuttings. Use this years growth, and make sure it has lignified prior to taken them. I used hormone powder, pumice/akadama fines with some sphagnum mixed in.

Super easy.

I ended up with about 50 after aggressive repotting, sold and gave away 45 of them prior to moving to Vancouver. the second year they got around 70cm growth, so they are strong on their own roots.

http://aijoubonsai.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/acer-palmatum-arakawa-cuttings/