After repotting, the thread grafts set in and this years spring leaves:
The ability to cut a piece off of a plant and then reattach (graft) it back on to itself or another tree is nothing short of miraculous. Grafting is an invaluable technique in bonsai as it allows the artist to determine the location of each branch on the tree. It also allows the artist to replace the foliage as I talked about in an earlier post on approach grafting.
The success of a graft depends on two things, proper technique and proper aftercare. I’m always trying to understand both of these aspects better and had the opportunity to ask bonsai pro, Ryan Neil about his grafting technique.
This pine is one I’ve been working on for a few years now. For the decent trunk, movement, and good lower branches, the upper third needs a lot of work; particularly at the upper stovepipe-straight section of trunk. I tried a simple cleft graft in Feburary, but it didn’t take. Approach grafts are reliable and can be done at most any time. In June, I gave it a go:
In early January, I checked the progress, and it was positive. So I scraped the bark to expose the cambium, remove some of the crusty pitch, re-wrapped with Parafilm and secured it again with a wire. I’ll let it continue to knit this year and begin separating it in the fall.
The best time to graft new shoots onto pines is when the roots are just waking up, but just before candles start to push. As was explained to me, this is to ensure sap is flowing when the scions &#…
Source: Pine grafting time
Well. I’m not sure what to call Black Pines grafted onto Ponderosa stock. Frankensteins? Frankies? Feel free to suggest… When I first started grafting Black Pine onto Ponderosa, I was u…
The first tree in this photo essay is a whimsical juniper that used to be a needle juniper. Although my client enjoyed the needle juniper, it wasn’t doing very well where he lived and was getting weaker. I gave him a few options, and he decided we’d ‘change the clothes’ of the tree, so to speak, and make it happier. Essentially, we made it into something we could do bonsai work with, and not just eek along and ‘keep it going’, which isn’t really in the bonsai textbook of desired results.
Three years ago I grafted itoigawa scions on it. It was roughly styled about a year and a half ago, the whole tree created from the original four small veneer/cleft grafts. I have mixed feelings about itoigawa, to be honest, but for very small trees or those with some delicacy about them it does seem appropriate.
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Following on from yesterdays post I thought it would be good to include some examples of approach grafts that were at Taisho en while I was studying. The two examples below are using approach grafting for two different reasons. The first is grafting roots onto an upper section of a trunk to shorten a bonsai. The other is using the technique to both replace foliage and graft on new roots.
taxus tsuga above was an interesting bonsai with an un-interesting lower trunk. The image of the bonsai could be greatly improved by shortening the trunk and hence roots were approach grafted onto the trunk.
The below juniper was undergoing a major change too. It was a tosho or japanese needle juniper (Juniperus rigida). It was very large stock extending about 2-2.5 meters in length. It had some great movement and excellent jin/shari. The future for this tree was to…
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I have been quite lucky that I have been able to visit a number of Japanese nurseries (SEE HERE). I love seeing the high quality trees and amazing level of finish and polish that these trees posses, but what I have also found very interesting during these visits is looking into the back of house areas where bonsai are in various stages of transformation.
Air layers, grafts and other techniques are all on display out the back of most nurseries. It not only gives you a look into these techniques but also gives you some ideas on what sort of material to apply these techniques to.
One such technique is approach grafting.
While I was studying at Taisho-en I was able to see this technique used to improve a range of stock. Shimpaku were given smaller foliage. Needle junipers were given shimpauk foliage. Roots were moved closer to the…
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As I managed to get some time to work on my trees this last weekend, I though it was a good opportunity to do some grafting before my black pines woke up too much. I like to do grafting on black pines just before they start moving in spring. For bud grafting this is important as once the sap starts to move in a big way any cuts made to hold grafts tend to flood with sap before placing the scion which makes them a little less successful. Approach grafts on the other hand are a little more forgiving but if I can I try to do them around the same time so that the burst of energy that comes with the first flush of candles extending goes into healing the graft site.
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