Asexual Maple Propagation

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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I am finding it difficult to know whether or not Acer Palmatums will grow on their on roots or not. Is there an online resource for this information? It seems like all the readly accessible cultivars are grafted. I am buying these up for my garden and would like to know which of these I can take air layers from that once the layer is completed above the graft can then be placed either in a grow box or back in the ground to thicken up.
 
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Cultivars are grafted to maintain the integrity of the parent plant in many cases, it is a quick and efficient way to produce marketable stock for the landscaping trade and it usually more reliable than cuttings. Air-layering, although used extensively by bonsaists, has not, for some reason, become popular with those growing such stock.

I only have hands on experience with 'Bloodgood' as far as air-layers go to date. They can survive and do so well after an air-layer, on there own roots. I know this isn't the best cultivar for bonsai, but it's a start.
I have seen however seen many cultivars airlayered...such as
http://internetbonsaiclub.org/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=133&topic=18975.0

Hopefully others will add more as I also am interested in this subject.

Will
 
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BONSAI_OUTLAW

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Yeah so far I have found that "Bloodgood," "Deshoho," and "Arakawa" all grow fine on their own roots. I just purchased an "Orange Dream" and it inspired me to start this thread.
 

Dwight

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If the trees are already in the ground wouldn't it be easier and more likely to succeede doing a ground layer above the graft union ? A seperate pot with the bottom cut out might work well here. Remember : stupid beginner question
 

Brent

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Ah, a subject dear to my heart! I have been trying to debunk the Oregon grafting myth for over a decade.Yes! Most cultivars of Acer palmatum do grow from cuttings and airlayers, and perform as well, and sometimes better on their own roots. I have grown at least two dozen cultivars on their roots over the years with very few problems. I have an Ao Kazashi, cutting grown, that is now nearly twenty years old with a six inch caliper trunk.

With very few exceptions, all of the broadleaf cultivars, including dwarfs like 'Yuri Hime' and 'Kiyohim', are easy on their own roots. The only problem cv I have found is 'Shishigashira', which is unfortunate since it is such a desirable tree. It will layer and root from cuttings, but they are never vigorous.

Dissectums are another matter entirely. There are some dissectums that will grow from cuttings and can be layered, but the majority fall into the difficult to impossible range. Most of these don't make decent bonsai anyhow, despite their popularity due to the fantastic leaf shapes. Best to stick with the broadleaf cvs.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
 
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Thanks for the voice of experience Brent! Why is it that so many cultivars of Acer palmatum available are grafted, do you think? Is it really quicker and more efficient?


Will
 

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Grafted trees are almost infection proof as well as much faster growing on strong roots. White pines have weak roots while black pines have strong fast growing roots. Graft white pine on black pine roots and it almost becomes bullet proof.

Here's one for you Brent, why do we not see more cultivars grown on trident maple roots? These things are almost like weeds and so fast. Is there a problem with the two grafting or are they so far away from each other that it would be considered hybridizing and thus ruining taxonomy?

Al
 

Brent

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Why is it that so many cultivars of Acer palmatum available are grafted, do you think? Is it really quicker and more efficient?


Will
Because they have always done it that way. That's pretty much the bottom line. Also the public expects them to be grafted, if they weren't, they would feel they got cheated. There are a few tricks to successful commercial propagation by cuttings, but it's not terribly difficult, but cutting grown plants are typically a year or two behind grafted plants. That also varies by cultivar.

Al

There's a compatability issue with Acer palmatum, I have never heard of a successulf graft to any other species. Acer palmatum grafts are not necessarily stronger or faster than cutting grown material, but they mostly are. The bigger, fast growing cvs like 'Bloodgood' are just as fast on their own roots.

Brent
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Smoke

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OK, so Acer P. is not compatible on Acer B. roots?
 

Graydon

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Those are a couple of good questions Al. My bedtime reading lately has been The Grafter's Handbook by R.J. Garner (yes - reading about asexual reproduction makes me sleepy).

According to the book any Acer should be graftable to any Acer but most of the time incompatibilities show up down the road. An example in the book I think it was walnut scions and rootstock incompatibility that led to very weak unions due to an incompatibility, causing huge masses of scar tissue in a bulbous mass. Eventual breakage was the failure at the union causing the tops of the trees to simply break off and fall even though they had produced fruit for years and years.

It's my belief that grafting is the chosen method to reproduce rare cultivars due to the simplicity of grafting over cuttings or layers. That doesn't mean it's the best for bonsai (or gardening or food production) it just means it the simplest and fastest method. Hundreds of plants can be field or bench grafted by a skilled crew each day and they require very little aftercare. This is especially true for dormant scion material that can be healed over the winter in dormancy.

Now if you will pardon me it's nearly bed time and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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Those are a couple of good questions Al. My bedtime reading lately has been The Grafter's Handbook by R.J. Garner (yes - reading about asexual reproduction makes me sleepy).
LOL... Yeah... I read about the American Civil War at night and it knocks me right out.

Great information guys. So to recap most of the broadleafs will do fine on ther own roots. That is fantastic information. I now need to compile a list of all the cultivars that would make good candidits for bonsai.

So far I have:

Brent's "Tiny leaf/Tiny seed"
"Arakawa"
"Deshoho"


Would anyone care to add to the list?
 

wi bonsai

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I know this hasn't been talked about in awhile. However, reading this post made me wonder if anyone had ever heard of grafting acer palmatum with an acer ginnala (amur maple) rootstock? Since the amur maple's roots can handle the cold a bit better to zone 2. Thanks

-mike
 

grog

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I know this hasn't been talked about in awhile. However, reading this post made me wonder if anyone had ever heard of grafting acer palmatum with an acer ginnala (amur maple) rootstock? Since the amur maple's roots can handle the cold a bit better to zone 2. Thanks

-mike
That sounds extremely interesting but I wonder if it's that simple. According to local nursery people most of the acer palmatum sold around here are grafted onto Bloodgood. Unless they're in a very well protected spot they languish for a couple years then die. If they could graft onto acer ginnala instead and solve the cold hardiness issues I would imagine that would've already been done.

Now with all that being said it certainly wouldn't be the first time an obvious solution to a problem had been overlooked. I nominate you to experiment with it :D
 

Graydon

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That sounds extremely interesting but I wonder if it's that simple. According to local nursery people most of the acer palmatum sold around here are grafted onto Bloodgood. Unless they're in a very well protected spot they languish for a couple years then die. If they could graft onto acer ginnala instead and solve the cold hardiness issues I would imagine that would've already been done.

Now with all that being said it certainly wouldn't be the first time an obvious solution to a problem had been overlooked. I nominate you to experiment with it :D
I would put much credence in Brent's comments from earlier in this thread re: compatibility.
 

Vance Wood

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That sounds extremely interesting but I wonder if it's that simple. According to local nursery people most of the acer palmatum sold around here are grafted onto Bloodgood. Unless they're in a very well protected spot they languish for a couple years then die. If they could graft onto acer ginnala instead and solve the cold hardiness issues I would imagine that would've already been done.

Now with all that being said it certainly wouldn't be the first time an obvious solution to a problem had been overlooked. I nominate you to experiment with it :D
Not to say that this is not true but in my experience "Local Nursery People" have in the past proven to have a wealth of misinformation. I find it difficult to believe that the cultivar Blood Good is being used as a stock plant for a host of other cultivars understanding that in order for the Blood Good to be a Blood Good it would also have to be grafted. So if you believe the above you have to assume that you are dealing with a double graft. Remember; cultivars cannot be grown from seed, otherwise they are not cultivars but varieties.
 

Brent

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Vance is correct. I doubt seriously anyone would use 'Bloodgood', grafts or cuttings as understock. Some nurserymen (in the minority) believe that Acer palmatum atropurpureum should be used as an understock for the red cultivars instead of green seedlings. So 'Bloodgood' SEEDLINGS (grown from seed from 'Bloodgood') was probably the source of this rumor.

I am positive that all sorts of understock have been TRIED for A.p. cultivars. But Acer palmatum stock is the only understock ever used successfully to the best of my knowledge. Grafting these on their own seedlings is difficult enough as it is.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 

Vance Wood

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Vance is correct. I doubt seriously anyone would use 'Bloodgood', grafts or cuttings as understock. Some nurserymen (in the minority) believe that Acer palmatum atropurpureum should be used as an understock for the red cultivars instead of green seedlings. So 'Bloodgood' SEEDLINGS (grown from seed from 'Bloodgood') was probably the source of this rumor.

I am positive that all sorts of understock have been TRIED for A.p. cultivars. But Acer palmatum stock is the only understock ever used successfully to the best of my knowledge. Grafting these on their own seedlings is difficult enough as it is.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
I agree with the A. Palmatum theory. From a reading of Vertrees book, according to him most of the named cultivars have come from the Matsumarai variety of Palmatum, including the Atropurpurum. As to the Atropurpurum, I have in the past grown a large number of trees from seed collected from Atropurpurum, 125 to be more precise, and not one of them turned out to be a red cultivar like Atropurpurum. On the other hand, not any two of them were identical to each other either, but most would fall into the category of just plain old A. Palmatum.

I have a theory about the Palmatums, and mind you this is just a theory, but because the A. Palmatum is for all intents and purposes an isolated species in a relatively small land mass, the opportunity for bazaar recessive genes pairing up to form some of the spectacular diversity we see in this tree is more likely to occur. According to the rules and mathematics in genetics the more closed a gene pool the more likely deeply buried recessive genes will find their mate and produce an anomaly such as Shi Shi Gashira, Kio Hime, and so on. The tendency is to make what would normally be dominant genes,-- recessive, and because of the exclusivity of the anomalous gene pairings the anomalies becomes dominant.
 
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