Grafting 101

River's Edge

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Got a question, which I think it's not been answered before.

Imagine that I have an Acer with a long node. However, It is a thick branch and I don't want to restart it. Can I thread graft a brach in the middle of this long node and then, when it takes and is strong, cut the remainder of the node above? My question is because usually maple cuts die back until they reach an internode so I don't know if having a grafted branch will halt the die back of not.
First acknowledgement that i have not done the exact thing you have described. However, i have completed thread grafts on trunks between nodes and then cut back to that point to continue development and change of direction, It works on the trunk. I see no reason why it would not work on a branch, the tendency is to die back to an active growth site be it a branch or node developing. Pruning is usually back to nodes or active branches with stubs left temporarily. Should be a fairly straightforward experiment and with the way that threadgrafts establish fairly quickly, it would not take long to see the results. If you try the experiment, it is a good idea to consider the position of the threadgraft for both direction and location carefully with an eye to design purposes.
Conversely if the answer to your question was no then that would seem to imply that a threadgraft could only succeed if placed on a node. To my knowledge that has never been a consideration for where to place a threadgraft on a maple.
 

Gustavo Martins

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First acknowledgement that i have not done the exact thing you have described. However, i have completed thread grafts on trunks between nodes and then cut back to that point to continue development and change of direction, It works on the trunk. I see no reason why it would not work on a branch, the tendency is to die back to an active growth site be it a branch or node developing. Pruning is usually back to nodes or active branches with stubs left temporarily. Should be a fairly straightforward experiment and with the way that threadgrafts establish fairly quickly, it would not take long to see the results. If you try the experiment, it is a good idea to consider the position of the threadgraft for both direction and location carefully with an eye to design purposes.
Conversely if the answer to your question was no then that would seem to imply that a threadgraft could only succeed if placed on a node. To my knowledge that has never been a consideration for where to place a threadgraft on a maple.
Cool. That makes sense. I don’t know why I Assumed dieback was to an internode and not to an active growth site, but that makes more sense. That gives a lot more freedom ;) thanks
 

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Cool. That makes sense. I don’t know why I Assumed dieback was to an internode and not to an active growth site, but that makes more sense. That gives a lot more freedom ;) thanks
What is the climate like in the Azores? When could you begin a threadgraft? I usually wire the extensions in place during the previous growing season for a threadgraft very early in the spring before the buds begin to open. Unless the extensions are flexible enough without prior positioning! I. Have found late february, early march best timing in my climate and then i move into the greenhouse for protection from late frosts on the graft.
 

Gustavo Martins

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I already have wired a branch for this purpose during the growing season. I will thread graft when I see buds moving, probably around late February. I have no frosts here so need for protection. In fact, I think I could thread graft in the middle of my winter cause it’s very mild but I want to minimise the time the injury is exposed to potential infections. Here in the Azores everything is a bit different and I am learning to adapt what I read to my reality.
 

River's Edge

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I already have wired a branch for this purpose during the growing season. I will thread graft when I see buds moving, probably around late February. I have no frosts here so need for protection. In fact, I think I could thread graft in the middle of my winter cause it’s very mild but I want to minimise the time the injury is exposed to potential infections. Here in the Azores everything is a bit different and I am learning to adapt what I read to my reality.
Essential key to progress, adaptability to practices based in other climates, and or results based on restricted variables. I am looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Azores in the spring. I will be one of those tourists floating in and out for a day on the way across the Atlantic.
 

Gustavo Martins

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Ah another ? ;)

Since you have limited time here, let me recommend that you go see Lagoa do Fogo if weather is good. Otherwise you won’t see anything but clouds :)
 

River's Edge

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Ah another ? ;)

Since you have limited time here, let me recommend that you go see Lagoa do Fogo if weather is good. Otherwise you won’t see anything but clouds :)
Yes, one of those larger sea kayaks with multiple passengers;). Thanks for the suggestion, i believe we have the day to set foot on land after six full days at sea. I will engage my tour director who is accompanying me to celebrate 50 years of marriage. I think they call it a repositioning cruise, nice term for guaranteed weight gain! Perhaps i can keep my hand in Bonsai by wiring the centrepieces in the dining room or the potted plants around the pool.
 

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Yes, one of those larger sea kayaks with multiple passengers;). Thanks for the suggestion, i believe we have the day to set foot on land after six full days at sea. I will engage my tour director who is accompanying me to celebrate 50 years of marriage. I think they call it a repositioning cruise, nice term for guaranteed weight gain! Perhaps i can keep my hand in Bonsai by wiring the centrepieces in the dining room or the potted plants around the pool.
That’s a lot of marriage years. I got 8 under my belt so far. Anyways, if you go down to the lake (Lagoa do Fogo), you’ll find a beach. It’s all pumice, nice and quite a good size for bonsai ;)
 

AlainK

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River's Edge

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Thanks for this thread and your advice Markyscott, I read it again and it's an excellent source of info.

For more specific tips on maple grafting, you can have a look these pages from the Maple Society:

Winter grafting:
https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/winter-grafting.60036/

Summer grafting:
https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc....grafting-technique-for-japanese-maples.65330/
I would advise checking the actual results of these methods before using on Bonsai. Successful grafts horticulturally does not equal aesthetically pleasing Bonsai. The results are available for viewing in most any local nursery.
Grafting techniques specifically for Bonsai have been adapted to produce different results.
 

markyscott

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Thanks for this thread and your advice Markyscott, I read it again and it's an excellent source of info.

For more specific tips on maple grafting, you can have a look these pages from the Maple Society:

Winter grafting:
https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/winter-grafting.60036/

Summer grafting:
https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc....grafting-technique-for-japanese-maples.65330/
I would advise checking the actual results of these methods before using on Bonsai. Successful grafts horticulturally does not equal aesthetically pleasing Bonsai. The results are available for viewing in most any local nursery.
Grafting techniques specifically for Bonsai have been adapted to produce different results.
Appreciate the links, Alain. There’s some good general information in there, but I’m with Frank on this one. Those are excellent techniques for nurseymen to graft cultivars with desirable characteristics onto stronger growing rootstock. However, I’ve never used them on bonsai because of the mismatched bark and swelling I associate with these techniques based on what I’ve seen on nursery trees. I’d be cautious about applying them in bonsai culture without first ensuring you’ll be happy with the results in the end.

S
 

GeorgiaBonsai

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If the cambium of a seedling being thread grafted isn't exposed, will the graft fail or will it just take longer to fuse? I would imagine that while it isn't ideal, it shouldn't hinder the graft.
 

markyscott

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If the cambium of a seedling being thread grafted isn't exposed, will the graft fail or will it just take longer to fuse? I would imagine that while it isn't ideal, it shouldn't hinder the graft.
I’ve been told that it would increase the chance the graft would fail. I understand the likely reasons why, but I’ve never tested the claim myself.
 

GeorgiaBonsai

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@markyscott Well guess who did a few thread grafts a couple days ago and didn't expose the cambium? I wonder if it would be more detrimental to disturb the roots and expose the cambium at this point or to just let it go and see what happens.
 

markyscott

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@markyscott Well guess who did a few thread grafts a couple days ago and didn't expose the cambium? I wonder if it would be more detrimental to disturb the roots and expose the cambium at this point or to just let it go and see what happens.
Let it go and tell us what happens. Maybe it will be fine - either way, we’ll all learn something.

s
 

GeorgiaBonsai

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Sounds good to me. It's not anything more than a prebonsai at this point. I can always redo it next year if they don't take. But I'll try to remember and come back with am update later in the year.
 

0soyoung

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I never try to do anything to the thread to expose it's cambium, since I realized why all my early thread graft attempts failed.

The problem I encountered was that trying to expose the cambium on the thread was that it provoked a damage response that clogged the xylem of the thread. I figure this always happens but that other stems we might layering or whatever are thicker; that is thick enough that there is some older functional xylem that is not affected. My threads are usually 1 year old stems where the graft is affected 3 or more internodes back from the tip, but only one year old (there is only one ring of xylem atop the central pith).

Thread grafts have been a walk in the park for me since I quit trying to expose cambium on the thread - just run it though the hole and wedge it firmly to the top of the hole.
 

GeorgiaBonsai

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If that's the case then I should be golden. They're all threaded through and wedged to the top and wired out so they get plenty of sun.
 
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