Grafting pines.. does age matter?

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Hi all,

I haven't posted here in a really long time, but I have a question that I'm sure y'all can help me with. Does it matter at what age you graft white pine onto black pine stock? I'm asking because I have a number of seedlings of black pine and a larger white pine source plant. It's just that the seedlings just got potted-up and I don't want to pot and graft at the same time. can it wait a year or two or should I just wait for the next batch of seedlings? Oh well, you get the idea, thanks a million.

Michael
 

Brent

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Bench (bareroot) grafting using JBP understock is not a good idea. I have had very little success with it. You need a fairly established root system for successful grafting. I take bareroot 1yr old seedlings, root prune them and pot them up in Feb or March and most are ready for grafting by fall. The ones that are still too small are used the following year after shifting up from 2 3/4 inch pots to 4 inch size pots. These actually have a higher 'take' rate than the smaller understock but they require more space and attention.

Ideally, you want the understock to be just a little bigger than the scion, both being about the pencil thickness. The scion is usually last year's wood. Older wood can be used but the success rate will fall off. Grafting onto understock that is twice as large as the scion is still pretty easy, but larger than this you will have problems getting a high rate of success.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 
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Terrific, thank you Brent. It sounds like my timing isn't bad at all. I had to get them out of the 4" pot they were in before the roots hardened and looked forever like the 4" pot (we've all seen this). Next year about this time I'll be grafting... finally. I can't think of any other hobby that requires more patients than bonsai.

Michael Milligan
 

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