Long Term Juniper Project - Rough Nursery Pfitzer With Shimpaku Scion Grafts

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Recently I was inspired to try my hand at a more difficult long term project with a nursery Juniper. I seem to always find these old root Bound twisty and zig zagging junipers, that are lacking in foliage close to the trunk, but have great size trunks for nursery stock. I also was attempting to help @JesusFreak with some assistance recently on a roadside juniper with difficult foliage. In the process of suggesting ideas, I mentioned grafting, but realized I had yet to attempt to do any conifer grafting. At 9 years into the Art, I decided this needs to change. I went to a few local nurseries and found the perfect candidate. This Pfitzer was originally $45 and I talked them down to $15. It’s foliage looks weathered and old. The trunk is an excellent size though (about 3” at its widest) and has lots of movement and quite a few potential Jin candidates for the future. Ive got several healthy Shimpaku juniper now that I plan to use as the Scion stock. Because I will need to spend a few years just getting the Pfitzer Juniper more healthy, I may try and acquire some Kishu Stock to use for the scions. Needless to say, I’m excited at the base plant I bought and look forward to the process.

This thread will document my efforts and hopefully will show success years down the road. Ive watched several videos now detailing the scion grafting process and have read several articles that I have so far found healthy. The plan will be to spend year 1 and possibly 2 working the roots on the base stock to get the foliage and overall plant health much better. Because I have multiple trunks to choose from, I will attempt to graft on multiple trunks with the thought that I can remove trunks even if that trunk has grafts on it. I will use the cocoon and grafting tape method rather than creating a little humidity tent wit parafilm like I’ve also seen. Though I may try both methods on the same tree. I will share some videos and articles I have found that have been helpful as of yet. I would love it if some folks with scion grafting experience would weigh in on their thoughts for this project. (@leatherback @River's Edge @Shibui @Wires_Guy_wires ) or anyone else I’m missing who experience in this matter!

Here is the base stock tree i found for the project.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
I will be taking some much better photos and a few videos to try and capture the trees features.
 

Attachments

  • 7FA39F90-C0D5-4926-AAC2-F35FD77B4E0A.jpeg
    7FA39F90-C0D5-4926-AAC2-F35FD77B4E0A.jpeg
    334.2 KB · Views: 81
  • 779F480C-E960-4C98-8CA0-606B9A7CDB77.jpeg
    779F480C-E960-4C98-8CA0-606B9A7CDB77.jpeg
    319.2 KB · Views: 71
  • 63396DA8-CB76-4CCB-9DA2-5A924EB1EA89.jpeg
    63396DA8-CB76-4CCB-9DA2-5A924EB1EA89.jpeg
    431 KB · Views: 72
  • F1274038-1EA3-493B-94D7-7CC9EDCB875F.jpeg
    F1274038-1EA3-493B-94D7-7CC9EDCB875F.jpeg
    317.8 KB · Views: 74
  • F7F9D146-6770-4CEC-9019-F39FB5F6B528.jpeg
    F7F9D146-6770-4CEC-9019-F39FB5F6B528.jpeg
    268.1 KB · Views: 77

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
This is also a very helpful resource by none other than @markyscott , who is kind of the resident resource king on this site.

 

leatherback

The Treedeemer
Messages
11,844
Reaction score
20,945
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Not going to be of much help. have not been predictably succesfull yet so do not feel I could give you advice.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Not going to be of much help. have not been predictably succesfull yet so do not feel I could give you advice.
Have you attempted both methods? Scion and approach? What do you feel has been the cause of not having success?
 

RKMcGinnis

Shohin
Messages
448
Reaction score
447
Location
Canton, Georgia
USDA Zone
7a
I plan to do some as well with itoigawa and shimpaku scions. I have no advice from experience. But am just fertilizing well and going to do the grafts around mid late winter. It seems that by spring if they take they should have fused and growing some foliage by summer. I’m excited. Also using large nursery stock.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
I plan to do some as well with itoigawa and shimpaku scions. I have no advice from experience. But am just fertilizing well and going to do the grafts around mid late winter. It seems that by spring if they take they should have fused and growing some foliage by summer. I’m excited. Also using large nursery stock.
I’ve read just the opposite actually. Late winter early spring on starting them.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
You can really see the girth of the trunk in this one with all of the long trunks coming from the base. Great Jin opportunities. There is even that front left trunk that could potentially be for a double trunk but may need to just get removed.
A6BF5CD8-1C77-477B-B30E-3F27E6ACA7AF.jpegAF30B491-0577-4AB8-B886-912FBFBA17F5.jpeg
The nursery can it was in had completely split open and I was tempted to over pot in a 15 gal with pumice, but I think I’ll just get it back into a similar size can for the rest of the year. Any opinions on wether a slight overpot would be beneficial or not?
 

River's Edge

Masterpiece
Messages
4,100
Reaction score
10,330
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
Conflicted as to how much to say! Grafting details are sometimes unique to the individual and reflect the methods they were trained to use. Not necessarily that there are only one or two accepted methods. Rather I would say there are accepted key aspects to chosen methods.
1. Timing is important after the cuts are completed, the quicker the completion of the graft, the better. So this impacts the order in which things are completed. For example in the video posted above the scion cuts were made before the foliage was wrapped. I would consider this poor technique, extending the time for the cut to dry out before placement.
2. Preparation is important, in that the health of the donor plant and recipient plant should be optimized prior to attempting grafting.
3. After graft care is important and specific steps to take are attached to the different methods.
4. Sealing the graft site is very important and this aspect varies as well. For example some rely on grafting tape, others use a form of latex caulking, others forms of cut paste! The key is to prevent desiccation.
5. Scion selection and size varies. Which portion of the shoot and what age of the portion selected is considered important as well. Often these details are not included in the process.
6. Grafting Knife must be razor sharp to avoid crushing cambium.

This is a long winded way of saying that successful methods will detail the sequence of the steps, the details of stock preparation and the details of the scion selection and placement. Timing for grafting juniper can be extended into the growing season if appropriate material is selected for scions in keeping with the time selected for grafting. the traditional timing is also effective, once again with selection of appropriate aged and located scion material.

My preference is the bag method for pines and the wrapped scion method using "buddy tape" for juniper. But I have friends who prefer the opposite. Key here is to use what works for you, practise one method and get the details down to a specific sequence.
There are two good articles in Masters Series Junipers ( Bonsai Today) . One focus's on double cut approach grafting and the other on Scion placement . Both articles emphasize specific steps that illustrate key components of grafting. They are worth reference simply for the foundation of basics they represent.
Now here is the catch, timing will need to be adapted for your location as to what will work best in your circumstances. I would recommend the traditional timing of early spring to begin with. Then move to the timing of grafting within the growing season if you are comfortable with the additional work required for scion preparation within the growing season. Essentially additional pruning in the weeks prior to scion selection. This is outlined in the article by Mr. Okada.
My advice would be to pick one method and perfect the detailed sequence until you experience success. then begin to adapt as desired with your choice of materials and process.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Thanks for the detailed response Frank! @River's Edge ! Per usual your insight is so helpful.

1. great thought on timing, I hadn’t considered wrapping the shoot first. It makes so much sense though.
2. perpetration has been a main focus of main over the last few years, wether that be wrapping and wiring trees, repotting or even in my wood working. Partially why I want to try a more prep focused bonsai task.
3. After care and desiccation is my biggest concern being in the high desert southwest. Little to no humidity here.
4.def planning on proper tape wrap and was thinking cut paste would be my added sealing agent.
5. I’m curious what size scions and the woodiness of the scion you prefer best?
6. do you have a knife brand you recommend? I don’t own one yet.

I will also look for the article you speak. Maybe I can find the print magazine issue or possibly it’s online?

thanks Again Frank!
 

coh

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,720
Reaction score
6,658
Location
Rochester, NY
USDA Zone
6
My preference is the bag method for pines and the wrapped scion method using "buddy tape" for juniper. But I have friends who prefer the opposite. Key here is to use what works for you, practise one method and get the details down to a specific sequence.
There are two good articles in Masters Series Junipers ( Bonsai Today) . One focus's on double cut approach grafting and the other on Scion placement . Both articles emphasize specific steps that illustrate key components of grafting. They are worth reference simply for the foundation of basics they represent.

Is there a specific type of grafting tape that is referred to as "buddy tape"? I've seen Bjorn talk about buddy tape as well, but my various searches (such as on Amazon) have come up dry. Well, there is actually one on Amazon but I'm not spending $47 on grafting tape. I would think standard grafting tape or parafilm would work, providing it is wide enough? I do have a roll of stretchy grafting tape (not sure of the brand) but it isn't very wide and I had a really difficult time wrapping grafts earlier this year. Need something wider.

@Hartinez , good luck with the project. A bunch of years ago I bought a similar juniper trunk (it is a parsons) for $5 at an end of season sale and have been meaning to graft onto it, but it has always been one of those "maybe next year" projects. Now I think the tree has become infected with a rust so I may have to just toss it.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Something else I’m curious about is the direction at which the scion is inserted and if it matters or not? Does the scion have go downward into the trunk or branch, or can it be inserted upward? I only ask because once the scion has taken and grown over several years, styling and wiring will need to take place. Optimal position always seems to be coming off the branch downward rather than upward.
DF44DCA1-5891-492F-88A9-B16A9BC98F30.jpeg
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Is there a specific type of grafting tape that is referred to as "buddy tape"? I've seen Bjorn talk about buddy tape as well, but my various searches (such as on Amazon) have come up dry. Well, there is actually one on Amazon but I'm not spending $47 on grafting tape. I would think standard grafting tape or parafilm would work, providing it is wide enough? I do have a roll of stretchy grafting tape (not sure of the brand) but it isn't very wide and I had a really difficult time wrapping grafts earlier this year. Need something wider.

@Hartinez , good luck with the project. A bunch of years ago I bought a similar juniper trunk (it is a parsons) for $5 at an end of season sale and have been meaning to graft onto it, but it has always been one of those "maybe next year" projects. Now I think the tree has become infected with a rust so I may have to just toss it.
Thanks @coh . Grafting is something I’d like to work on, try my hand at and get better at. Figured best to start with a cheap juniper that still has promise. That way when I have a massive yamadori I want to graft, Ill have at least one other attempt under my belt.
 

coh

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,720
Reaction score
6,658
Location
Rochester, NY
USDA Zone
6
Regarding direction of grafts - I have only done a couple of scion grafts but on his recent grafting video, Bjorn stated that on junipers you can graft with or against the "flow" of the trunk or branch (or at an angle) - but not on pines, which should only be done with the flow. Others with more experience here might want to share their experiences with graft directionality.
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Regarding direction of grafts - I have only done a couple of scion grafts but on his recent grafting video, Bjorn stated that on junipers you can graft with or against the "flow" of the trunk or branch (or at an angle) - but not on pines, which should only be done with the flow. Others with more experience here might want to share their experiences with graft directionality.
Do you subscribe to the Bonsai U videos?
 

Hartinez

Masterpiece
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
8,116
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
Regarding direction of grafts - I have only done a couple of scion grafts but on his recent grafting video, Bjorn stated that on junipers you can graft with or against the "flow" of the trunk or branch (or at an angle) - but not on pines, which should only be done with the flow. Others with more experience here might want to share their experiences with graft directionality.
Thanks for this info BTW. Great to know when I get to the point of making the grafts.
 
Top Bottom