My ghastly grafted maple

aml1014

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Yesterday I went to a local nursery to take pics of a maple I've been eyeing for 2 years and see what you guys though, I got the pics... And the tree lol. It is a grafted crimson queen Japanese maple that I've been in love with for a long time and finally took the plunge. It is by far my biggest maple ever currently at 40in tall with a 4 in trunk, I like the natural sweeping motion of the first branch and have had the thought to reduce it to just that first branch. One last thing about this tree and it doesnt show up in pics to well but it has a nice muscular trunk.20151228_080524.jpg 20151228_080543.jpg 20151228_080557.jpg 20151228_080610.jpg 20151228_080912.jpg sorry for the bad pics, its cloudy out and fairly dark in the coldhouse. Comments and critiques always welcome.

Aaron
 

aml1014

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Are you planning to layer it above the graft?
'Crimson Queen' is a dissectum - not sure what the viability on its own roots would be. Anybody know?

Also, this: So, that graft will look better as it grows, right? ;)
I'm debating airlayering it but if I didn't I don't really mind the look, the graft is almost perfectly smooth and has been since I've been eyeing it in 2013 so I feel in a pot the trunk probably won't change much, also I never plan on showing it in big level shows.
 

LanceMac10

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Bought one of these a couple years ago. It will be going into the landscape next spring, to be forgotten.
Better off trying something else......
 

whfarro

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That graph union looks to be pretty high up (more than half way) on the trunk.

Not sure how well this one will airlayer but to me that would be the only option.
 

ColinFraser

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It gets said around here all the time - bonsai is about trunks. That is a very . . . let's go with 'noticeable', graft. Based on the large difference in bark character already, that is likely to become more pronounced. Trimming the canopy down to bonsai proportions will also highlight that more. If all you want is a large ball of pretty red foliage, you might as well put it in the landscape like @LanceMac10 and enjoy it there, or keep it as a patio container plant.

As @whfarro points out, the graft is really high (intentionally, because this cultivar can "weep", so it needs to begin with some height for landscaping). You don't need that, since you can wire branches to go wherever you need them. So . . .

A viable option if you're set on bonsai might be to do an air layer immediately below the graft. This would allow you to keep the vigorous rootstock and would at least minimize the graft down to a smaller piece at the very base of the tree (instead of cutting the trunk in half visually). Will it still show? Yes. Will it look better? Probably.
 

aml1014

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It gets said around here all the time - bonsai is about trunks. That is a very . . . let's go with 'noticeable', graft. Based on the large difference in bark character already, that is likely to become more pronounced. Trimming the canopy down to bonsai proportions will also highlight that more. If all you want is a large ball of pretty red foliage, you might as well put it in the landscape like @LanceMac10 and enjoy it there, or keep it as a patio container plant.

As @whfarro points out, the graft is really high (intentionally, because this cultivar can "weep", so it needs to begin with some height for landscaping). You don't need that, since you can wire branches to go wherever you need them. So . . .

A viable option if you're set on bonsai might be to do an air layer immediately below the graft. This would allow you to keep the vigorous rootstock and would at least minimize the graft down to a smaller piece at the very base of the tree (instead of cutting the trunk in half visually). Will it still show? Yes. Will it look better? Probably.
Thank you for actually being helpful lol that sounds to be the best idea and thats close to what I was thinking about and going with a nice slant style tree
 

mattspiniken

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If the nebari is worthwhile you can trunk chop it low under the graft. It is likely grafted on regular acer palmatum. Although this might be a good option it would take a long time to grow a nice new top and it might be better finding a different tree .
 

LanceMac10

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If your going to try an air-layer, experiment on a branch first. Most of these "exotic" palmatums can be tricky to root.
Colin has a thread documenting an air-layer he did, check it out.
 

Giga

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Here's my thoughts on this.

Put a pot around the grafting area like you would a air layer just much larger then normal. Fill with a good bonsai soil. Then, Instead of air layering, thread graft 5 or so saplings right above the graft with standard a. Palmatums saplings. Let those take and fuse then cut then off at the other end. Then the following year or when the sapling take do it again. This is a more sure way of doing that and you can create a good root base to your design. Also the top has a unique look, since the branches are thick and kinda knobby I would cut it back hard in spring and go for a sleepy hollow looks if that makes since. This is just my thoughts on this tree and may take a few years to remove the layer but it May be a work around since some of these guys are harder to root.
 

ColinFraser

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Here's my thoughts on this.

Put a pot around the grafting area like you would a air layer just much larger then normal. Fill with a good bonsai soil. Then, Instead of air layering, thread graft 5 or so saplings right above the graft with standard a. Palmatums saplings. Let those take and fuse then cut then off at the other end. Then the following year or when the sapling take do it again. This is a more sure way of doing that and you can create a good root base to your design. Also the top has a unique look, since the branches are thick and kinda knobby I would cut it back hard in spring and go for a sleepy hollow looks if that makes since. This is just my thoughts on this tree and may take a few years to remove the layer but it May be a work around since some of these guys are harder to root.
Ah, so replace the one large graft with individually grafted "roots" (seedlings). Interesting. I wonder if the growth differential would be more or less pronounced . . .
 

Giga

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Ah, so replace the one large graft with individually grafted "roots" (seedlings). Interesting. I wonder if the growth differential would be more or less pronounced . . .

Less noticeable, I would think because there not going to be grown unchecked, unless you ground grow it, to thicken and grow at different rates. They will be fine roots and they will grow some but given time the trunk will age with the roots. You can always use a diluted lime suffer to match them up as well.
 

sorce

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Jesus Christ AML!

They always talk about how nursery men are notorious for things......

Lets not add using vshitty grafts for bonsai!

Seriously.....why not make a few of your own.....with the grafts low...and angled....and make some good stuff?

I'm with layering too....

But why not graft them nicer?

Know....I would have got caught up too!

Well....except for I just outright avoid grafted stuff like the plague!

It is pretty!

Sorce
 

Adair M

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If you want to graft seedling on, or airlayer, know from the start that this tree is for learning those techniques. Look at the branches. Look at the internodes. See how long they are? Good bonsai stock (Japanese maple) has short internodes in order to build ramification.

The best idea is to plant it in the landscape.
 

aml1014

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I'll most likely end up layering at or just below the graft. And please everyone stop saying plant it in the yard, if only you guys knew what it's like where I live you'd know that's the worst possible advice to give any body.
 

sorce

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If it will die there.....

Maybe that's the BEST advice!

Lol.

Sorce
 

Dav4

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How well do Japanese maples do in the NM landscape? Also, approximately, what did the 'Crimson Queen' set you back?
 

aml1014

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How well do Japanese maples do in the NM landscape? Also, approximately, what did the 'Crimson Queen' set you back?
They do good with lots of wind protection and morning sun only which I happen to have areas built for my trees to make them feel as much at home as I can, and on sale for 50%off $120.00, I figured not to bad for a 10 gallon maple that I've wanted for a long time.
 

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