Thread grafting and buds came off.

Bmcghan22

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I’ve been wanting to thread grafting a deshojo maple I’ve had for a while now I’m pretty new to bonsai in the aspect of doing anything crazy. I mainly just appreciate the ones I have and now that I’m getting more into it I’ve been wanting to experiment and go for more specimen style trees.

so my question is how big of a deal is it if the buds fall off when bringing through the hole of the trunk. I had a buddy do one recently and noticed his buds had came off when he pulled through. Like I said I want to try it with my tree but I’m worried the buds are already to swelled up and I would possible have to big of a hole to get the buds through and i would have a hole twice as big as the branch. Pretty much if the buds are off could it still take or should I wait till next year? Any tips or tricks would also be much appreciated.
 

River's Edge

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I’ve been wanting to thread grafting a deshojo maple I’ve had for a while now I’m pretty new to bonsai in the aspect of doing anything crazy. I mainly just appreciate the ones I have and now that I’m getting more into it I’ve been wanting to experiment and go for more specimen style trees.

so my question is how big of a deal is it if the buds fall off when bringing through the hole of the trunk. I had a buddy do one recently and noticed his buds had came off when he pulled through. Like I said I want to try it with my tree but I’m worried the buds are already to swelled up and I would possible have to big of a hole to get the buds through and i would have a hole twice as big as the branch. Pretty much if the buds are off could it still take or should I wait till next year? Any tips or tricks would also be much appreciated.
The one thing you wish to avoid is damaging the buds when thread grafting. So if all the buds were rubbed off then it is a big deal. If the apical bud is left then there is a chance new buds may form, Because it is a thread graft and the branch is still attached you can wait to see if your buddies tree works out.
The best time to do thread grafting is before the buds start swelling because that allows for a smaller entrance hole.
There are lots of tips associated with better results. Wiring the branch in place ahead of time as it grows for proper positioning. Drilling the hole slowly to limit damage to the cambium. Drilling the holes at the right angle to gain proper positioning for the branch. IMG_9604.jpegIMG_9610.jpegWrapping the buds with light grafting tape to ease the transition through the hole. Making sure to wedge the graft up tight to the top of the hole when completed. Sealing the entrance and exit with cut paste! Sample below!
 

Bmcghan22

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The one thing you wish to avoid is damaging the buds when thread grafting. So if all the buds were rubbed off then it is a big deal. If the apical bud is left then there is a chance new buds may form, Because it is a thread graft and the branch is still attached you can wait to see if your buddies tree works out.
The best time to do thread grafting is before the buds start swelling because that allows for a smaller entrance hole.
There are lots of tips associated with better results. Wiring the branch in place ahead of time as it grows for proper positioning. Drilling the hole slowly to limit damage to the cambium. Drilling the holes at the right angle to gain proper positioning for the branch. View attachment 362419View attachment 362420Wrapping the buds with light grafting tape to ease the transition through the hole. Making sure to wedge the graft up tight to the top of the hole when completed. Sealing the entrance and exit with cut paste! Sample below!
Thanks that was very helpful I think I may wait just incase I notice my buddies had one set of buds at one of the tips and maybe a straggler here and there but I’d rather not risk it. We got into bonsai around the same time I do a lot more research before I attempt something then he does I usually do enough research to scare me out of trying things. This is my learning tree and I’m hoping to do some air layer in may and since I’m a newbie it needs to be in the best health for me to stand a chance at being successful
 

Shibui

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Even before the buds swell I have found that the hole needs to be quite large. Maple buds are opposite so the branch is quite a lot thicker where buds are and you have to get buds through intact. Large hole is not the problem you may think. As soon as the tree starts to grow it will try to heal up those holes and it will happen quite quick so don't worry too much about making the hole big enough to thread the grafted branch through without damaging buds. I have almost always underestimated the correct size for a start. No problem just take the shoot out before destroying all the buds and enlarge the hole with a larger sized bit then try again until it is large enough to thread the scion through safely.
 

leatherback

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lol.. Putting in effort to drill holes, put branches through and wait a year to separate. But pulling a branch through ripping of al the buds .. Somehow that seems odd!

Often maples will re-bud at the nodes. But.. Not all of the locations. If you take more care, you can position the branch with a viable bud near the trunk so the distance between trunk and first bud is short = good for later taper cuts.

As for deciding the right drill: Hold the drill next to the branch to be threaded thought the hole :)

Not sure I have seen it in this thread: Start drilling from the exist hole, so you know exactly where the branch will come out and under which angle!
 

sorce

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Pics!

Knocked off the apical bud too?

Sorce
 

keri-wms

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I had this question yesterday with a trident. The buds were “too swollen” for sure but in the end I realised I could pull the shoot through further (losing most buds....) to the point I had small intact dormant buds at older internodes available instead! Should have done it earlier though, note taken.
 

Dav4

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Been there, done that, and when no buds exit the hole with the branch, the chance of success is practically zero. When drilling the hole, I'll initially use the bit I believe will create the smallest diameter hole that will work, but when placing the thread graft, I now take extra care moving the donor branch through the drilled hole. Anything beyond the slightest resistance and I'll be reaching for a bigger drill bit.
IMG_5306.jpgIMG_5305.jpg
 

b3bowen

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No expert but this has allowed me to pull (somewhat forcefully) threads through the smallest drill hole possible without risking the buds. Take paraffin graft tape, wrap the tip/buds. Stretch the tape into a thread, pass through trunk and pull. Here is an example from this year. Here is whole process. I grafted two branches on same tree this year so some photos are from different branches but wanted to show each step. I see riversedge recommends something similar above.
39E15353-6DD9-4AB4-A260-EBC86C35A27A.jpeg57F812D4-B24F-486D-A853-998CA89AF990.jpegB08D96E6-6B46-4A7D-A0FA-235B571445D7.jpeg7FA7DEE0-40A2-4C2C-B77E-EB463164D3A6.jpeg403FE74B-8F5E-40A3-A1F7-4E06DACE6D6D.jpeg
 
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Bmcghan22

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Thanks for all the great info. I think I may try this now just go as small as I can with out loosing buds and tape it before I thread it. Also does anyone scrape the branch kind of like a air layer where it will sit in the trunk or is that not needed.
 

Bmcghan22

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Ok so I decided to do it here is the results I did lost a couple buds between the three threads but over all looks pretty full. Since this is my experimental learning tree I have a few plans for it hoping everything works and I will have my finished plan with it and a over all nice bonsai or 3 . That being said I also was wondering is it ok to air layer it about 2ft up from the threads or should I wait a year. The trees about 6ft and there is two places I plan to air layer this tree at some point or another. The reason for the thread grafts was so next year I could hopefully air layer above the trunk graft and have some branches so I can chop it below the where the next existing branch already is. From where I plan to layer to the first branch that is there now is about 1 1/2 feet apart and that seemed to far. Am I wrong or am I kind of on the right path?
 

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leatherback

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Also does anyone scrape the branch kind of like a air layer where it will sit in the trunk or is that not needed.
Not needed. But when I did a few, I did scratch the bark of the grafted branch, as I believe it will aid faster merging.
 

Shibui

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I also try to take of just a little bark on the side that is pressed against the trunk. Complete ring bark of the scion will defeat the purpose and the scion is likely to die before it unites. Thread grafting can work without taking off bark but occasionally I have had them unite on the 'in' side and not the exit side and so fail. 3 trials will not e comprehensive proof of concept but I look forward to the results of the trial.

Layering now may slow growth further down an that will slow the thread graft uniting. Unless you have plenty of leaf between the layer and graft I would defer layer until the graft has started to unite.

Probably not really necessary to have a live shoot to chop JM back to. Looks like the trunk is relatively young and so there should be plenty of dormant buds at those nodes which are almost certain to sprout after a chop.
 

Bmcghan22

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I also try to take of just a little bark on the side that is pressed against the trunk. Complete ring bark of the scion will defeat the purpose and the scion is likely to die before it unites. Thread grafting can work without taking off bark but occasionally I have had them unite on the 'in' side and not the exit side and so fail. 3 trials will not e comprehensive proof of concept but I look forward to the results of the trial.

Layering now may slow growth further down an that will slow the thread graft uniting. Unless you have plenty of leaf between the layer and graft I would defer layer until the graft has started to unite.

Probably not really necessary to have a live shoot to chop JM back to. Looks like the trunk is relatively young and so there should be plenty of dormant buds at those nodes which are almost certain to sprout after a chop.
Thanks for the info. I will have to take a pic to show my thinking. Like I said since I’m new to the whole grafting layering side of bonsai so I definitely like to hear advise and other opinion it is my experimental tree but I still not wanting to hack it up and kill it.
 

Bmcghan22

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I’m terrible at drawing on my phone but this is kinda my thinking of how to experiment on this tree the top part will probably be a growing tree for future layers. Just not sure how much I can get away with each season etc or if my way of thinking is just totally wrong
 

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