Grafting workshop 2014


The last couple of years my uncle Pete has organized grafting workshops. This year he asked Will Feldman and myself to help him and we gladly accepted.

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Will demonstrates a side cleft graft on a Black pine.

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I discussed Japanese maples.

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Pete offers a few tips with practice material.

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Participants get busy grafting.

When I got home I grafted my 39 remaining Japanese maple rootstock . I chose scions of A.P. Hefner’s Red Select, A.P. Shin Deshojo, A.P. Pigmy, A.P. Crimson Queen, A.P. Filagree, A.P. Cork bark and A.P. Tom Thumb.

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A scion is trimmed to a point.

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A flap is cut into the rootstock and the scion is inserted.

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The grafted material is then wrapped with grafting tape, moist sphagnum moss is added to increase humidity, graft is tagged and bagged.

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I bagged a few trees in clear plastic bags and placed the remaining trees in clear plastic storage containers to keep the scions from drying out. I placed them near a sliding glass door that has good but no direct sunlight. I should know if the grafts were successful in about 3 or 4 weeks.

You might notice we got 10 inches of snow last night. It has been a rough winter with double our normal snowfall.

The side cleft graft is pretty straight forward but here are a few tips for grafting Japanese maples.

Rootstock must be compatible with the scion and 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter is optimal.

Rootstock should have about a 2 week head start breaking dormancy. Scions should still be dormant.

Scion should have 3 or 4 pairs of leaf buds and be trimmed on two sides to form a point with one side slightly longer than the other. Longer side is against the trunk and shorter side against the flap.

A flap in the rootstock should be cut at about a 20 degree angle, 3/4 to 1 inch long.

The scion and rootstock should be cut to the same length for a snug fit.

The cambium of the rootstock and scion must have good contact.

The finished graft should be placed in a high humidity environment ( no direct sun ) to keep the scion from drying out before the graft takes.

The black pine graft is basically the same process only you leave 3 to 5 clusters of needles.

Be patient.

Have fun!

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