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.


Will demonstrates a side cleft graft on a Black pine.


I discussed Japanese maples.


Pete offers a few tips with practice material.


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.


A scion is trimmed to a point.


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


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


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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