Changing clothes…RMJ to Itoigawa

This is the one called Fire. It was collected in South Dakota, right at the edge of a fire line. It’s not special, but did have good movement, and clearly a will to live.

In Late February ’14, I grafted Itoigawa into the main trunk. Somehow, I really goofed, and the channel went from slightly too narrow to the width of the Mississippi River. I used some bamboo sticks to wedge the scion into the stock on the bottom and hoped for the best. Here are some shots of the process:

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A year later, and it is starting to take:

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So I roughed up the callus along the bottom of the union, applied new putty, and attached it in a couple more spots, further up the trunk:

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All set for another year or two:

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Additionally, I began the wardrobe work on the largest one. This is the front, and currently, the plan is to Jin the left trunk, and graft Itoigawa onto the right one; eventually compacting the design back to around 22″ tall:

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The back:

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Begin by scrubbing the bark off, in order to get a good look at the live veins. Look at this photo…can you tell what’s alive and what’s dead?

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Surprise! The Shari was exactly where I would have placed the grafts…glad I didn’t skip this step!

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The Itoigawa scion was planted at the edge of this 2 gal can last spring in preparation for this year’s operation:

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(Insert 2 hours of laying out the locations for channels, carving, test-fitting, and cleaning the edges with a grafting knife):

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Attaching the scion, using grafting pins (amazing little tool…buy some!):

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Then tightening the mid-section with some wire, buffered by a piece of old bicycle tire, and then attaching branches to branches:

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Finally, cleaning up, and applying cut putty to allow everything to knit together under wraps:

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From the front (bad background, but I’m not moving it around because it’s HEAVY!)

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