Arakawa Maple thread graft

I like the base of this maple, and love twin trunk trees. This is an air-layer I made in around 2010.



Unfortunately, even 6 years later, I don’t think these two trunks interact very well, and they both lack much character in their mid-sections.

Since its on its own roots, I don’t need to pull the attention upward, and would like to reduce the scale, and eliminate some of the boring areas in the tree. I wanted to place a graft on the left side that could become both the first left branch, and become the next section of trunk; adding some movement, taper, and hopefully create an opportunity to make the trunks work better together.

Thread grafts are easy, and their success rate is high. Plan a season ahead: grow a long branch or three.

Mark both sides of the trunk, ensure the branch will comply. Drill in through the exit side, take your time and go slowly so you don’t tear the cambium.

Work just before the buds begin to swell so they aren’t sheared off while the scion is passed through the stock.

Here’s your chance to put a bud exactly where you want it, so try to position one close to the trunk! When you have the scion positioned correctly, use a shoot from the same tree to wedge into the hole to secure the graft, on both ends if necessary.

Cover the area with cut putty:

As an experiment, I’d like to see if I can use this thread graft not only for the first left branch, but also to add a new trunk section:

I wanted to do the same on the right side, but it has a few buds directly on the trunk

So I just opted to place a low right branch:


Maybe down the road it will start to take on a shape like this:


Through the magic of blog time-travel, you just skipped ahead 4 months.
And things are going swimmingly.
Right trunk:

Left trunk:

The base is packed with sphagnum moss to encourage some roots and swelling:

The branch on the exit side is starting to swell too; a sure sign the graft is starting to take:


It has been a good specimen to propagate, so I also started an air layer:


But that’s a project for another year.

2 thoughts on “Arakawa Maple thread graft

  1. That is amazing swelling for 4 months, and I’ve always wondered if both sides of the branch couldn’t be used. Interesting! Please update when you cut.

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