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.

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2013:

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2015:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Cover the area with cut putty:

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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:

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

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So I just opted to place a low right branch:

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

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

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Left trunk:

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

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

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

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But that’s a project for another year.

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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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