Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Grafting Refresher by John Armitage -prt1

The position of the new branch/foliage is discussed.
The whips are selected according to their position.
Its best to take your time and get it right first time.
Checking again .......


After my talk on the grafting techniques that were used at the nursery where I studied in Japan, I thought that it was probably too much information to take in one go. So, to refresh your memories and to cover the key points again, I thought that I would write something for your blog.

Generally we used the approach graft. This proves to be the most reliable method.
The purpose for which is usually:
1. To replace undesirable types foliage.
2. To grow branches in better positions.
3. To improve roots.
4. To alter the height/size of the bonsai.
5. To make the design of the bonsai sustainable.
6. To make multiple bonsai from one piece of material.
7. To make use of difficult albeit character full material.

It would be a waste of time to use these techniques on material that has little character or interest other for the sake of practice.

In order for the graft to be successful the key points to remember are:

Use very sharp tools
Do not forget to water and feed the “whip”. It’s easily missed.
Do not imbed the whip too deeply nor to high in the base tree. Ideally they should be flush with each other.
In order for the graft to take as quickly as possible, the match between cambium layers should be precise and performed with a very sharp knife.
The longer the contact area the stronger the resulting graft with be.
The whip should be fully immobilised. If it moves, it won’t take.
Don’t be in a hurry to remove the bindings. Leave them for as long as you can bear to.
In the case of grafting whips to make new roots. After one year, construct a polystyrene box around them to encourage growth and new roots direct from the trunk.

I hope that this and my talk encourage you to give it a go.

John Armitage

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Hello and welcome to the Wirral Bonsai Society Blog - an ongoing diary & newsletter highlighting the adventures of the society & its members

Society Diary-We meet at 8pm every 2nd Wednesday of the month at the RAFA club in Oxton (CH43 1UU).

  • 13th January
  • 10th February
  • 14th February Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 28th February Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th March - Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th March Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 27th March Workshop - Gordale
  • 13th April - Demonstration - Andy H
  • 17th April Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 24th April Workshop - Gordale
  • 8th May Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 11th May- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 29th May Workshop - Gordale
  • 4-5th June WBS Flowering Bonsai Show - Port Sunlight GC
  • 8th June - WBS Member trees critique
  • 12th June Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26th June Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th July Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 13th July- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 31st July Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th August- WBS Show tree selection
  • 13-14th August - Wirral Flower Show
  • 20th August - Japan Day, Liverpool
  • 27-29th August WBS Annual Show - Gordale
  • 14th September- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 11th September Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 25th September Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th October Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 12th October- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 30th October Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th November- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th November Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26-27th November - Potter Workshop with David Jones (Walsall Studio Ceramics)
  • 27th November Workshop - Gordale
  • 14th December - Club Party


New members are always welcome, just come along to one of our monthly meetings at the RAFA club. You can even 'try us out' for a few months before you decide on joining as an official member. The meetings are informal (there's a bar!) and the club members are (mostly) friendly, approachable and happy to pass on guidance and information to anybody interested in bonsai- whatever your level of experience.