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.