Grafted Yama momiji

Posted: June 3, 2015 in Aichi-en tree's, Bonsai, Bonsai styling, Japan
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After finishing the maintenance work on the developed Japanese maples and trident maples we then moved on to doing some work to tree’s in development. This tree has been here for a while and I felt it was time it could do with a little work. It was ideal at this time because the branches had now not been cut this year and there was length to graft.

 The tree is a yamamomiji/Japanese mountain maple with poor leaf quality. The leaf is not good because of the size is large and the inter nodal distance is long. At sometime it was partly grafted with Seigen and left to grow for the most part, probably to let the grafts take and heal the scar’s (which are healed now).

Here you can see the difference between the different foliage types. 

I then defoliated the tree to see what could be done and make the work more easy. I did however make a mental note on which was original foliage and which parts were grafted.

At the time I also remove the secondry branch on the left as it was un grafted, coming from an ugly position and not very beautiful being straight. 

I made four approach grafts using a saw, nail’s, hammer and wound sealant.



Three out of the four grafts that were made are Seigen grafted back on to the tree, to make two new branches and a new apex. The first, was a new secondary branch grafted in a better position. The second was on to the back branch as it was still yama momiji. 

The very top two parts of the tree after the apex splits in two are also still yama momiji leaf. The left  top will be cut in the  future but, is left for now for vigor. The right side will be used as the tree will be moving to a right direction and the main branch that side. 

The fourth and final aproach graft is yama momiji the graft is not to create a branch but to use to lower the apex by 11cm.  The middle section of the tree has little taper or movement so to improve the tree it has to go.



If all goes well, the graft will keep the apex alive as the middle section is cut out and the apex re-attached at a lower point. The reason for trying to do this is to speed up the tree’s development and the challenge is certainly appealing as it’s perfect material for trying this. It was messured with a clipper and the difference is very minimal and the chosen point should be a good fit.

At a later stage there will most certainly need to be some more branches grafted and the tree has a long way to go yet but, hopefully it is a step in moving forward.

  1. Is it Common or unusual over there to graft ‘named variety’ type foliage onto trunks that have poor leaf quality? It seems a good way to have a nice trunk, strong roots but better leaves.

    • If grafted well and you cannot see the grafts, it is an great way to make a tree. The reality is though, it’s not really so common to see because many professionals are not making tree’s in Japan if at all. Mainly only amateurs are taking time to make. It is a time consuming process and the increase in value would be hardly worth it compared to how long it takes.

  2. Brian says:

    It is the first of June and you have done some approach grafting to the left.. Is it not too late or does the timing not matter because of the type of graft.

    • The work was actually done a week or so ago but, with this type of graft it is possible to do any time of the year as both parts are independently living. I feel it is better to do in the growing season though as it gives time for the callous to form and the graft to take. I’ve done grafts like this here in mid summer and they have taken well I cut them this spring without any problem. The benefit here is the better growing conditions and the longer growing season.

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