Threadgrafting to improve stock
Posted on June 3rd, 2008 at 10:19 pm by admin

We’ve all got some trees we’ve neglected or somehow could be improved.  I found some Trident stock that had truly stunning nebari and really impressive taper.  Instead of chopping them back as hard as they’d need to be in one-fell swoop, and possibly  shocking the trees, I decided to threadgraft a seedling that will develop into the new leader allowing me to reduce the tree in stages, all the while developing the leader from the very beginning exactly where I wanted it to begin with.

tg-maple-1.jpg tg-maple-2.jpg

The above shows what I’m working towards.  You see the root structure and impressive buttress that has developed but the trunk really seems too uninteresting and straight for what has already developed into potentially a very dynamic tree.  Theres also a close-up that shows how the seedling was inserted through the trunk of the larger trunk.

The following pictures show the process:

tg-maple-3.jpg
Locate the front displaying attributes you want to highlight.

tg-maple-4.jpg
Drill a hole at the appropriate angle and clean up the entry and exit points.

tg-maple-5.jpg
Insert seedling through the hole you drilled.

tg-maple-6.jpg
I wasn’t sure if this step was necessary, but I don’t think there was any harm in sealing both sides of the graft.

All that there is to do now is to let the seedling grow as long and strong as it will to speed up the grafting process.  After the seedling  has shown strong growth for a few weeks, beginning to reduce the top will direct more energy and growth to the seedling and will speed the development up.

I’ll update this story as the trees develop.  Until then, keep an eye out for stock that can be improved by this simple and quick procedure.