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Grafted Japanese Maple Trees

Grafting is the most popular method used to propagate hybrid varieties of Japanese maple trees

Grafting Japanese Maple Trees Grafting is the most popular method used to propagate hybrid varieties of Japanese maple trees. There are several reasons for using this method. 1. Grafting assures that the variety you are propagating, will be exactly the same as the parent plant. 2. Experienced grafters can receive a very good percentage of successful grafts, this is important in large nurseries when controlling the cost of production is a major issue. 3. Grafting to rootstock that exhibits cold hardiness or extreme vigor makes the plant more adaptable to various climates and conditions. The major drawbacks to grafting mostly involvesb the experience necessary to produce successful Japanese maple tree grafts, and the facilities that are needed. Becoming a proficient and experienced grafter usually takes many hours of practice and plenty of plant material to practice on. Learning by watching a experienced grafter is the best way to be sure you are grafting correctly. There are many different grafting techniques used by different propagators. As long as the technique used, produces successful grafts at a economical cost, consider the technique successful. If you are grafting as a hobby or to clone a Japanese maple tree for your own use, cost of production or time involved is not as much a consideration. There are different types of propagation that fall under the title of grafting. The most commonly used method to produce Japanese maple trees is called a side graft of bench graft. This involves an understock plant, usually a seedling grown green Japanese maple tree (Acer palmatum). The understock is generally one to two years old and growing in a small pot. The upper part of the graft is called the scion. The scion is a small branch or limb that comes from the tree you want to propagate. Lace leaf and weeping varieties like Crimson Queen, Ever Red and many others, are almost entirely produced by this form of grafting. Grafting in this manner is done at different times of the year, but it seems that the months of January thru March produce the best results. The use of a bottom heated bench in a greenhouse will greatly improve the success rate. I have heard of several hobbyist grafters setting up a heated bench in their basement and using plant grow lights to successfully produce Japanese maple trees. For information about rooting cuttings of Japanese Red Maples click here.


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