Ficus b. grafting q's

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Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:46 pm

This poor franken creation is my first foray into some advanced techniques. I know Ficus b. is not considered great material, but so far it has been bullet proof.It started as an airlayer off of a braided houseplant a couple years ago. This past summer, I tried to create the first branch with my first attempt at grafting. Although there is some swelling post union, this is likely due to scar tissue from scraping away the cambium. The tree has since backbudded 3 small branches from the same place at the crotch of the first branch(should I remove one or two?), so the graft may not be necessary after all, but I thought I would see it through; a little extra green couldn't hurt. Just to the left of the tack is another small branch that I would like to try a similar approach graft to bring up to be the second branch coming from the out side of the curve where the new leader is starting.

I would love some general advice when it comes to grafting with ficus, and specifically with how to approach my next attempt. Would it be possible to graft a (too little) cultivar in the future, or would bark and or growth rates cause a funny looking union?

Thank you,
David



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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  rps on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:32 pm

here's some grafting info from jerry meislik's site...
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/ficusforum/FicusTechniques/FigTechnique13.html
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/GraftingFigs.html
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/rex/AdvancedGrafts1.html
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/ChiangGrafting.html

have fun

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Ficus differing cultivar graft

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:45 am

Thanks for the links. I was going through them and realized I recognized some pictures from Jerry Meislik's 'Ficus the exotic bonsai' Interestingly, I think Amazon sent me an autographed copy. I didn't see any reference to cross grafting cultivars for smaller leaves. I wonder if anyone has had success or failure with that approach on ficus.

I am also curious if anyone had any specific advice for where I should target my second graft attempt for.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  rps on Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:56 am

Jerry's on this site and seems to visit regularly. In my experience he likes questions (or at least is very patient in dealing with them). He's as likely as anyone to have experimented with the graft you're considering --- send him a PM in case he misses your post.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  drgonzo on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:53 am

MrFancyPlants wrote: I didn't see any reference to cross grafting cultivars for smaller leaves. I wonder if anyone has had success or failure with that approach on ficus.

This is quite commonly done with figs. Erik Wigert has a video up on you tube from a while back where he demonstrates thread grafting with strangler figs to achieve this end.

found it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjJMHdaxMco
-Jay

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:57 am

David,
Good work with your grafting efforts.
I can comment much better if you take some pictures of your tree against a plain white background so that I can see the current and
where you might like future branches to be grafted.
As to grafting benjamina cultivars on benjamina stock it is very likely to be a successful graft. The main problem as you suggested was that the bark color may not match perfectly and ruin all your hard work.
Looking forward to your continued work.
Jerry
PS nice video by Erik.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:32 am

Thanks for taking a look. Here is another photo, although i didn't realize how yellow the wall was until i took the photo. I am somewhat doubtful that the first graft has taken since it hasn't started to flatten out, but I feel oddly confident about the second attempt and want to be sure to put it in the right place. Let me know if you would like a close up on the existing graft or the 3fallback buds on the other side.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:40 am

Any branches on the left side of the trunk or on the back. Can you point them out on the image?
Jerry

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:52 am

None on the left side, which is why I want to bring the crossing branch from the left of the tack over. Behind and below the tack are three small branches coming out of the same place. I hope my description helps.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:14 pm

Still really hard for me to tell exactly where your branches are and where no branches exist.
There is certainly a need for more branches. Grafting points in red could be considered to rough out a potential design.
Let me know what you think.

Jerry

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:29 pm

Thank you for the input. I think that that is very close to the direction I'll be going in with this guy. I already sent a letter to the N. Pole asking for a grafting knife, so hopefully my next graft will turn out a little cleaner. I may need to clear away some of the dead bark below the tallest chop so that I make sure I am grafting to viable cambium.


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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:50 am

Yes, attaching to good clean cambium/vascular tissue is key.
Jerry

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Post  MrFancyPlants on Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:27 pm

Sorry to bug everyone with this tree again, but realized I had a few follow up questions when I was moving this guy into my new LED enclosure.

1. Should I just abort my first graft attempt (the one w the pin in it) since I have a few buds coming out of the base of that branch anyways?

2. Assuming that I abort the graft, or if it fails on it's own, which of the 3 buds should I keep.

3. Should I dremel down the top chop to try an achieve a more natural transition to the new leader? If so, should I do it before or after the second graft attempt to the same area of transition?


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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:41 am

Quite honestly from your photographs I find it hard to evaluate most of your questions.
Some guesses.
1. If the new branches are sturdy enough you can get rid of the graft attempt.
2. Not sure I can see where these are to suggest anything.
3. You can always dremel down. Is it possible you may need part of it in the future? What is the transition look like now?
Jerry

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:02 pm

I do apologize for my lack of picture taking skills, but I will try one more time. Here are the 3 buds that I have as alternates to the first graft attempt.


And here is the current transition to the leader that will need some work.


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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:31 pm

Thanks for the updated images. Much easier to see what is happening.
Regarding the 3 branches from the one spot, my preference is to remove the smallest one now. Allow the other two to grow and in a month or two remove the one that is the least healthy.
The apex is tough to determine as far as carving. I would remove the dead material as jin is not really long lasting with figs. Transitioning to the new apex will be dependent on the exact front of the tree so as to hide the cut scar as much to the back, and not visible, as possible.
Keep up the good work.
Jerry

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  rps on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:47 pm

a humble suggestion, based more on your willingness to experiment with grafting than superiority of design.
where green is keep + red is remove.
this would entail either grafting a new leader/apex [perhaps as an approach from the existing main trunk before effecting the proposed cut] or training one of the green keepers to that end.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:33 am

I certainly appreciate the suggestion, however I think that the trunk above the chop you are recommending does have some movement and taper. I also don't want to compact the design too much since I doubt I will get much in the way of leaf reduction. Thanks for taking a look, and I haven't completely ruled out your suggestion. It will probably be a month or more before I attempt the second graft.

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graft failure update

Post  MrFancyPlants on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:12 pm

Well, I have a lot of new growth since my last post, but unfortunately I don't believe my second graft has taken in the two months since the latest attempt.  I am not sure if I did a bad job aligning the cambium or if I should have used sealant or tape around the attempt.  I'll probably trim it back and start to style anyways and attempt the graft again early next summer but carving a bigger notch out of the trunk for the now larger branch to fit into.  Who knows, maybe it will decide to take in the meantime. I think I'll also start dremmeling down the dead stumps so that they can start to heal over.



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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:37 pm



Man it sure is a pain posting images from an iPhone here. But no signs of the graft taking. I am a bit disappointed and not sure what to try next. I could just give it more time, or take a dremel to it an try more of a Lincoln log type graft. The branch is getting thicker than I intended in order to encourage the fusing. Although the bark is not rolling or fusing, it sure is stuck in place pretty well. Any advice appreciated.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Torbjörn on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:07 pm

I Think you should have used a wire to fix the graft and thus force it to fuse, as it seems the pin has been rejected.

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  MrFancyPlants on Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:37 am

What about how to proceed now? I was debating drilling out a big channel in the trunk, big enough to fit the branch and maybe screw it in this time? How would I use wire instead of a pin or screw?

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Re: Ficus b. grafting q's

Post  Torbjörn on Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:58 am

Just took an example from google: http://nichigobonsai.com/tag/grafting/

You could use that branch to attach, but the result probably will look awkward.
If it was me, i would grow a new shoot and start from scratch again, using wire. Cool 

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