Hiding a graft mark

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Herb Gustafson on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:46 pm

I have a forty year old bonsai that is grafted. Pinus Sylvestris 'globosa', on top of Pinus Sylvestris. It's a beautiful tree, but my eye keeps getting distracted by the obvious graft union. Physical form has nothing to do with the distraction; from the nebari on up into the branches, it is perfectly tapered. The problem is color. Globosa has a smooth reddish bark and the understock is rugged grey-brown. Has anyone tried to alter the color of bark? How would you go about it without making things worse?
Herb Gustafson

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  Kev Bailey on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:27 pm

Welcome Herb. great to see you posting here.

An interesting problem. I know this will cause controversy, but I can at least claim it is not my idea but one I saw discussed at my local club. If the globosa is old enough to be exhibiting flaking bark, you can carefully detach small pieces from areas where it will not be missed (or another tree) and superglue them onto the rootstock. Carefully done it should be undetectable and perhaps a better alternative than artificially colouring.

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  Storm on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:35 pm

How about just removing a bit of the bark just where the mark is? Then, it will hopefully heal over with new bark from the trunk..? Then going on and on.
My guess is though, it will take way too much time, and possibly leave too many scars. Just an idea..

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Herb Gustafson on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:51 pm

Interesting idea Kevin. I met a sculptor a few yars back that covered everyday objects with bark. They looked alive! He used those pine pieces that look like puzzle pieces; Ponderosa pine? Perhaps. It's worth a try. I suppose you could remove them carefully if it looked phony. Shrug.

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  JimLewis on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:25 pm

Welcome, Herb . . . long time no see on the IBC. I think it was still only e-mail last time you were here.

Glued-on bark alway looks glued on to me, but perhaps I haven't seen it done well.

Is there a way that some carving of the trunk's front could simply disguise the graft?

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Guest on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:27 pm

I have done as Kev suggests on a few of my trees. As much as I love my pet cat, he does like to sharpen his claws on my best trees. He has removed really truffle like bark from my Sloe, old bark from my Hawthorn and beautiful plates from my Pines. All were superglued back on and is still firm after four years.

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Herb Gustafson on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:19 pm

Hi Jim. Good to see your name again. Yes, this list was only e-mail the last time I was on. Glad to have found you again.
The globosa part is obviously above the graft. The bark looks as smooth and polished as a Kimura Shimpaku, and even the same color! Obviously I cannot get a redddish polished look out of the rough grey-brown bark of the rootstock, so I am faced with roughing up the surface above the graft. The trunk taper is nearly perfect as is. If I glue on some rough bark over the smooth bark, I'm afraid that you are right; it would be abrupt and obvious. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Herb.

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:11 am

I bet Jim has enjoyed countless trees that have had bark added or re applied to trees without even knowing it.

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  bonsaikc on Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Herb,
It's so good to see you here. I got my start in bonsai with all of your books! Would it be possible to see a photo of the graft union in question?

Chris Johnston

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Herb Gustafson on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:08 pm

Ah, a photo. I'm afraid I am still in the stone age. I have never used a cell phone or own a digital camera. I still rely on my trusty old 6 by 6 Hasselblad for photography. I realize that the IBC has changed with technology and I'm impressed with the photos on this site. Back in the olden days, a photo was rare. I suppose I'll have to break down and ask Santa for a digital camera.
Herb

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:36 pm

It's about time Herb. They have become remarkably cheap to run and much better over the last few years of development. I resisted for a good while, preferring slides but have never looked back. http://www.dpreview.com/ is a great place to start. If you have any questions, just ask.

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  my nellie on Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:32 am

Given this opportunity of Mr. Gustafson being among IBC members, I would like to Thank you Sir for your books!
Apart from the valuable contents the quality of publishment is high!
"Bonsai Workshop" has been very helpful for me as a beginner.

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Hiding a graft mark

Post  Herb Gustafson on Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:16 pm

For Chris and Alexandra and any others out there who have benefited from my books, I appreciate your feedback. For anyone that has been a teacher, there is nothing so rewarding than hearing that they made a difference in someone's life experience. I am humbled. Thank you.
Herb Gustafson.

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Re: Hiding a graft mark

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:52 pm

You can count me among those admirers who have learned lots and deeply appreciated your books Herb. Reading your discussion of environmental factors was one of those "lightbulb on above my head" moments.

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