How to fix a graft union bulge

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How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:33 pm

Hi IBC folks,

I just got a beautiful Kotobuki JBP from a nursery (not specializing in bonsai). I got it for a good price, the tree is healthy, and there are tons of branching. However, I get an itch when I see the graft union. I mean it isn't that bad... but it is still a bulge.

I need ideas from people who have dealt with graft union bulge (particularly that of a pine). What do you guys think of shaving a piece of the bulge to meet the taper below it? Or maybe I can grow a sacrifice to correct the bulge. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
- S

Guest
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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:08 am

I am too new to know, so I don't know.
But I have wondered about that myself. Except, instead of shaving off the outside (which I would think would remove the growing part and so it would kill the tree) I wonder if it would work if you cracked open the bulge and removed the center part, and then squeezed it together somehow, maybe with a clamp or twine or something, so it would no longer bulge out and then grow layers on top to make it permanent. That is what I wonder every time I see a graft bulge.... bounce

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:02 pm

My experience is that the root stock for most grafted trees is stronger than the upper which is why they are grafted. As a result it will grow and thicken more than the upper which will hide some of the graft union, particularly if it is not too bad. This can be promoted by growing in a relatively wide, shallow container which will increase the root flare and hence the thickness of the lower trunk.

I doubt that carving away strips through the bulge will reduce it. In fact it may make it worse. There was an article in Bonsai Focus a couple of years ago where selected carving was done to thicken the trunk nearby as the live vein grew faster since it was now carrying the sap flow for the section that had been carved.

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  Guest on Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:56 pm

Thanks for your response Jon.

Marty, thanks for your response. It makes complete sense that the rootstock will grow faster. So I guess, time will fix the problem. I also think that a sacrifice above the bulge will help matters a little.

- S

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:07 pm

Hello,

You could try wrapping the bulge with a tree wrap tightly to allow the rest of the trunk to thicken. This may take some time but is an option. Hope this helps.

Abe

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:45 am

Sorry, but I would never buy a bonsai or pre-bonsai with a conspicuous graft. You will probably have it forever. In bonsai cultivars that must be grafted, the graft union is down around their ankles, where it is inconspicuous.
Iris

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

Post  drgonzo on Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:11 am

I've seen some Japanese Maples at nurseries that were so well done I had to get on hands and knees to find the graft, Unfortunately they can lead to horticultural and growth issues down the road, I'm not sure how much of an issue it is with pines, I've seen some pines so well done it just looked like a belly button from an old branch. The problem is finding stock on its own roots (i.e. Maples) is tricky but oftentimes is no more expensive then grafted stock strangely enough. At Miller nursery in Canandaigua NY (if you ever get their catalog) EVERYTHING is grafted. EVERYTHING!

I haven't gone to the dark side yet, but I will admit I have been tempted by some REALLY well grafted stuff.
-Jay

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Re: How to fix a graft union bulge

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