Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

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Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  H on Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:41 am

I have an Acer Palmatum 'Beni Otake' that I want to make into a raft style because all the limbs (as small as they are) are all on one side. This is a seedling that I received in the mail. It is 17 inches tall. However, I just read that red-leaf Japanese Maples are grafted on better root stock because their roots are weak, and now, I'm wondering if raft style is a good idea. I live in Georgia, Zone 7b. H

H
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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:26 am



First, we have to figure out what you have. Is it grafted, a seedling or a cutting? A seedling of 'beni otake' or any other named cultivar is just that - a seedling - and no longer the cultivar. But a cutting or grafted plant is the same. It's a matter of how the plant was reproduced. If your plant is grafted you shoul be able to tell.

Grafting is a way to make a new, strong plant quickly. Many maples (and other plants) are perfectly capable of growing on their own roots, it just takes longer to make it happen.

Japanese maples are fine material for raft style bonsai.

Russell Coker
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Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  H on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:11 am

It is grafted.

H
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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:21 am



Then it's not a seedling, the top part anyway. If your plant is 17 inches tall, how far up is the graft, and how far away are the branches? A picture would be helpful. Oh, you're asking this because you want to eliminate the existing graft union and root stock, right?

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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  marcus watts on Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:20 am

hi,

the tree will be absolutely fine.

Layed on its side the tree will initially be growing 100% on the grafted roots, then as time goes on the the tree will be living on a mixture of grafted and new roots. Each time yopu repot observe the quantity and quality of the new roots - dont remove the original roots until you have a good dense fiberous pad of new roots.

It will make a great raft, wire and curve the main trunk first to add interest to the new 'trunks' position so you avoid a boring strraight line.

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Ian Young on Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:39 pm

Unusual but not unheard of. Here's one that belongs to a mate.


DSC_0661 by Bonsai eejit, on Flickr


DSC_0191 by Bonsai eejit, on Flickr

More images here Tree Delivery and here Naked Maple Raft

Ian Young
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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  landerloos on Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:06 pm

thats a fine piece Ian uncommon raft, me like all uncommon thingys.

Peter

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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Ian Young on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:44 pm

landerloos wrote:thats a fine piece Ian uncommon raft, me like all uncommon thingys.

Peter

Hi Peter, I think it's a Marmite tree. I hate marmite but like this Razz Not for everyone, it has a way to go as far as ramification and making a better overall profile, but I think it's rather eye catching.

Ian Young
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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:59 pm

Hi Ian.

So, is/was this tree grafted? If I recall, this is 'bloodgood', right?

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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  RKatzin on Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:03 pm

When I read the first post I thought of something like Ians mates tree, perhaps planting the tree behind and laying over a stone and then rafting into the ground. Lots of ways to camo a graft when the tree is horizonal. I'm working on some boxwood cuttings and maples that I'll plant in a forest planting, using the box as underbrush, rather than worry about removing the grafts I'm going to concentrate on blending them into the composition. From the onset I chose maples that had nice clean grafts to work with, I'm lucky to have hundreds to pick through at a local nursery. Would I be correct in assumming the tree pictured was rafted as a much more mature tree? With saplings your options are much broader as far as working in features to camo a graft. My feeling is that the grafts are there for a reason, the health and vigor of the tree. It's been my experience that the more hybridized these maples are, the less likely they are to survive without the host tree. Also the more expensive they are, so though I do take airlayers, I always keep my grafted original in tact, just for backup.

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Re: Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  Ian Young on Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:33 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Hi Ian.

So, is/was this tree grafted? If I recall, this is 'bloodgood', right?

Hi Russell,

Not grafted as far as I'm aware but I don't know much about the trees history. Not sure about 'Bloodgood' either. There are so many similar varieties and many of them are misnamed in the nurseries to start with. I've seen 3 or 4 trees called bloodgood and everyone was different!! When I first saw it for sale, in leaf, I was concerned about whether decent ramification could be achieved with this variety. Seeing it now on my mates bench I think it should actually be rather good in another few years with proper technique.

Ian Young
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Is Raft Style Suitable for Japanese Maple?

Post  H on Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:12 am

Ian, I don't think mine will ever look like your friends. I waited too late in life to start growing bonsai. I should have started this 40 years ago instead of digging in this Georgia red clay.

Russell, the graft is four inches above the root ball, and the oh so small branches start five inches above the graft. This sapling was damaged during shipment and the nursery replaced it with a better tree; so this one that I'm making into a raft is just an extra. The weather has been so warm this winter that I planted it at the first of the week in a grow box that I built. Then I read the article about the roots on red-leafed maples being weak, and I started doubting as to whether it would work or not.

H
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