Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

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Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:18 pm

I recently saw (chez Tickle) a nifty little trick whereby a juniper was being grown ONTO a large chunk of driftwood. The juniper itself was there merely to act as good rootstock to graft another type of juniper onto at some point. I was impressed to say the least!

About 30 yards (that's right, Brussels, YARDS!) from my front door is the long-dead stump of some unidentyfiable tree. It's about 4 ft high, 10 inch nebari, ramrod straight, bleached white, good root system (also bleached), shows good taper, and the 'snapped off' bit at the top looks like it's been carved by a master.

My questions are as follows:

(1) With the proper chemicals etc, could I make this stump safe to use as the base for a 'graft'?
(2) Being something of a maverick, I want to use something other than juniper. Would young privet be suitable? (3) If not, can anyone suggest a species?

And the biggy....
(4) What are the best methods of attatching one tree to another in this type of graft?

Ooh, I just remebered another one......Not related to the previous questions at all, but do buddleia make good bonsai? We seem to have an inordinate number of them growing wild around my area, both lilac and white varieties.


Last edited by Harleyrider on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a quick question.)

Harleyrider
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Re: Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:05 am

Hi HR. I'm assuming you're talking about a Tanuki (Phoenix) graft where you're grafting a live tree on to a piece of deadwood. I've never treated any potential pieces with anything other than a general disinfectant (Jeyes Fluid over here in UK) if I'm worried about the "health and hygiene" aspect of the stump. The other issue is of course preserving the tree against rot, and most often I dont bother with a preservative. The only reason for this is I go scavenging for sea-washed stuff which tends to harden itself off. I have also come into possession of some rather nice ancient peat-bog wood which is pretty much as naturally preserved as you can get. I'm really only at the tinkering about stage of this technique so others on here may have some better advice/info. Best thing is to go along and watch someone put a tanuki together (it can take several sessions). If you have Bonsai Focus magazine, a couple of years ago there was an article on my good friend Len Gilbert putting one together which was very informative and easy to follow for beginners. Also, in case you haven't picked it up from other posts on this site, a stock favourite website is Harry Harrington's www.bonsai4me.com . There is a section on tanuki grafting on there which might help you. A piece of advice given to me was to use species where the natural wood of the tree stands out in stark contrast to the bleached nature of the deadwood. That's why a lot of tanukis you see use things like juniper or yew because of their strong redding bark colouring. It's really a way of "cheating" by adding new deadwood to a tree which hasn't got any naturally.

Re Buddleja: like you, I too seem to be housing the national collection on various roof surfaces, and I too asked the question about bonsai-ing them. The general consensus was forget it. Apparently the branches tend to drop off for no apparent reason, the plant has a very definite tendency towards multi-trunk shrubbing and it will pop out new shoots where you dont want them and while you may get soem joy with reducing the leaf size, you would always get the long flower spikes which might make the tree look a bit silly. I've seen pics of Buddleja as bonsai but they are not necessarily using B. davidii which is the species we get over here. I didn't try to use one after I was given the advice. The most telling point a contribtor made was that if they were any use for bonsai, why don't we see them in their multitude over here given the extensive supply of "yamadori" available to us in every derelict site and/or garden centre across the UK.

I'm off now as my new carving tools have just come in the post. Ooooh it's just like Christmas!

fiona
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Re: Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  Harleyrider on Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:13 pm

Thanks for your advice, fionnghal, duly noted. I have visited bonsai4me and read the said article, which was very informative. I think, perhaps, I shall take your advice and wait until someone is preparing one and pester them silly. In the meantime, I'll collect the deadwood I found and start to dry it out.

I just hope the missus doesn't go into the spare bedroom for a while..........


Last edited by Harleyrider on Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added comment)

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Re: Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  Alan Walker on Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:48 pm

fionnghal wrote:.... I've never treated any potential pieces with anything other than a general disinfectant (Jeyes Fluid over here in UK) if I'm worried about the "health and hygiene" aspect of the stump. The other issue is of course preserving the tree against rot, and most often I dont bother with a preservative. The only reason for this is I go scavenging for sea-washed stuff which tends to harden itself off. ....
Fionnghal: Have you had any problem with salt from the sea-washed driftwood causing health issues for your bonsai?

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Re: Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  fiona on Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:12 pm

Hi Alan. I haven't actually had any problems but then I've only used a couple of pieces so that may be more luck than anything else. That and the fact that I soaked them in a river for a while before using them. And as the river in question comes from the lochan they draw water from to make whisky, it was very peaty. The chemists out there may be able to tell us if there's any sort of reaction going on. Or possibly my trees are just inebriated. I rather like that thought. Introducing that very Scottish tree - the McTanuki.

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Re: Wraparounds and things of that ilk.

Post  fiona on Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:18 pm

Hi Harleyrider (is it Steve?). I have just found that article in Bonsai Europe (name of Bonsai Focus in the old money if you didn't know) by Len Gilbert about his tanuki larch. I couldn't find it available on the BF wbesite but if you want, I'll send it to you. Drop me a Private Message on this forum and we'll take it from there.

BTW you asked about suitable species other than juniper. When I spoke to Len about it yesterday, he said larch was ideal, as well as cheap and easy to get. Privet is possibly too slow growing. The other thing about a tanuki is that the effect is because you are creating (faking?) deadwood so it helps to use a species whose bark stands out against the white/grey/otherwise discoloured wood. Presumably that's why people use juniper because its reddish bark really creates contrast. By the same token I suppose yew would be another option as long as you can get ones that are young and pliable. Ah, I remember the days of being young and pliable! Sad But I digress!. Len used larch because a. he loves them and b. they grow quickly from flexible whips into something that looks old. Oh God, I'm back to me again! Mad

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Fiona

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