Today I started the work necessary to move ahead on the trident in the previous post. The tree had been planted in a cut down pond basket and had only about twelve roots when I planted it into the basket. The roots had grown out of the basket and were standing in the moisture on the marble slab the plants are grown on. I cut off all the roots on the outside of the basket and pulled it out. The tree had consumed every part of the soil in the basket except that which was showing on top, and a few pieces of lava in the roots. I was totally amazed at the growth this maple had dome in one season.
The roots were thinned and cut back very hard. About 1.5 inches from the trunk.
Last year I had started some cuttings and this is what I will use to improve the tree. The cuttings were taken from the same tree.
I dug out the drill bits to make the holes for the thread grafts I would do for the nebari. I had intended to do approach grafts, which I feel take faster and work better, but the area I wanted to improve today was actually an undercut area on the trunk that would need to fill out to improve the flare and look like the virtual I showed below.
These cuttings were chosen because they had single trunks with minimum buds to interfere with sticking them thru the holes.
Once a hole is drilled I push the cutting thru and scrape some cambium to allow the two to mate together as the cutting grows and gets fatter. It will just graft itself into the hole.
This is a poor picture but this is the undercut area of the trunk. I drilled three holes here and applied three cuttings thru the holes and affixed them as before with toothpicks that I cut of flush after securing.
This photo shows the bark scraped to expose the green cambium. Eventhough it is only Jan. 26 I have sap already moving in the tree and I can see the buds swelling. It won’t be long.
Here is the graft secured with the toothpicks and cut off flush. the whole area is sealed with kionyl.
HJere is a blurry picture of the trio of grafts.
Once all the root grafts were secure, 5 in all, I planted the tree up back in the pond basket for increased airflow to the roots. Now I prepared for the second part of the remodel, the branches. I use a scorp, a tool made by flexcut for digging out wood in hard to reach places. They come in left hand and right hand, and trust me you need both.
Just a quick swipe and the razor sharp edge make a perfect 1/8 inch thick groove rith thru the cambium and into the wood.
I put both trees on a piece of plywood to keep them together as a unit. I keep a half dozen trident saplings around and let the shoots grow long each year to facilitate my grafting needs. This tree provided three shoots that were grafted onto the tree. One will be the new first branch and grafted into the lip of the large wound on the trunk. The other two were much higher in the trunk. I purposely graft the shoots on leaving a pair of buds very close to the trunk to allow me to change direction with the branch if I want after it knits.
I use small piece of plastic drainage screen as a shield to keep the wire from cutting the small branch in half when I tighten the wire affixing it to the trunk. It should be knit in about 4 months.