Blue Atlas Cedar (glauca) - grafting

Hi there,

Relative newbie to Mirai, but loving it!

I have a “specific” query re a Blue Atlas piece of yamadori I recently acquired. I’m in the UK, so currently watching the temperatures drop into the sub 10 degrees C as we dip squarely into late autumn / winter.

Hopefully the pics below explain (front shot, and back shot, the back one showing where I’m considering grafting). However there’s a branch crossing the trunk at the back, which could usefully be popped out one side of the design (i.e. pointing to the right on the front shot below), which is currently “loose” (i.e. growing from the base, and just criss-crossed over). I’m thinking of grafting it INTOthe trunk at the rear of the design.

If anyone could help out with the following questions, I’d be really grateful! I currently have a knife, tape, and lots of plans to dive in, but thought I’d bounce this question before digging chunks out of what an otherwise very nice trunk (even if it’s only at the rear):

  1. Is now (erly November) the right time of year for a glauca? I read elsewhere the cedar might be better grafted in winter while the sap is “down” (or at least, less active)? Hence why I went on a duct tape buying missing recently (corona-tip… duct tape seems to be one of those Covid-Survivalist items, grab stocks while they last, it took me ages to track a new roll down for some reason!)

  2. My battleplan was to graft the thinner branch “square and deep” into the trunk. I.e., cut the bottom and sides of the branch flat and square (ish); and make a groove in the trunk, such that the remaining (top) bark edged branch would be flush with the trunk once the graft was inserted all the way into the union.

Then I watched “summer watering and juniper grafting” on the library three times, and stopped. I’m now asking myself if it’s better to graft such that the branch has a trunk-shaped “ellipse” cut out of one side matching the circumference of the trunk; the trunk another; and then those two cuts make the union (a little like the junipers on the library video). I.e. instead of “embedding” the entire branch in the trunk, accept that 50% of the thickness of the grafted branch will be left proud of the trunk once done. If that makes sense.

  1. Then I double-paused in that video when Ryan mentioned “the methods I’ve shown here are really for branch to branch. Branch to live vein [I’m assuming also trunk, which is essentially what I’m doing here… grafting a much smaller branch of about pencil thickness to a trunk of about two inches] is much more difficult”.

Does anyone have any tips / thoughts? Other than “Don’t do it, man!”?

Any help / pointers greatly appreciated!

Many thanks

Mark Heritage (UK)

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