Many of us are confronted with improving poorly grafted sites on nursery stock we purchase. For Japanese white pine, grafted trees are often the only ones available in larger sizes. Grafted trees are also common for various Japanese maple cultivars. Air layering is often a suggested remedy but at a recent club meeting the owner of a nursery had doubts about the viability of the tree’s new roots after having numerous failures. This anecdotal perspective has to be put to the test.
But for pines, air layering is an unreliable option. Are there other methods of improving the unequal swelling of the trunk and the root base? In the book, “The Bonsai Art of Kimura” p.151, Mr. KImura makes 1/2 inch cuts in a narrow area of the trunk in order for the scar tissue to enlarge the area. This was not a grafted tree but could the same technique be applied? l also recall Mr. Kimura drilling a number of small holes to achieve the same affect but l can’t remember the source. There is also the question of difference bark appearances of stock and scion.
My main point here is to solicit the ideas and experiences of other Mirai members in order to conquer new ground by coming up with techniques that can mitigate poor grafted areas and thus improve our trees and expand the usable nursery stock available for bonsai for everyone. Let’s take that Mirai ethic that challenges every notion that starts with “you can’t do that” without making a serious effort to find solutions.
Below are some examples of the grafted problems l am talking about.