How to get rid of grafted base trunk?

Hello everyone

Here is my deshojo Maple which was grafted on a Yamamomiji trunk base.

As you see this inverse taper and nebari are not very nice.

I would like to get rid off this grafted base so first is it a good idea and what would mlbe the best/easy/successful way to do I?

I was thinking of airlayering just above the graft or maybe “ground” layer it, I don’t know if it is the right term.
Maybe I miss other options ?

There’s plenty of videos to show how to air layer a tree but about ground layer should I just repot and put soil until the desired level ? Should I still put sphagnum moss around the trunk and then apply all the soil around and over the moss ?

Edit: also when would be the best time for each methods?

I’ll take any advice :pray:

I think you could grow it out and heal over the scars while correcting the reverse taper near the base. A box cutter, knife, scalpel could be used to shave/contour the wounds. Then apply cut paste putty not the liquid, and let it grow all the rest of the year without pruning and apply adequate fertilizer.

If your heart is set on layering the base away, now is about the time. However, you don’t have a lot of foliage mass which is the driver for a successful graft. Either ground layer or air layer would work if you can get the tree growing.

I like movement I would work with it if it were in my garden.

Cheers and good luck with your decisions!

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Ok thank you for your thought, if you said that the foliage isn’t good enough right now I will wait one more year.

Until this time I will think about it, for now I will try to shape this base as you said, I am just worry about the finish but I think anyway it can be the best option before think about air or ground layering!

I think it will heal great if you let a few branches run for a year or two. Ryan addresses how best to heal wounds in several of the streams where he works the maples. Also I believe he aired a stream called deciduous wound healing. This will basically show you how to do what I propose can be done with your specimen. If it doesn’t turn out they way you like then you would always be able to perform the air/ground layer separation later. This would be aided by the increased foliage mass that has accumulated which in turn will give rise to roots at the cut site.

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Sweet i will try to find this video, I’ve seen some deciduous tree’s videos but I’ve not seen or i do not remember anything about wood healing. I’ve heard that some Japanese growers have their own way to heal and “hide” a graft over time, but i never saw any videos on it.

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Hi Ronan, air layering is definitely the way to go. The graft will only get larger as the tree gets bigger. I wouldn’t try to ground layer it as maples generally don’t like their surface roots to be too deep.
Because you are in a lovely warm part of the world you should be safe to air layer now. To reduce the transpiration and stress, you should reduce the foliage mass by about a third to half (some japanese professionals reduce by as much as 80%).
The best place (in my opinion) would be just below the first direction change. This is where a junction occurs and will have more hormones. You can make the air layer on a slope so when potted up it will have a wider base and prevent a straight up trunk.


Thank you for your thoughts Keith!
I already cut a bit to “reshape” the trunk following, I do not really hope/think that it will heal perfectly over time but it is an experience and I wanted to take it. I am not hurry to hair layer as I said but I think I will end up with this anyway.
The overall shape is not conventional but I like the way it bend on the right it make me think about a man fishing ahah I don’t know why but I think it can look nice overtime.
Here’s the new shape

Just like this it is already better but as I said I need to wait to see how it’s gonna heal.
And I completely agree with you if I air layer it will be between the top of the grafted trunk base and the first junction. If it take it might be very nice and make me be able to build a nice nebari.
Right I am training on air layering other species to get my hand on.
This is an air layer I did today on a Bougainvillea following Ryan’smethod on his Propagation video. I removed all the purple/punk flowers and left it in his nursery pot and soil.

Same hope it will take as the trunk shape looks very nice to me


Quick update
Nothing with the maple but the Bougainvillea I air layered 10 days ago already shows some roots ! My first air layer, very happy and impressed even tho it is an easy species get results on but 10 days wow !

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