Late thread grafting, yes or no?

Can you thread graft roots this late in the year when the scion is leafed out? In my head I just think that all the leafs on the scion are going to get trimmed in order to push through the hole. So will the scion die or will it produce buds somewhere? From what I can tell, most of the buds have already produced leaves. In other words, I can’t necessarily tell that there are areas where buds will develop but perhaps I don’t know what I’m looking at?

I have a trident maple I’ve been meaning to thread graft. I ordered scions that were too big. I reordered smaller ones and now all scions are leafed out. I wanted to thread graft to add roots.

I’d REALLY like to graft this year rather than waiting another year. It’s due for a repot and otherwise I’d have six scions sitting around needing water all summer and they’d be too big next year anyways.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi @PutItInTheGround
You will have to trim the leaves to thread the stem, and the new growth will come from the crotch between the leaf stalk and the stem. You may be able to see the tinny buds?
I think your challenges now will be repotting you trident to get the roots in, and having scions that are playable enough to thread.
Would you consider approach grafting instead?
I have thread grafted maple twice in the summer (branches). First time worked and the second time I snapped the scion and it died, but the tree healed over the 7mm hole in 1 season.
Go for it!


Agree with @AndyK

Yes, good points all around. The trident should heal quickly if it doesn’t take. I wanted a surer thing (thread grafting) versus a lower success rate approach graft. Glad to hear buds will emerge from the old crotch. Thanks!