A couple of years ago I dug this Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) from a paddock in the Goulburn area. This dig was organised by the Goulburn Bonsai Society who invited a number of other bonsai clubs and societies to be part of a day in the country.
I did not intend to dig anything but this took my fancy (the old bark, the natural movement, the size) and thus it is now a resident in my collection. As the root system was OK I decided to plant it straight into a bonsai pot and it hasn’t looked back.
In the winter of 2013 I thought that the tree needed a few new branches and so the idea of a “thread graft” developed. The idea was simple enough, take a long branch and thread it through a hole drilled through the trunk, wire into place and let it grow. In essence that is what I did but I did take great care to drill a hole of equivilant size as the “donor” branch to ensure there was a tight fit, and I did take the bark off the donor branch where it would sit in the trunk so it would better “take”.
The photo below is the tree in July 2013 and it shows the donor branch as well as a sacrifice branch that was allowed to grow to thicken the first branch.
The donor branch was wired and then placed through the pre-drilled hole in the trunk.
The photo below shows the thread graft in place and the sacrifice branch trimmed.
The tree was allowed to grow normally with a few trim’s and the usual watering and fertilizing. The photo below is about six months after the work was started. The weather has been very hot and dry so the growth and look is not as luxurious as I had hoped, but it is still growing OK.
The donor branch is allowed to grow freely so it will be healthy and its diameter will increase, improving the likelyhood of the graft being successful.
In October 2014 I gave the donor branch a trim and put some wire on it to move it into the required position. The branch has grown very well and the exit area on the graft has increased to a size greater than than the egress side and I am pleased with that.
In the photo you can see that the exit is larger than the entry and so it is time to move on and continue to develop the tree into a real bonsai.