Advice needed about graft

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Bec
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Advice needed about graft

Post by Bec »

Hi guys,

Just wondering if this is a graft, and what can be done about it?

It's a small Copper Beech that I just bought from a nursery, but when I removed the topsoil to check the root system, I found this, that looks like a graft. It doesn't look well done, so I'm worried it is going to get worse as the tree matures. Can it still be used for bonsai - what would you do?

Thanks,
Bec
Graft - Copper Beech.jpg
Copper Beech Graft.jpg
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Last edited by Bec on November 30th, 2018, 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Beano
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Advice needed about graft

Post by Beano »

Looks kind of like a failed air layer. The amount of trunk below the soils surface is quite a lot. Perhaps they were trying disguise an undesirable trait.
Last edited by Beano on November 30th, 2018, 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
shibui
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Re: Advice needed about graft

Post by shibui »

My guess is that it is a graft. I don't grow beech but a quick check says Copper beech is normally grafted onto ordinary Fagus sylvatica. It actually looks like they have grafted onto a root rather than a seedling. It may be easier to get roots from a stock tree than to grow new seedlings here in Aust.
I think you have several options:
Leave it as is and hope the graft union looks better as it ages.
Get rid of it.
Try layering above the line. I'm not sure how well Copper Beech grow on their own roots or how easily they layer. I have seen articles about layering beech in Japan though and it seems they root reasonably well.
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Bec
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Re: Advice needed about graft

Post by Bec »

Thanks Shibui and Beano for the advice. I think I might layer it above the graft as it looks like it had started to grow some roots at the join, so it may be ok.

I've never done an air layer before, any tips for being successful?
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Re: Advice needed about graft

Post by KIRKY »

Beech will air layer well. Even the purple leaf one. If it were mine I would slip it out of the pot for easier handling (only if the soil will stay intact). Then I would remove a half inch of cambium layer above the graft, scrap the green till you see white trunk. Look up the wiki for airlayering instructions. Apply rooting hormone and put it back in the same pot ensuring that the bare half inch is well covered. It must be buried well above, a good inch, inch n a half above the cut. It will send roots out into the top layer of the pot. Next winter check if you have enough viable roots if not leave it till the following winter.
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Re: Advice needed about graft

Post by shibui »

Agree with Kirky's advice - ground layer is usually easier than air layer and does not need wrap, moss, etc. Initial technique is the same for both types of layer but no need to wrap, just bury the area below potting mix. If the pot is not deep enough cut the bottom out of another pot to make an extension collar to pile the potting mix higher up the trunk.
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Bec
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Re: Advice needed about graft

Post by Bec »

Thanks for helping with this one, everyone. I appreciate all your advice.
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