Where to get understock JM for grafting

marchela(Z6, NJ)November 4, 2007


I have a couple of beautiful JM in my garden and want to try grafting. Where can I get the understock JM for grafting? Thanks

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Summer grafting is 100 times easier and you'll also be able to purchase seedlings at a reasonable price early spring. Right now, you'll get hit hard looking for potted seedlings. Unfortunatley this time of year if the root system is not established in a pot, you cannot graft to the seedling.

Spring delivery (I buy from Heritage Seedlings which is by far the best quality on the net) requires a purchase of 100 seedlings (about 100 bucks). Buy small plugs (1/8" calliper) and they go into pots (April/May delivery). Mid July through Mid August is prime time to graft.

Clip off the leaves on the scion/cutting but leave a 1/2" petiole where each leaf was. Remove the bottom leaves on your seedling rootstock so you have room to do the work. Use a rubber band or bud strip to secure the scion to the seedling understock and place a white plastic trash bag over the scion and understock tying it at the top and toss in the bag a wadded up damp paper towel. Then, place the plants/bags under a large shade tree (filtered light is best). The grafts knit in about 10-20 days. A successful graft will show new buds that pushed from under the petioles which you saved on the scion. If all is successful, you will have a plant that looks like this:

The petioles will turn black and fall off to expose the new bud that pushes below. This is a good thing. Ginkgo may be grafted the same way during the same time frame.

Here's a Ginkgo summer graft:

Your seedling understock -- I chop them to about a foot tall and you don't need many leaves on it. In fact no leaves are fine.

If you're desperate for seedlings and cannot wait, you'll pay a premium price for seedlings right now. Sooner Plant Farms is the only place I happen to know about. And winter grafting is not at all like summer grafting. Wax is needed among other various conditions being present within a greenhouse.

Best of luck/skill!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 8:50AM
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marchela(Z6, NJ)

Thank you very much for such a detailed answer!!!! Looks like you are a professional!
What should I use as seedling understock - Acer palmatum or some other species? And one more unrelated question. I know that JM grown from a seed very often will not be identical to it's parent, so why growing JM from seed is so popular and who and why buy such a trees?
Thank you so much in advance.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:07AM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

The anwser to your seed question is three part ... #1 unknowing buyers and direputable sellers ( selling named cultivar seeds which is BUNK) amd #2 some folks just like to grow seeds and don't mind waiting for 3-4 years to see what it will actually look like and don't care that 99% of what survives will be unremarksable in every way...and #3 some grow them for root stock only. David

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:48AM
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VERY nice description and recipe!!! While I may not agree on wax for winter grafting (keep the humidity really high, no need) , great information to pass along to folks.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:15PM
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Seedling of cultivars (from a garden full of cultivars) brings plants just as good as cultivars. I have tons of seedlings from a mother plant 'Seiryu' that have sharply dissected purple foliage. It's just goes on and on. I don't buy them though... don't have the stock trees either. They're from a friend. You'd be silly to assume that cultivars are the only way to do business. JUST As with dwarf conifers. Seed derived from these by a guy named Sidney Waxman introduced some of the best dwarf conifers on the market today.

I can wait 5 years.

Schmoo, the wax is necessary for winter for all deciduous. Never heard differently. Plain old paraphin in a box or a can at your local hardware store for 4 bucks is all you need. It's best that a person uses an alternative heat source than their kitchen though (such as a portable camping stove). Cut one bar in half and add it to large pot of water and bring it up to 180F and then let it cool to 160F and give the scion only a quick dip but you have to work fast or the wax will cool. To reuse the wax the next day, punch a hole in the wax that hardened at the top of the water, remove old water and add new, start fresh...

Grafting requires high humidity that's why conifers are tented, i.e., and that's why deciduous trees/shrubs are hit with the wax. The scion must not dry up and in 6 to 8 weeks and the deciduous grafts are simply left in the greenhouse but not tented. A simple recipe really.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 7:17AM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

Dax I don't disagree with anything you said...I just feel advertising "cultivar" seeds to unknowing buyers ( and you and I both know most folks really don't know) at 10 seeds for $4.95...that have ,as you know, NOT anyway near 100% , often less than 50% germination rate no matter how expert the grower is ...is not only direputable but in my mind fraud. I see it no differnt than selling a seed grown Seiryu as a true Seiryu with NO qualification for 50$ or more. For folks like us we can ignore it, grause ( like me) laugh or whatever.... but in reality it is not right in any way ... Of course there is nothing wrong with seed grown "geeneric cultivars" just like there is nothing wrong with a fake Rolex it may be a perfect time piece that last foerever but to sell it as the real thing is fraudulent ...IMHO David

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:33AM
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People probably don't know what they're selling. A true plantsman would advertise that "these seeds will not produce a parent plant." Then again, the public in general has a hang-up with growing trees from seeds. Unfortunately if they only knew it isn't any more difficult than a petunia! But I wholehartedly agree with everything you say David except for one word: "Generic" --- the eye of the beholder here says much differently! :)

I know, I know.... not what you meant exactly!

Take care, have a good one.

Later on,


    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 7:28AM
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Have you ever played with the stuff "parafilm"(believe thats the name) on maples & other deciduous grafts? Sort of like a waxy-saran wrap. Have seen it used on maples at union (instead of a grafting strip) and even a bit more applied to sort of "tent" the graft (really only works best on smaller scions).
In propagation, every nursery is fairly unique...what works for you may not work for someone else generally speaking. While waxing is a tried and true method, there are way to many people...at least in Orygun...that found it is not the only way and stopped waxing years ago. Some have played and found there is more than one way to skin an avocado (sorry...I have cats).....


    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Forget the question I posted (but the comments are still valid). I ran across some older photo's of yours showing the use of parafilm.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:24PM
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