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5 Tips for Grafting Japanese Maples

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#5 - Root Stock Preparation by Encouraging White Rooting

A great way to induce White Roots in the Japanese Maple rootstock is to dry them out. The winter months are perfect for doing this. As they dry out they start to change into their 'white rooting' stage. It's vital for them to be more dry than wet to encourage this change. Once you see the plant showing white roots, the plant is at the correct stage to graft.

#4 - Sharp Knife and Safe Hands

Don't cut yourself! Grafting knives are made to be razor sharp. It's the same basis in the kitchen, the most dangerous knife is a dull one. Having a dull utensil requires you to exert more force to slice, which makes you lose control of the slice. Once you've ensured your knife is sharp make sure to always use protective gloves while you're grafting.

#3 - Sterilizing Utensils & Clean Workspace

Grafting is like a surgical procedure, everything needs to be sterile and clean prior to performing a graft. One of the most common reasons that grafts fail is due to bacterial issues. Ensuring your grafting knife and other utensils are sterile by using isopropyl alcohol, the higher % the better. Make sure you clean utensils in between each set. Cleaning your workspace is very important also, just soak a towel with a bit of isopropyl alcohol or Clorox and clean your table. Once the grafting is completed it's vital to apply Zerotol on the wounds to ensure the grafts have the highest success rate to take.

#2 - Start With Healthy Rootstock & Scions

To ensure the highest success rate with your graft, it's always best to start with a healthy rootstock and scion. Grafting wounds both the mother tree and the rootstock. Selecting a healthy rootstock and a mother tree to cut from will always result in a higher quality end product.

#1 - Don't Over Water

Overwatering or treating newly grafted Japanese Maples like established ones can cause the tree to push the graft off. This happens when the tree sends too much sap through the trunk. To prevent this, it's important to gradually increase the amount of water you give the tree, starting with a small amount.
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