Newsletter of the Quad City Bonsai Club
June 2015
Vol 24 Issue 6
Let‘s Just Come Together
Grafting Techniques
by Phil Raz
Sat. June 13th
Use to introduce a branch, or root, where it is needed.
A free graft is when a cutting, or scion, is placed on the host tree.
A Thread graft, or scion, is placed through a hole in the host tree.
An Approach graft, or scion, is pinned against the edge of the host tree.
Sat June 27th
Open Workshop /
Open Topics
It should be noted that the approach and thread grafting techniques utilizes a
scion that is still attached and is not separated from its donor until it is has
successfully been grafted. Thus making these techniques a much safer than free grafting.
Unless your bonsai is well developed and requires on a minor addition, an option to grafting is simply to hard
prune your bonsai to promote back budding and new growth.
Tools Used For Grafting
Scalpel or Exacto knife
Branch cutters
Long nose pliers
Rubber hammer
Damp sphagnum moss
Grafting tape / electrical tape / green floral tape
Small plastic bags
Wire or twist ties
(Continued on page 2)
Use healthy trees for both the host and scion.
When using the free graft method, keep humidity high for scion by inclosing in a plastic bag.
Keep newly grafted bonsai out of direct sunlight and strong winds.
Keep the scion and host material to the same species.
To gain experience, I would suggest practicing on Maples and Ficus because of their vigorous growth and
superior healing abilities.
Even after the graft has fully taken, it will be many years before the scion is held strongly in place by the
new wood, cambium and bark.
Types of Grafting
Free Graft
The scion to be attached should have anywhere from 2 to 6 leaves.
Cut the part of the scion into a ―V‖ shape.
Cut the host tree where the scion is to be inserted just inside the cambium layer a little longer than the ―V‖ made
on the scion.
Insert the scion into the opening match the cambium layers of each.
Re-seal the cut but wrapping with plastic tape, floral tape or electrical tape.
To keep the humidity up during the healing process, place a small, damp, piece of sphagnum moss inside a plastic
bag. Place the bag over the scion and closing it with a twist tie.
Thread Graft
Thread grafting is by far the easiest way to attach a new branch or root to the host where one is missing. This
process entails drilling a hole through the trunk of the host tree and the scion is then threaded through the hole.
As the scion and the trunk continue to grow, the cambium layers are eventually fusing together.
One of the few ways the graft could fail is by separating the scion from the donor too early before the
graft has fully taken.
If done correctly, the wound is minimal and hard to detect.
Thread grafting is not suitable for conifers species due to the defoliation of the scion that is required.
Since thread grafts could take up to 2 years to take, I would carry out process before the new bud swell and open.
This would allow for the smallest possible hole to be drilled, no defoliation and the maximum amount of time for
(Continued on page 3)
the scion to grow in the first year.
Prepare the scion to be grafted by allowing a number of long shoots (used as the scion) to develop. The
scion can be from the same or different tree of the same species. Candidates will be long and pliable enough to be
bent over and threaded through the trunk.
Once the final candidate has been selected, take care to snip off all leaves and petioles from the scion.
Take care not to tear the leaves off the branch for this could cause damage to the tiny buds in the leaf axils. If you
perform the graft before this years bud bread, you can skip this step.
Drill a hole through the trunk, at a slight angle, from the exit
(where the scion with exit the tree) to entry (where the scion will
enter the tree).
Start with the smallest drill bit as possible for the scion to pass
through. You can always increase the drill bit until the scion can safely
pass. Too small of hole could cause hark to the scion and the new
buds. Too large of hole will increase the time for the graft to
successfully take.
Once the scion has been carefully inserted through the hole, position the scion so that a bud is close to the
exit hole. This will provide for a short first internodes.
Finally, seal with cut paste.
In approach grafting, the scion is pinned against the edge of the wood (bark and cambium layer) until such time that
the scion grafts (or merges) to the cambium wood of the host tree.
The primary advantages of approach grafting is that the foliage does not need to be removed from the
scion. This makes it suitable for coniferous species such as Pines and Junipers.
Approach grafts are also easier to apply in situations where the diameter of the scion‘s wood makes drilling
a hole difficult or impossible.
Several approach grafts can be applied close together since the trunk does not have to be drilled.
Approach grafts are not as ‗clean‘ as thread grafts.
Approach grafts are dependent upon the tree species having a thick cambium layer and strong healing
If the graft does not take, you can be left with nasty visible scar.
(Continued on page 4)
Approach grafts should be carried out early in the growing season allowing ample time for the wound to heal.
Species To Use
Use approach grafts for species with thick cambium/bark. Species to consider
are: Elms, Ficus, Maples, Pines, Spruce, Cedar and Larch.
Identify where the new branch is intended to 'emerge' from the trunk
and mark this area with a marker.
With a very sharp knife, cut through the bark and the cambium layers
along the intended path of the graft.
Next, dig out a channel just large enough to accept the scion without
damaging the bark of the scion itself. By making the channel deep enough, this will help produce a less visible and
neater scar.
With any graft technique, it‘s important that the scion be firmly fixed into position.
This will help ensure the scion will not move or break or push away during healing process.
To secure the scion to the host tree, create 2 staples out of 1.5mm brass, copper or aluminum. One
staple for inside the channel and one staple for outside the cut. Avoid using steel. I typically use copper or
aluminum because that‘s what I use for wiring branches.
Mark 2 sets of 1.5mm pilot holes, one on each side of the scion, to receive each staple. Remove the scion
and drill the pilot holes. Replace the scion and carefully hammered both staples in place, firmly securing the scion
to the host tree.
Seal the entire graft with cut paste.
9) To encourage as much growth as possible on the exit side, remove all the leaves from the entry side of the
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye
It’s Time for QCBC Elections—by Phil Raz
It has been pointed out that we are way past time for having elections. I, myself cannot remember the last time
this was done.
According to the By-Laws the positions up for grabs are: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Otherwise known as the Steering Committee. All other positions like Photographer, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, and Program Director are appointed by the Steering Committee.
If you are a club member in good standing and are interested in serving or want to nominate someone please
feel free to do so. If you want to nominate yourself state which position you are interested in. If you are nominating someone else, again state which position and their name.
Send to Maureen Wallner at [email protected]
The May and June newsletter will list the positions and nominated names.
Nominations will end June 30th and a final ballet will be presented to the general membership in the July newsletter and voting will be at the August meeting (that date will be determined in the next month).
Here is your chance to make a difference.
Current positions and officers:
President – Harry Wallner
Vice President – Phil Raz
Secretary – Maureen Wallner
Treasurer – Jackie Raz
Office Position
Nominations To Date:
Club President
Mike Harshman
Vice President
Phil Raz
Jackie Raz
Pam Ohnemus
Please note that per Harry, he and Maureen are dropping out of running.
What Just Happened?
by Maureen Wallner
Meeting notes from Saturday, May 16th meeting
Only one meeting in May and not on ―the right‖ day, but it was a rewarding one with Mike, Irena, and Melissa Belmares, Mike Harshman, and Harry and me
Irena and Mike whittled down a lovely Boston
ivy for a root over lava rock and potted it in
cream, looking forward to the reddish hue of
leaves in fall.
Mike H. trimmed up a trident maple.
Harry shaped his Amur maple, what was left of it, a lovely
branch and trunk after die-back.
Club elections coming up were discussed, still tossing back and
forth the best way to offer members a chance to vote for
Steering Committee Officers come August.
2015 Program Lineup
Join the Quad City
Bonsai Club
Meetings will be held at the Wallner‘s House unless otherwise noted
Anyone interested in Bonsai is welcome to
join the Quad City Bonsai Club.
Meeting Date
June 13
June 27
Open Workshop / Open Topics
July 11
Herbs as Bonsai
July 25
Open Workshop / Open Topics
August 8
Aug 14-16
Chicago Bonsai Show
August 22
Open Workshop / Open Topics
September 12
Open Workshop / Open Topics
October 10
October 24
Open Workshop / Open Topics
Monthly club newsletters
November 14
Date T.B.D. for Annual Club Party
An extensive and growing library of
books, magazines and videos on a wide
range of bonsai topics
Access to club bonsai wire
Interaction with a wonderful group of
bonsai enthusiasts whose skills range
from beginner to expert.
Don’t forget about the article about club elections coming up. Please make sure you take a
look at it and get your nominations to Maureen
so they can be included in the voting.
Membership dues are very nominal: $20/yr
individual, $25/yr family or $10/yr for under
16 years of age. Due in the month of January.
The benefits of membership in the Quad City
Bonsai Club include:
Club Meetings (twice monthly during
growing season)
Educational programs and workshops
Participation in special events such as
collecting trips, bonsai displays and community programs.
Club Librarian
Michael Harshman has volunteered to become the club librarian. He will work towards updating and growing the club library
which is a great resource for our club members. Some new books will be added to the
club library very soon!
2014 Steering Committee
Harry Wallner……... President / Photographer………… (309) 792-8048
Phillip Raz………….. Vice President / Program Director (309) 912-3600
Jackie Raz………….. Treasurer / Photographer………... (563) 264-6135
Maureen Wallner….. Secretary………………………….. (309) 792-8048
Pam Ohnemus……... Membership………………………. (563) 322-5219
Michael Harshman… Newsletter Editor / Webmaster…. (815) 379-9427
Quad City Bonsai Club
Michael Harshman, Editor
503 Don Marquis Drive
Walnut, IL 61376
Showing Harry‘s Weigela before blooming in April meeting (top right) and what
it looked like after it bloomed out during
the May meeting (left)

Similar documents