How To Bonsai – Thread Graft Branch

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In this video Paul Pikel  demonstrates how to perform a thread graft on a very large Trident Maple branch. A thread graft is when a hole is drilled through the trunk of a tree and a small branch or whip is inserted through the hole and after time the two merge together. It is the perfect way to get a branch to grow precisely where you want it.

You could use a branch that is already on the tree that naturally is a perfect match and is already receiving nutrition. In this case, however, there is no branch that is long enough. Instead, Paul will use what’s called a “whip”, another, younger trident maple that consists of a single small trunk several feet in length. Note that thread grafts have to be done with the same species of tree.

First, all the leaves are removed from the whip at the base and the top but leave the secondary leaves so that they are ready to pop out again. Necessary tools include a pair of shears to remove leaves, a tube of cut paste, and a drill.

Determine the best location for the whip insertion.

Match the drill bit to the size of the whip so that it can be inserted with a tight fit for close contact with the trunk. The tighter the fit, the faster it will adhere to the tree.

In the remainder of the video, Paul explains how and why the grafting works.

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