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Studio Stories – Grafting two old Junipers

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….

Studio Stories – Grafting two old Junipers

IMG_1336These two old Junipers have probably been in Europe for more than 20 years. They were both imported from Japan and one of them came from the garden of Hideo Kato.

The deadwood on both trees is quite extensive and the liveIMG_1363 veins are very pronounced. No doubt these two trees sitting on the bench together could reminisce about the times long ago in Japan when they must both have looked quite magnificent……..what a conversation that would be to eavesdrop on………

In Europe they have both experienced good times and bad times. They share the same problem……….”the foliage”.

IMG_1360The foliage on these old yamadorii junipers can become compact but the problem is that it has a continual drooping habit. It would be hard to imagine being able to display or exhibit these trees without them being totally wired.

This drooping habit also impacts on the tree’s wellbeing in that the foliage tips can become starved of light and it’s an unnecessary drain on the trees energy resources. Branches weaken easily.

Basically I decided to tackle the problem “head-on”… messing…….the problem is the foliage …….so let’s change it!!! I decided to act now whilst the existing foliage was still strong.

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Note – this work was actually carried out in June. Some branches were removed to allow for the positioning of the grafting junipers and also to allow light into the grafted material.

Two Juniper Ittogawa that we had grown from cuttings would be grafted on to each tree. I studied each tree for some time before finally deciding where each graft would be fixed. Once this had been decided I made slots on the old junipers and firmly secured the Ittogawa cuttings in place.

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The trees were placed in a polytunnel for protection and for the higher humidity. Their progress will be monitored on a daily basis.

This is a really exciting project. Combining the stature and deadwood of these massive oldIMG_1383 junipers with the foliage of the Ittogawa could result in two stunning trees of exceptional quality. As usual I am already impatient and eager to move on to the next stage but with grafting work patience really is a virtue and often the key to success.

This is another project I look forward to sharing with you in future blogs and hopefully to a satisfying conclusion……..make sure you keep in touch………..