Grafted Acer shirasawanum

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Andre, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I just bought an Acer shirasawanum aureum.

    As you can see below, it's grafted but I don't understand why the bark below the graft is green and brown above.

    Do you think it's because the scion is a young tree and the graft is coming from an older tree ?

    Does anybody already practice air layering on shirasawanum ? Does it root easily ? I would like to hide this ugly grafting point.
     

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  2. ckramos

    ckramos Member

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    +1 for air layering

    usually they're suppose to match red to red; green to green.
     
  3. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    What do you mean by "+1" ?
    Does that mean that air layering are easy on shirasawanum and that it roots well ?
     
  4. SilverVista

    SilverVista Active Member

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    "usually they're suppose to match red to red; green to green." --

    That isn't the issue here.

    The rootstock is green Acer palmatum, the typical rootstock used for grafting several of the "japanese" species. The scion is Acer shirasawanum. Different species from the rootstock, but compatible. The green rootstock really shows right now because it is a very young graft. It will change color as it grows and the bark thickens and becomes more woody. Might take a couple of years. Otherwise, I don't see much to criticize.
     
  5. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Are you sure of this ?

    Why dont they use a simple shirasawanum seedling as a rootstock ?
     
  6. SilverVista

    SilverVista Active Member

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    Yes, I'm sure. Acer shirasawanum seed and/or rootstock is not readily available. Green acer palmatum seed and seedlings are abundant and at a reasonable price. Commercial grafting of palmatum, japonicum, shirasawanum and sieboldianum routinely uses Acer palmatum rootstock.
     
  7. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I remember asking the propagator of my A. shirasawanum 'Palmatifolium' this very question. The answer was that it was grafted on common A. palmatum rootstock.

    Japanese Maples, 3rd ed. pg. 36:

    And, from page 97:

    I read all of this as a rather uncommitted testimonial about the likelihood of success with non-grafted Japanese Maples. Unless someone has specific knowledge about the cultivar in question, I'm guessing that you'll just have to try it and see.

    Bryan
     
  8. Elmore

    Elmore Active Member 10 Years

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  9. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Why dont they use a simple shirasawanum seedling as a
    rootstock?


    Shirasawanum seedlings are not nearly as plentiful as
    Palmatum or Japonicum seedlings are to graft onto.
    Palmatum seedlings are good enough but we preferred
    Japonicum seedlings for our Shirasawanum grafts.
    The germination rate of success for Shirasawanum
    is not nearly as good as Palmatum, Buergerianum
    and Japonicum are either, at least they weren't for us.

    Some plant failure in rooted cultivars, as they get
    older, is attributed to their being on their own roots.


    Quite the opposite is more true in that the rooted
    cultivars are more likely to fail when the Maples
    are young as opposed to being old. The reasoning
    is that when the plant is older it has more of an
    established root system to sustain it than when the
    Maple is young and on its own and still developing
    roots. The juvenile years are the more delicate
    years as opposed to a cutting grown Maple that
    is 7-10 years old or older. Failure on older plants
    is generally attributed to cultural or grower caused
    issues, not necessarily physiological problems such
    as the break down of the root systems.

    Other cultivars, such as 'Bloodgood', root very
    well and seem to make very strong older plants


    We felt the same way as seedlings raised from
    cutting grown Bloodgood was one of our main
    rootstocks for grafting for red leaved Palmatums,
    even dwarfs, linearilobums and dissectums. We
    wanted the added vigor in our rootstock we got
    from the cutting grown Bloodgood seedlings.

    Jim
     
  10. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Shriasawanum on Circinatum

    Susan,

    Ever seen or heard good justification for grafting shirasawanum on to circinatum. Shirasawanum, especially Aureum, has kind of a bad history for vigor and reliability. Do you think that a grafting match like this would help, especially in an area where circinatum grows so well, our spendid Oregon?

    Good to see you over here,
    Michael
     
  11. SilverVista

    SilverVista Active Member

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    Hi Michael,
    I haven't done much work with circinatum at all. The only time I ever bought circ. seedlings to use for 'Little Gem' rootstock, they were from a "leftover availability list" and I had one heck of a time finding a straight spot to make a cut on them. It certainly wouldn't be hard to collect some seed and have a try at it in the future, though. I do see Jim's point about using japonicum seedlings, -- they do seem to be more vigorous overall than palmatum.

    Which leads me a bit off the original topic, but has anyone grafted circinatum on japonicum rootstock? We still have a couple of A.circinatum 'Little Gem' grafted onto palmatum rootstock-- one about 15 years ago, and one maybe 5 or 6 years ago. The older one is grafted low and planted up to the graft. The trunk is probably 1-1/2 to 2" caliper on the top, but still only 3/4" below. It doesn't show because of the rootstock being buried, but you have to be careful not to bump the plant because it's way top-heavy. The younger one is grafted about 18 or 20" up and has the same problem, except that it will never survive without a stake to prop up the wimpy palmatum. Obviously, this is one that should be done on it's own species -- but does anyone know if using japonicum instead would yield any advantages?

    Susan
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Many nurseries today still are not growing their own
    seedlings for grafting. We never could get enough
    Circinatum seed to do much. If we had plenty of
    Circinatum seedlings we may have tried grafting
    'Little Gem' on Circinatum rootstock to see how it
    works but with some strong reservations for that
    particular Maple. Our standard rootstock for
    Circinatum would have been Japonicum. We
    probably would not have tried rooted cuttings for
    ‘Little Gem’ as witches brooms generally do
    not do well on their own roots. Then again the
    only Circinatum we grafted was 'Monroe' and we
    did graft it but on Japonicum rootstock only.

    We always felt that for most of the Circinatum
    coming out of Oregon that Palmatum seedlings
    used for grafting would be just fine. We also felt
    the best Circinatum plants came out of Oregon so
    why mess with the standard. If the nurseries there
    had success using Palmatum for their grafted plants
    then we would not argue with them. We are a little
    too warm here for Circinatum. We had ‘Little Gem’
    in the nursery but we always had problems with
    dieback on it. Don Kleim liked 'Monroe' and felt
    at the time that it was the one cultivar that could
    better adapt for us here.

    As always having enough Japonicum, Shirasawanum
    and Sieboldianum seedlings available for grafting
    onto was and still is a big problem. Many nurseries
    today will only graft onto Palmatum due to availability
    and the fact that many nurseries have not experimented
    around using various rootstocks to see which can work.
    Even still I would be hesitant to graft Shirasawanum on
    Shirasawanum. I just do not see that being a better or
    more vigorous combination than using Palmatum or
    Japonicum.

    I hear you, Susan, about 'Little Gem'. Sometime try
    grafting it onto Japonicum and see how it works. Still,
    I'd rather have the low graft as I feel the Maple will live
    longer than the high grafts will. Reminds me of Pinus
    strobus 'Horsford Dwarf'
    . The low grafts can be chewed
    up and bounced around easier but the high grafts have to
    be staked and the heads do not fill out as well as the low
    grafted plants will. The lower grafted plants seem to have
    noticeably more vigor from the ones I've seen around
    Oregon, for both the Pine and the Maple.

    Jim
     
  13. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Jim,

    Rooted cuttings as rootstock for grafting? It sounds like there must still have been good reasons to graft, or you would have focused on rooting techniques as your sole propagation methodology. Is it because some cultivars really don't do well on their own roots? Or, is it because success rates and/or cost of production make rooting operations less attractive? Or, is it something else entirely?

    Bryan
     
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    < Rooted cuttings as rootstock for grafting? >

    Seedlings raised from seed from cutting grown
    parents and then used for grafting. We wanted
    vigor in our rootstock and one way to get it was
    for us to grown our own. We felt the seedlings
    raised from the seed gathered from cutting grown
    parents provided us with an edge over any hand
    selected batch of row run seed (seed gathered by
    hand from a number of grafted Maples, germinated
    and then either grown in rows or in containers).
    We felt in trials growing seed side by side and
    later on by growing grafted Maples of the same
    variety side by side that our seed gathered from
    the cutting grown Bloodgood and others were
    better for us in developing a stronger grafted
    plant.

    Cutting grown Maples (rooted cuttings) take a
    little longer to produce a root system in a nursery
    than a grafted Maple will. We did both as we
    wanted to get 5 gallon Maples up in size fast to
    sell them quick (we sold no one gallons). Then
    again when people in Japan wanted our Maples
    they preferred Maples that were cutting grown
    over grafted Maples. Even some people in the
    US wanted cutting grown Maples for their stock
    plants rather than grafted Males. If we want to
    raise seedlings the cutting grown Maples will be
    more of a pure line to work with than a Maple
    that has elements of two parents in its system, the
    scion parent and the seedling parent.

    The old Maple bonsai enthusiasts preferred
    having a cutting grown Maple as they felt
    the Maple would live longer than a grafted
    Maple would. After seeing a 200 year old
    cutting grown bonsai Acer buergerianum I
    am inclined to agree with their reasoning.
    Virtually all of the Maples that were imported
    into the US from Japan and into England, even
    back in the late 20's early 30's were of rooted
    cuttings origin (cutting grown Maples). They
    were not grafted Maples by any means. The
    old plant purists and the old plant hobbyists
    were more likely to have cutting grown Maples
    rather than grafted ones. Even if we look
    closely in the Esvled site we see some of
    the older Maples in Holland and in English
    Gardens are cutting grown Maples. I think
    they have proven they can hold up over time
    whereas grafted Maples have not shown to
    be around as long for us in comparison.

    It depends on what we want. Do we want
    faster rooting so we can have a saleable
    plant quicker or do we strive for a Maple
    that may outlast its grafted counterparts
    over time. In our nursery we chose grafted
    Maples over cutting growing them by 3 to
    1 but that ratio was due to the time element
    but we still had cutting grown Maples for
    those that requested them but we could not
    get the latter up to size as fast as the grafted
    Maples would. Ideally, we do both forms
    of propagation but most nurseries will
    only do grafting as their sole means of
    propagation as it is more cost efficient
    for them to have a 5 gallon size in 4-6
    years rather than a cutting grown Maple
    in a 5 gallon in 6-8 years, sometimes as
    long as 10 years depending on the Maple
    such as some of the dwarf and semi dwarf
    forms that are not vigorous on their own
    roots. Once they get some size to them
    are rather valued plants however to some
    people.

    We were not a conventional wholesale
    nursery which accounts for why we would
    do both methods of propagation. We left
    the air layering of Maples to others whom
    we knew that would only air layer a cutting
    grown Maple, never would they in particular
    air layer a grafted Maple. We saved some
    of the cutting grown Maples just to be seed
    parents for us to be our rootstock for the
    grafted Maples. We grew all of our own
    rootstocks for every type of plant that we
    grafted.

    Jim
     
  15. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    How do you explain that ?

    Can you detail this ? How long can a grafted maple live ?

    What is the difference of airlayering a cutting grown or a grafted tree ?
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You got off on the wrong foot with me. I do know
    that the only thing that Europeans do understand is
    for someone to be blunt and I can oblige anyone in
    that regard.

    Now then:

    The whole idea of gathering seed from cutting grown
    parents was to see for ourselves if what we expected
    to see would indeed come about. What we wanted to
    see was more vigor in the seedlings we were raising
    to be our own rootstock. We found that the seed
    gathered from some of the cutting grown Maples of
    ours did have more vigor when grown side by side
    with seed gathered from grafted Maples instead. We
    wanted to see more vigor in the rootstock which would
    allow more vigorous growth to the plant once it was
    grafted. We ended up doing the equivalent of field
    studies on seedling Maples.

    There are some Maples on record from the Vertrees
    books that talk about 'Viridis' being 75 - 100 years
    old in the late 80's. I am not going to pick out Maples
    from the Esveld site and say this one is cutting grown
    and is this age but I will say that there are some cutting
    grown Maples shown in that web site that are no less
    than 50 years old. I do think a 200 year old cutting
    grown Trident Maple speaks for itself. I know of a
    100+ year old cutting grown 'Pendulum angustilobum'
    in Oregon but I am not willing to tell anyone where
    that Maple currently resides. Essentially we have
    been grafting Japanese Maples in the US since the
    early 30's. The oldest grafted Maple that I've seen
    in the US is about 60 years old and it is in an estate
    garden.

    What is the difference of airlayering a cutting
    grown or a grafted tree ?


    To the people that have done some serious work on
    air layering the reason why they would prefer a cutting
    grown plant to air layer is due to the fact that they pretty
    much know what Maple they will be getting as a result
    of their efforts. Air layering a grafted Maple does not
    guarantee that the plant or plants they will yield will be
    the same plant as the parent plant they air layered from.
    How can that be? Real simple, the grafted plant is a
    composite of 2 plants, the rootstock and the scion parent
    whereas the cutting grown plant is just one parent plant.
    Even when we air layer a grafted Gordon Apple we do
    not necessarily get an offspring resembling the Gordon
    Apple. Most of the air layered propagated individuals
    will look close to the Gordon but not all will whereas if
    the Gordon was a cutting grown Apple instead, then most
    if not all of the air layered offspring will look pretty much
    the same as the cutting grown Gordon Apple does. There
    really should not be any difference with what goes on with
    a Gordon Apple in this case and a Japanese Maple.

    I am done with this issue now.

    Jim
     
  17. SilverVista

    SilverVista Active Member

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    Perhaps to simplify what Jim is saying -- or maybe just to further complicate it --

    We often make choices and defend preferences based on a single attribute. I, and most commercial propagators, choose the propagation method that yields me the highest rate of success for the least money. I graft Japanese maples because I am much better at getting them to live, and I can usually find JM scions that are ready to graft about 9 months of the year, while timing is much more limited for good rooting. But that choice is made purely from a production standpoint.

    If I were looking for purity of strain regardless of profitibility, I suppose I would make cuttings. That is because we assume that the only difference between a graft and a cutting-grown plant is the mode of attachment of the roots. Not so. The rooted cutting has no internal influence but it's own. The grafted scion is living on the rootstock's lifeblood, and we all know how variable the traits of seedling rootstock can be. For landscape ornamentals, the result of grafting a named variety yields a reasonable copy of the named variety because it uses the named variety's genetic code for a roadmap. But it's like having a heart transplant and even though you're still you, there is the influence of somebody elses tissues in your system.

    Jim also talks about preferring to take seeds from trees grown from cuttings as opposed to taking seeds from trees grown as grafts. The first time he mentioned this, I didn't realize he had been collecting seed from grafted named cultivars to use as rootstock. I guess in my mindset, those seeds are too likely to be "interesting", and I sit on them for observation, while purchasing rootstock seedlings that were collected from SEEDLING grown green species parent trees. I haven't seen any comparison side by side between seedlings from cutting-grown and seedling-grown parent trees, but I imagine that IN SOME CASES the cutting-grown seeds would be superior because they are from a cutting that was specifically selected for enduring traits. However, seeds from a carefully selected seed-grown tree would have the same opportunity for systemic purity and hence be an excellent choice. He may have learned this from economic necessity -- is that possible, Jim? -- because not everyone has the luxury of buying ready-made rootstock, and must make do with what seeds are available to collect, thus putting him in a position to make the observation of the difference.

    So then... when it occasionally gets mentioned that a cultivar may not be true to the original, it's not necessarily an accusation that somebody lied about identity or was too stupid to know the right name. Sometimes it's that scions of something special were grafted and gained vigor or lost certain traits through association with the rootstock. Then scions were cut from that plant, and gained or lost traits through association with that rootstock. Several generations down the road, the trees are decidedly affected. Usually, generation after generation of grafts aren't grafted off on one another, since most of the grafts wind up as landscape trees and not commercial production trees. But every nursery that has a cultivar got it from another nursery, and so on, so there is decidedly a multi-layer rootstock influence on the continuation of cultivars.

    In the meantime, resentment flares up in me when threads imply that somehow grafted plants are ethically inferior to cutting-grown ones. It's not just a matter of waiting the extra couple of years for a cutting-grown maple to catch up in size for marketability, it's the unreliability of rooting success that has most of us grafting. If there were nothing but rooted maples available, you'd be looking at double the already ridiculous prices by the time they hit the retail sales arena, simply due to supply and demand. Looking down on grafted cultivars as a slap-dash, get-rich-quick scheme to be avoided is like looking down on Timex because it's not a Rolex. It still gets the job done and allows the masses to be on time.

    I didn't intend to go on quite this much. Time to change hats and go feed the critters. Registered Angus cattle, registered Oxford sheep. And DON"T get me going about diluted genetics there!!

    Susan
     
  18. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Susan:

    < However, seeds from a carefully selected seed-grown
    tree would have the same opportunity for systemic purity
    and hence be an excellent choice. He may have learned
    this from economic necessity -- is that possible, Jim? --
    because not everyone has the luxury of buying ready-made
    rootstock, and must make do with what seeds are available
    to collect, thus putting him in a position to make the
    observation of the difference. >

    Remember our nursery was a direct descendant of the Luther
    Burbank Nursery. The Experimental part of the Henderson
    Experimental Garden name was indeed part of our legacy.
    We brought in plants to grow on that many people said we
    could not grow. We've seen several examples of Hibiscus
    in the UBC forum that without Bill Henderson's breeding
    we may all still have what he started with and that was the
    white with the yellow center. After many years of trials he
    had pinks, oranges, reds and bicolors that we all take for
    granted today when we see them. We've seen several
    progeny of his creations in this forum and none of you
    knew who developed them.

    My part with a plant breeding background was to set
    up field studies that Don and I talked over. We felt
    the Achilles heel in Japanese Maples was always the
    rootstock. Why was it that the top of the Maple did
    so well elsewhere and yet the roots barely would fill
    out a one gallon container. Essentially what I did was
    set up plots to explore our notions that we could
    develop of line or two or three of seedlings we could
    use that would develop a root system in concert with the
    top growth we got that few people could get due to our
    climate. We selected out a series of promising seedlings
    that we grew on and monitored to see how they stacked
    up to the seeds that came off grafted parents. We saw
    first hand through our trials what we felt was some vigor
    in the seedlings from cutting grown parents. It is not to
    say that we could not have developed a rootstock line
    from seeds gathered from grafted Bloodgood and done
    almost as well as we did indeed take seed from grafted
    Bloodgood and used those seedlings for grafts also. It
    is just that for some of the iffy, hard to grow Maples we
    wanted the vigor. A case in point is two Maples that
    have been notoriously dirty for years, ever since one of
    them came into the US in 1972. 'Shigitatsu sawa' which
    is not the same cultivar as 'Reticulatum' had a real problem
    with Verticillium. One way to clean it up was to give it
    a more vigorous rootstock, which was pretty much what
    John Mitsch did for 'Red Filigree Lace'. By giving the
    top a vigorous foot also gave the top more vigor and in
    time we had a much cleaner Maple than what we first
    had. 'Filigree' is another Maple that has had its fair
    share of Vertilicillium and we went from 50% losses by
    the times these plants were grafted to the time they were
    5 gallon size to Maples that had a 75% chance of seeing
    them get up to 15 gallon size and beyond. If we are
    talking about grafting them and getting 200 to take in
    one year and by the time they were 5 gallon size we had
    100 left what kind of financial difference are we talking
    about when instead 150 get up to 15 gallon size? Which
    number would anyone prefer? Not only that but the
    people that bought 'Filigree' from us were not losing
    them now as was not the case before. Does anyone
    really want to go there when we talk about what losses
    'Red Filigree Lace' had going back to the days that
    William Goddard had that Maple when at best 10%
    of them might make it up to a 5 gallon size. The
    losses for many years were tremendous until that
    Maple got cleaned up and one way to work on the
    Maple was to give it better feet, so to speak.

    In the meantime, resentment flares up in me when
    threads imply that somehow grafted plants are ethically
    inferior to cutting-grown ones. It's not just a matter of
    waiting the extra couple of years for a cutting-grown
    maple to catch up in size for marketability, it's the
    unreliability of rooting success that has most of us
    grafting.


    From a plant breeder's point of view one plant is
    more pure than the other for breeding purposes.
    All I did was relate what others that have been
    babied with cutting grown Maples felt about them.
    I stand behind the application of the theory in
    regards to purity but no matter who chooses what
    method of propagation there are advantages and
    disadvantages either way. One method of
    propagation is far more mainstream than the
    other so we go with what works best and for
    us it was grafting most of the time but not all.
    Hey, we still grafted and the whole process of
    going through the rigors of the seedling trails
    was for developing a better rootstock for grafting.
    To be honest trying to root cuttings is a real pain
    and it takes several years to become successful
    at it. We let someone else do the hard ones
    for us as the only one he had trouble with was
    'Koto ito komachi'. He was lucky to get a 10%
    take at best with that one. The hobbyist has all
    kinds of time to play around and do all the
    cuttings they want whereas a nursery for the
    most part cannot wait too long for results as
    time is their enemy.

    Glad to see you back in here.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     

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