Propagation: Regrafting to prevent reversion?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Daniel Otis, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here's a question I've been wondering about for some time. I've posted before about this variegated silver maple. Ten or 15 years ago I noticed a variegated branch on a silver maple in local woods. I grafted it onto saccharinum rootstock, and I've grown it on ever since. On the variegated branches, even the flowers are variegated.

    The problem is that it tends strongly to revert. It has two or three variegated branches and four or five nonvariegated, even though I trim off some of the green branches. It's not growing green-leaved branches from the understock--it produces green-leaved branches from the scion wood, as well as variegated branches. I'm reluctant to trim off all of the reverted green branches, because the variegated leaves turn brown and evaporate within a few weeks of emerging, so if it was entirely variegated it might be leafless by June 1. I think Vertrees somewhere refers to leaving a few green branches on a highly variegated cultivar as "photosynthetic support."

    The question is, if I grafted the variegated branches onto new rootstock, perhaps several times in succession, might I diminish or eliminate the reversion? If so, I could, for example, leave one substantial branch on the understock with straight green leaves, and then have entirely variegated top growth.

    Thanks for your opinions.
     

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  2. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Daniel,

    Nice variegation!.
    To your question:
    I would like to point out the case of commercially available unstable variegates like 'Fujinami nishiki' or 'Taimin nishiki'. I understand that commercial growers always graft variegated scions from plants that have been grafted themselves thus doing what you are suggesting. The result is that the variegation remains as unstable, reversion happens quite often.

    , this is something that Japanese growers do and should work.

    Gomero
     
  3. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thank you Gomero! If I understand you correctly, scions from a previously grafted plant are just as likely to revert as the previous graft. I think I will try the Japanese approach you mention, of leaving a leafy branch on the understock. Incidentally, I think this is the sort of extreme cultivar that come Japanese collectors will take a chance on.

    Your note gave me another idea. The variegated branch still exists on the original tree, but it's quite a bit older now. Maybe I will try another graft from the original tree.

    Thanks again--I was beginning to think I would get no replies.

    Dan
     

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