I had a young, grafted laceleaf JM that died above the graft over the
winter. Below the graft it is now producing beautiful leaves. Is
this worth keeping? Can I expect it to branch out eventually?
I also have a small weeping red-colored laceleaf JM that is gorgeous,
but only has branches on 2 sides. Is there a way to encourage
branching on the other sides so the tree looks a little more uniform?
Thanks for any help with this. I am new to JMs and I want to be
successful because I love them.
Yes it is probably worth keeping. JMs are vigorous budders and will bud from
mature as well as green wood. Cut the dead wood off at an angle. If the tree
is in the right spot and fertilized, new shoots will grow upwards quickly.
Next winter (late, before bud break), remove the shoots that are in the
wrong position, keeping the ones that you want for the final design. JMs are
slow growing, but in 5+ years these shoots should thicken and could look
like an extension of the trunk.
Another option is to find a bonsai gardener - they may want the tree if it
has an attractive root base (nebari). It's standard (but an advanced)
practice to take a 6' - 8' tree and "trunk chop" to 12" - 24" in late winter
and let the shoots grow wild for the first season, removing unwanted ones
and cutting back the keepers to the first or second internode. The procedure
is repeated and the result is a finely ramified branch structure, and the
illusion of a tiny mature tree.
Next Spring you may get lucky and a bud will appear from the trunk or a main
branch, right where you want it. Remove buds in the "wrong" place by rubbing
them off w/ your finger. Let this bud grow, and consider pruning back (or
defoliating in June) branches that deprive the bud of sunlight.
If this doesn't work, you could use another technique used by bonsai
gardeners; thread grafting (try Google f/ tips or some garden manuals show
the technique). In a nutshell, you drill a hole in the trunck where you want
a branch. Locate a long, flexible shoot, bend it and thread it through the
hole and pull it until it's tight. Wait for it to grow (may take several
years) and sever. The cambium of shoot and trunk will merge. This technique
is fairly reliable, but not all grafts will take.
Very hardy and adaptable trees. Dappled and/or morning sun is ideal. They
can struggle w/ all day sun, however...at least until they're established.
Well drained soil is best. Water by hand until established if rainfall is
scarce. Good luck.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.