I would like to plant a nice weeping Japanese Maple in my yard, but the nice ones at the nursery are quite expensive. Some friends have exactly the type of Japanese Maple that I would like in my yard. How would I go about grafting a branch into a tree that I could plant in my yard? What is the process and how long does it usually take?

  • There is a wonderful write up on Grafting at Maplestone Ornamentals. Micah is ahead of the pack when it comes to grafting, so if you have questions after reading his page, try the facebook page.
    – user1817
    Dec 27, 2012 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


eHow has a good article on how to graft a japanese maple that you may find useful.

  1. Timing is key when you are grafting a Japanese maple. Cut dormant scions (wood) in late winter or in mid to late summer, make sure the wood is firm and ideally about the thickness of a pencil (smaller scions can be used as well). Take cuttings from the desired Japanese Maple cultivar (Bloodgood, Red Dragon etc..) Make the cuttings about four to six inches and be sure they have at least two to three buds. Place the cuttings in a moistened paper towel, put in a plastic bag and label the bag. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to graft. (Scion wood can last about 2 months in refrigeration). If you can use scion wood on the same day it will increase your success rate.

  2. You may graft a Japanese Maple as early as late July continuing through March. Select a healthy Japanese maple to be used as your understock. Ideally it should be about the thickness of a pencil but you may use a smaller or larger understock. Find a long smooth, straight section on your understock where you will make your first cut.

  3. Make a 15 degree slanting one inch cut on the understock of the Japanese Maple. The cut should be a smooth single stroke. Now cut the scion wood on both sides at 45 degree angles to match the understock cut. Insert the scion under the flap on the understock and align the scion at the edge so that the cambium layers match. The cambium Layer is the thin green layer located just below the bark.

  4. Use the grafting rubbers or grafting tape. Grafting rubbers are preferred. Begin wrapping at the base of the Japanese Maple graft to secure the end of the grafting rubber by overlapping the first 2 wraps. Slowly work your way up the graft union overlapping as you go while keeping tension on the grafting rubber. This secures the scion in position. As you complete the last wrap, secure rubber with a loop end of rubber under itself to secure.

  5. Take plastic bag and moisten the inside with fungicidal water and place over the scion to just below graft and secure with a tie or staples. This creates high humidity until the graft has joined. The graft should take in three to five weeks after joining the graft.

  6. Remove the top of the rootstock just above the graft once it has taken. Cut off any stems below your graft union as they may overtake your graft.

  • Could you summarize it (in addition to the link, not in place of it) in case the link goes down? Thanks!
    – Chance
    Jun 10, 2011 at 11:59
  • A wholesale copy paste, even as a quote, is not a summary. A small quote is good, quoting the whole article is bad.
    – wax eagle
    Mar 9, 2012 at 5:14

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