Grafting Japanese Maple Scions on Maple Stock

I grew a few maple trees from seed around two years back. These trees are very vigorous, but the leaves they put out are also very large. So, they don’t make good bonsai material.

Sugar Maple

Rather than using the maples as bonsai, I’ll be using these two year seedlings as stock plants for the Japanese maple scions. If any of these survives, I’ll have some grafted Japanese maples for bonsai.

I decided to try two of each Japanese maple I have. One is a Bloodgood, the other is a Japanese maple I purchased at the bonsai show last Spring.

I purchased a grafting tool online at for a nominal price.

Grafting Tool

The cutting edge of this grafting tool can be used to shape both the stock and the scion. Given that the branch is at least 2 years old, it’ll be thick enough to use this tool on.

I selected a branch from the parent plant which closely resembles the thickness of the stock plant. I then proceed to make the cut on the stock plant, leaving a stump.

Sugar Maple Base

I was impressed at how clean the cut was. I then proceeded to cut the scion.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple Scion

I then inserted the scion into the stock. It’s amazing how perfectly they fit together.

Grafted Joint

Now I simply tie it together with grafting tape that I purchased along with the grafting tool.

Grafting Tape

The finished tree with the junction all bandaged up with grafting tape.

Grafted Bloodgood Japanese Maple

I then proceeded with doing three more grafts.

Grafted Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Grafted Japanese Maple

Grafted Japanese Maple

These trees are now all sitting behind some heavy shade. Hope they’ll take, if so, I can have more maples to work with in the future.



4 thoughts on “Grafting Japanese Maple Scions on Maple Stock

    • Unfortunately, none of them made it. In retrospect, I should perform this task in spring rather than in fall. There was not enough energy for the plants to make it throw the harsh winter.

      • I think your rootstock was the problem. Your Scions were Acer palmatum (Bloodgood) which are compatible with other Acer palmatum rootstock and also compatible with Acer japonicum but not with Acer buergerianum .

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