Japanese Maple – Grafting

Q: I would like to try to propagate cuttings from a Japanese maple.

A: There are three ways to propagate a Japanese maple: seed, rooting cuttings and grafting.

Seed are easy to grow…but the offspring will not be “exactly” like the mother plant because of variability in pollination.

Rooting cuttings works well on many plants but not so well on Japanese maple. Many times the roots will not be very vigorous and the resulting tree will fall down.

Grafting is not terribly hard to do. All you need is a sharp knife, a wide rubber band and a sharp pruner. Basically you take a small cutting (scion) from the maple in winter and graft them to a small (1/4″ to 1/2″ diameter) seedling Japanese maple tree (rootstock) in late June.

Here is an excellent set of photos of the process:


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