Last month I showed you the result of a six-year project to establish an acceptable design for this large Mayhaw, Crataegus aestivalus. After collecting the specimen, which measures 4″ at the base and was originally chopped at 24″, trunk budding failed to produce a branch on the left-hand side of the tree to counterbalance the lowest right branch. The obvious solution was a thread-graft, as I had a spare shoot emerging from where the first branch had come. So I drilled an appropriately sized hole through the trunk and shoved the shoot on through. After that, it was just a waiting game.
Waiting and styling, of course. You can see that my thread-grafted branch, along with the others, has been trained in addition to being allowed to grow out. Hawthorns, as most species, produce sub-branching on their own as the tree develops sufficient leaf surface area to feed itself in the most efficient way possible. I did less pruning on the thread-grafted branch than on the others, but I wired as needed to get the sub-branching where I wanted it in anticipation of the ramification that will ultimately make this design work.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and cut the original shoot free of the thread-graft. You can see the gap in this photo. You can also see, on the left side of the trunk, a nice new shoot that I knew would give absolute proof that the graft had taken. It never flagged a bit.
I’ll remove the remainder of the original shoot, and then continue developing the thread-grafted branch. This branch, along with the tree’s crown and some root work, are all that’s left in the making of this very fine Mayhaw bonsai.