On a recent trip to Japan I visited two specialist nurseries; one that is well known and has won many awards in Japan for their shohin, and the other is a bonsai professional that specialises in Satsuki Azalea.
Approach grafting is one of several grafting techniques and it differs from the very similar thread grafting in that a hole is not drilled through the trunk, through which the scion is passed. Instead in approach grafting a groove is made in the stock or plant you are grafting onto, and the scion is placed into that groove.
Chinese maples are my favorite bonsai material. They are suitable for both beginner and professional alike and are one of the species most suitable for bonsai cultivation. In this post I will use six Chinese maples as examples to apply leaf defoliation; show you how to wire branches to form basic branch structure; describe how to deal with cut scars, share some tips on root and approach grafting and show you how you can recreate an apex.
Earlier this season I did quite a number of approach grafts on trident maples and hackberries I have in development. Unlike thread grafts, approach grafts can pretty much be done throughout the growing season which suits me fine as early spring, when thread grafts must be done is way too busy generally.