Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

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Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby taffyman » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:32 pm

I was given this about three years ago. It’s called ‘Trifolia’ because it has a compound leaf of three separate lobes. It was struggling pretty bad – most of the leaves were yellow, it was infested with caterpillars and quite a few branches had died off (you can see in the different photos where I cut them off). I cleaned it up as best as I could and got rid of every caterpillar I could find by hunting them down and taking them off with tweezers and then sprayed it with insecticide. I then took it out of its 8 inch plastic pot and put it into a styrene box with some decent soil mix. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of it at the time.

The first photo is what it looked like earlier this year – and it had small red fruit all over it after that photo was taken. I gave it a pretty heavy prune as per photo 2 to start getting some shape into it. Photo 3 is as it looked last week. In photo 4 (taken from the back) you can see there are no back branches between the soil level and the red arrow.

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Time for another thread graft - or two. Photo 5 shows the donor branch (yellow arrow) and where it goes through the trunk (blue arrow). Just above that blue arrow you can see a blemish on the trunk. That’s where I originally drilled the hole, but then decided it was too low down. I drilled another where the branch is now and I put a piece of twig in the original hole. That will eventually callous over and will be hardly noticeable. Photo 6 shows the whole branch curving round and going through the trunk – and yes, those thorns really are as sharp and nasty as they look!

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Photo 7 shows how I angled the hole upwards – blue arrow is going in, red is coming out. That branch with the yellow arrow will be cut off because there is another directly above it – parallel branching (not a good look and a recognized branch fault). Next photo is of the whole thread-graft bound up with grafting tape and all the blue arrows point to the branch bending round and through the trunk. In photo 9 you can just see the two very tiny leaves on the tip of the branch. Luckily, I managed to thread them through without ripping them off. The wire anchoring the branch in place can also be seen. It’s also in a slightly larger styrene box now as well. I also found out that this tree puts out masses of very fine roots and very few heavy roots, so there was no problem re-potting it at this time of the year up here.

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Second last photo shows the tree after it had been lightly pruned but notice I’ve deliberately left a few branches long. I’ll be using one of them for another thread graft further up the trunk where the red arrow is in the last photo for another back branch.
I reckon this could be quite a good looking tree in a couple of year’s time.

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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby Mister Wisteria » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:59 am

Its coming along well Taffy. :D
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby lmrk » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:50 pm

So THAT's how it's done!!!!!! Great instructions Taffy and a beautiful tree!!! How did you get around the thorn issue?
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby veg gardener » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:11 pm

looks good taffy, and that was a great read.
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby taffyman » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:18 pm

Oooooh that's a 'thorny' question Leah :lol: Actually, with the branch I used for the graft, I just cut them all off. Each node you can see on that branch had a leaf and a thorn on it. With the rest of them, there was a bit of blood and a lot of cursing but we got there in the end (Y). I may have mentioned it previously, but you can cut all the thorns off any tree or shrub used in Bonsai and it won't affect the tree at all. Let's face it, they don't stop caterpillars (think they use them as ladders :-? ) so except for maybe aesthetic reasons there's no real reason for them to be there.

When this graft takes, I'll then shape it as I want it. Being in the larger styrene box with new mix, it should put on a good spurt of growth - especially in spring, and if it does what I think it will do then I'm hoping to be able to sever the graft round about Christmas time.

Thanks VG. You know, although there wouldn't really be any reason for you to do so, you could do exactly the same technique on your fruit trees. Thread grafting wouldn't be the sort of grafting technique normally found in horticulture or agriculture. Decent pruning would more than compensate for any percieved 'deficiencies' in the shape of the tree or shrub. It's mainly used by 'nuts' like me to stick a branch where I think one should be.
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby abwal » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:17 pm

It is already looking good, Taffy. I'm sure that with your guidance you will have another great one.
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby taffyman » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:38 pm

Update:
The Thread graft (above) didn't take - no idea why, the growing tip just died off :evil: . No matter, I've done something different on it instead.
Two days ago I got a rooted cutting and I've grafted it on the back of the trunk.
In the first photo you can see where I've cut a section of the bark and a small amount of the heartwood out. I cut it deep enough so that there won't be too much of a ridge where the cutting is up against the trunk when it's fused together.I also cut off a few small roots on the base of the trunk to allow the cutting to sit right up against the trunk.
The yellow arrow is pointing to the failed thread graft. I've left the bit going through the trunk and eventually it'll callous over on both sides and will be hardly noticeable.
I shaved the back of the cutting on the inside to encourage the cambium layers of the cutting and the trunk to touch and fuse together. The cutting was inserted and after a bit of fine shaving of the edges and I think I've got quite a bit of the cambium layers in contact - photo 2.
Photo 3 - all bound up nice and tight.
In the original post above I mentioned putting another graft further up the trunk. This cutting was long enough to bend one of the upper branches up along the trunk. I did the same as the bottom one except I didn't cut so deep into the trunk - all I did was shave back to the outer edge of the heartwood and shave the green bark from the back of the cutting, mate them up and bind them into place - photo 4.
Photo 5 shows the completed double graft. All the arrows point to the rooted cutting and the way it winds up the trunk from one graft to the other.
As I've never grafted this type of tree before, I've no idea how long it will take to fuse but I don't believe it will take too long - the wood and bark is quite soft. I'll keep this topic updated when there are any changes in it. As long as the cutting survives the transplant (and there's no reason why it wouldn't) then this grafting can't really fail ( :shock: (yn) (yn) )

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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby The Estate » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:57 pm

Your a cleer man Taffy and as I said anytime your down sth. Thee's front door is always open :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby Mister Wisteria » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:19 am

The Estate wrote:Your a cleer man Taffy and as I said anytime your down sth. Thee's front door is always open :lol: :lol: :lol:


I know we can see through you mate but I think she meant clever which you are. Your little tree is doing very well, has me buggered where you get the patience from. :roll:
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Re: Triphasia Trifolia - Lime Berry

Postby taffyman » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:15 pm

Update 24 March 09:
I had a look at this one a couple of days ago, and found the lower graft has taken (Y) but the upper one hasn't :cry: No matter, I'll scrape the bark back again and re-attach it. The lower one looks a bit messy at the moment but the cambium layers have fused all the way down on both sides. When it grows and thickens a bit, it should just blend in pretty well with the trunk. I'll leave it in the styrene box for another 6-12 months which should help thicken the trunk. Oh, and it's in full fruit at the moment. I'm going to save the fruit and then plant the seeds. Hopefully, they'll sprout :-?

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