This is a Ficus Superba (one of only a few deciduous figs). I got it from Fairhill Native Nursery at Yandina about 18 months ago as a skinny rooted cutting about 20cm tall. I put it straight into a 10 inch black plastic pot to grow on a bit. I also put some wire on it to start a bit of shape on the straight trunk. About three months later, I removed the wire before it started cutting in. I kept watering and feeding it, but didn't take too much notice of it. A few weeks ago I had a look at it and saw that everything was growing straight up, and the lower (skinny) branches had dropped off
I wanted those branches and if I'd kept an eye on it, I could have continually cut the top back which would have encouraged the lower branches to keep growing
. No matter, with a very simple thread graft, I'll replace the one branch that I particularly want.
This first photo shows the full tree with the graft in place. Very easy to do - drill a hole through the trunk where you want it (on a very slow speed so as not to cauterize the tissue), thread the branch through, mark on the branch where it exits the trunk, slide it back and gently scrape the bark back to green on the top and the underside - don't remove the bark, just scrape back to green. Slide it back in again and wire in place to secure it and that's it done.
Photo 2 is more of a close-up of the completed graft:
In Photo 3 you can see where I've wired the lower right branch, up the trunk and along a shoot on the inside of the straight right hand branch - The red line shows the intended new trunk line. All the branches with the blue arrows will be removed Where the yellow lines are when the graft has taken, leaving just that shoot in the middle. The branch with the purple arrow will eventually be the second branch on that side of the tree. I've deliberately left the other branches in place so that the tree will continue to grow at a good pace until I sever the graft. In particular, I've left the branch directly above the graft on the right because the sap lines from that one to the roots go directly down to - and past the graft. That will help the graft to fuse a lot quicker than if it wasn't left there. Above and behind the branch with the purple arrow is another thin branch. That will be the first back branch - it's growing towards the back, so is ideally placed.
Because figs are such quick growers in our climate, I'll be interested to see how long the graft takes to fuse with the trunk. I'll know when the exit part is thicker than the entry on the other side of the trunk.