How to Graft Japanese Maple Trees.

Last updated : 11 February 2015

Japanese Maple Grafting DVD, three people get it free!

Discover how to grow beautiful Japanese maples like this at home!

Acer palmatum Orido Nishiki

Acer palmatum Orido Nishiki


Quick and Easy Way to Make Money at Home Growing Plants
Lion's Head Japanese Maple

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple

Grafting your own Japanese maple trees really isn’t difficult to do once you know how.  The actual act of grafting is easy, but there are a lot of little things that determine how successful you are in your efforts.  Things like timing, temperature, how warm should the root stock be, how warm should the scion wood be, what time of the year is ideal for grafting etc.

Japanese maples are one of the most desired and intriguing plants in the plant kingdom.  For us to be able to reproduce these beautiful creatures at will is pretty exciting.

In order to graft a Japanese maple tree the first thing you need are one or more seedlings that you can graft onto.  The seedling that you use has to be in the same Japanese maple family as the desired variety that you are trying to create.  Most Japanese maples are in the acer Palmatum family.  Acer meaning a maple tree, Palmatum being a specific kind of Japanese maple.

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

Japanese maples, or even Japanese red maples are quite easy to grow from seed.  I am producing a new “How to DVD” in which I will not only teach you exactly how to grow Japanese maples from seed, but I will show you all the tricks to successfully graft these beautiful plants.

Grafting is a winter sport.  Typically grafting is done in January and February.  The seedling is stored outside where it is cold, then two to three weeks before you start grafting the seedling is move indoors where it is nice and warm, around 70 degrees.  It takes 10 to 14 days for the dormant rootstock (seedling) to come out of dormancy.  Once the rootstock starts to break dormancy, that’s the ideal time to make your graft.

The scion, which is just a fancy name for a cutting, is left outside, still attached to the tree from which it is going to be removed right up until the day that you are going to graft.  In other words, on the day that you make your graft, you want the rootstock just coming out of dormancy, but the scion still very much dormant.

Sound confusing?  I know it sounds that way, but it really is much simpler than that which is why we are making a DVD about this process

Three People Get this New DVD Absolutely Free!

Butterfly Japanese Maple

Butterfly Japanese Maple


We are going to pick three people completely at random to receive one of these new DVDs free of charge.  Just enter a comment below if you’d like to be considered for this give away.  Winners will be notified by Email.



  1. Judy Rummel says

    love to win the DVD– and love those Japanese maples. I had never seen or heard of them till I started getting your newsletter, which has been so helpful.
    Yes I would love to learn how to grow these. And can they be grown here in central Florida?

  2. Melissa says

    I am looking to start grafting trees to have that extra “wow” at the plant swaps..this way I can get my name out there better and then I can get more “customers” to buy my beautiful new trees!!! I would love a DVD to help me do it right!

  3. wade giddens says

    Love you site and newsletters. I tell all my friends to visit your site. Thank you so much for all the good gardening tips over the years.
    Please put my name in for the dvd drawing.
    All the best!


  4. frank mc carthy says

    hi mike
    frank here from ireland
    love your emails and visits to your sites,would love a dvd on grafting

  5. nancyt says

    I love Japanese maples one of my favorite little trees. It would be a joy to win one of the DVDs. Thank you for giving them away.
    God bless, nancyt.

  6. Deb Rebel says

    Tossing my hat after I wipe off the starter mix I was concocting…

    Good luck in your grafting endeavors too!

  7. Kenneth Bowers says

    Mike, I live in upstate NY, Rochester. Because you are in Ohio many of your tips and tricks of gardening I am able to use. I have a small yard that is not condusive to propegating with enough to sell but have for a couple of years used your videos to help me with my small estate. Thanks much and hopefuly I’ll win the tapes.
    Thanks again!

  8. Sara says

    I appreciate the information posted/shared with others. I keep learning and learning and learning!

    Right now, we are not growing for profit – just to feed ourselves and a few other families.

    This is our first year being able to add some fun plants to our landscaping. Something that is there for looks, not just function (ie – eating).

    • Adam says

      This sounds amazing. Your video will surely help me with bonsai’s in South Africa. Thanx for all the great tips.

        • misty says

          No!No! Don’t pick him (slapping his hands down overzealously) Pick Me,Pick Me Instead! Just Kidding. I just had to throw that in there. Loved the comment.
          Mike, Your site and newsletter are absolutely the best and are so helpful. I just came in from outside to reread some of your archived newsletters to prepare for spring. (Which do you prefer zealous optimism or kissing up?) I couldn’t resist since it seemed like I was kissing up with my comment. Hope you have a great day and I really do appreciate all the info you share with us. I’m someone with a black thumb but with your tips I manage to grow beautiful flowers and shrubs. Thanks.

    • Benian says

      Mike I have 1 Japanese Maple I paid $150.00 for and I’ve been trying propagate it since. They are beautiful trees.
      Thanks Benian

    • Bernadette says

      Have four Japanese Maples and love them. Would like to learn how to properly graft and take care of them. Enjoy your site very much!!

    • Bob Donker says

      Yes I would very much like this DVD, I’m new at this type of work,but love working in the garden.
      We have just moved to a 5 acre treed property and hope to finish building some time this spring and start laying out and building a garden.
      We would like to leave most off it wild for the Moose and Deer that have visited us all winter.

    • Ann Horne says

      Love to have this DVD. Maples are amazing. Would appreciate the know-how to grow these beautiful trees. Thank you for the opportunity. Ann.

    • karen p. says

      why can’t the tree be grown totally from seed? why does it have to be grafted?

      love your newsletter, thanks.

    • Tom Rock says

      What a great looking tree! I can see it now
      looking out my front window and admiring
      my beautiful maple that I started from seed.
      Cool man! Keep up the good work’

    • Lori C says

      I started my little seedling collection from my own seeds and i’m going into my second year! They take a while to grow, but they are so “cute” right now. I would LOVE to learn how to graft them and take my Japanese Maple skills to a whole new level. PICK ME, PICK ME!!!!! :-)

    • Irene says

      I’m Jst fascinated with your green thumb & the results that u produce! You make it look so easy & doable which is the main reason why I’ve followed you for years! Wish I could get a copy of ur upcoming DVD! :)

    • Mubita Kabalanyana says

      Thank you for all the posts you have made in the past. I believe that the video you are shooting will be as exciting as any that you have done before.

    • robert lamica says

      These trees are majestic. have not grown any but would love to. not sure I can living in Vermont. It would be great if I could.

    • Karla Paul says

      I have always wanted to learn how to graft and would love to learn from you! This really is an art and a gift you have. Thanks so much for sharing! Karla Idaho

    • Beth says

      Thank you for the offer. I would really enjoy having this video. I have 3 Japanese Maples and would enjoy grafting them and selling them. Kind Regards,

    • Wendy says

      The trees are beautiful. I know I won’t get the free DVD but I would still be interested in
      knowing how to fine the seeds, trying my hand at growing one or two of them.

    • Kathleen Malo says

      I am wondering why these trees need to be grafted if they can easily be grown from seed? Just curious about the process. I know fruit trees are grafted into root stock as well and that is how different varieties have been grown. I am new to all of this but am very interested in one day establishing a business growing trees. This is a particularly popular one. They are beautiful because the Lord made them!

      • says


        Japanese maples can be easily grown from seed, even Japanese Red Maples can be grown from seed. But just like with the fruit trees the only way to reproduce an exact clone of the variety that you want is to use a process that is asexual. Growing from seed is sexual propagation and just like with making babies, each and every one is very unique. Because most rare varieties of Japanese maples are difficult to grow from a rooted cutting, grafting is the most predictable and dependable way to produce the plant that you want to grow.

      • Rob says

        Hi Kathleen. It’s best practice to graft a particular ‘named’ maple cultivar, to be 100% sure of getting the desired characteristics. I grow maples from seed, and I have some really beautiful seedlings, but some are very different to the parent tree. This is because maples hybridize (cross-pollinate) freely. This is the means by which new cultivars are produced. Truly it can be said that these trees bring praise to the Creator of such beauty (Psalm 104:24). Rob

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