I’ve been grafting smaller ponderosas with black pine and red pine for some time. Before I went to Japan I grafted a very small ponderosa with 10 Mikawa Black pine scions. 9 took, and one failed the next year as it was weak. So I had eight grafts on a small tree…and then when I styled it years ago, I only used two grafts to create the tree, and cut the rest off. People in my backyard have been surprised it is grafted as the black pine and ponderosa bark match so well.
The first photo: A few grafts on a bankan (twisted-trunk) Ponderosa pine. The scions are a black/red pine hybrid, which I chose for the thin Red pine-looking needles. This tree has a very Red pine feel to it. And ponderosa foliage on small and moderate sized trees just does not look good to me. I know for some this is controversial, but it does look a lot better than the ugly grafted trees we see with black pine base and white pine top. And it is a way to use the wonderful material we have in a new way.
(The scions are slipped inside plastic bags, with spagnum moss, and duct tape is placed over the bag to prevent overheating in the sun.)
The second photo: This is another ponderosa with a big powerful trunk that I’m grafting with black pine. The grafts on pine do not need to go in any particular direction, as in deciduous grafts. You can reverse polarity in the scion, and have it go backwards…as in this photo. That way your branches can come off the trunk in the ‘downward angle’ that is preferred for pines.