Grafting Japanese White Pines

I just got this jwp ‘Aoba jo’. Yes it has a big 'ol graft at the base - but I like using funky grafts to advantage in the design. I have 2 questions.

That nasty but interesting graft I am hoping to turn into a first branch. One of the pics shows the branch I would use for an approach graft, or I could harvest a tip from the top to do a more normal scion/slip graft. Any thoughts about the best way to do this - timing, method etc. I live in Rochester, NY so winters are severe.

Secondly the sacrifice branch is thick enough that it needs to go. Should this be done now (Oct 31), or should I trim off all but the top whorl and do it in March? Any advice would be appreciated.

I’m not as familiar with approach grafts on white pine, but i’d expect it to work. In this case, I’d go with a side veneer graft as that will let you select an appropriate sized scion. Having a graft low on the tree makes it resemble many of the white pines that are grafted onto black for bonsai.

The end of winter/early spring is the best time to do a veneer graft. You can use the cocoon method (with parafilm or buddy tape) or the bag technique:

If you use bags, here’s info about the after care:

If you’re ready to remove the sacrifice branch, you can cut it now. I’d leave a stub of about 1" that you can remove completely during the growing season.