here is an elm. the arrow shows the first bud on this too straight branch. can I just cut the main branch back and hope a bud pops, or should I approach graft it?'
btw, just started the wiring.
Cut the branch back as hard as you can, but still leave some active buds or greenery on the stub. It will back-bud and you can go from there. The picture makes it look like you need to cut the top back on your tree much harder than you have, and possibly eliminate a few branches. The top is going to get very heavy, very fast if you don't. Cutting the top back harder should also help to promote additional breaks on the branch you mentioned.
I tried that last year, cutting the branch so that only a few end buds remained. I made sure new buds in the same end didn't grow. still, no back buds. u don't think an approach graft would work?
Sure it will work - as would a thread graft if you do it next spring before budswell.
Have you considered air layering?????