“Snapped” air layer chances?

SeanS

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I came out to water today to a very sad sight. A nice tall, slender twin trunk air layer that I had on one of my Japanese maples had “snapped” at the layer sight in a windy storm last night, right where the bark had been stripped. The base of the layer was pretty thin, just over pencil thickness. I cut the layer 3 weeks ago.

The layered branch was still attached, but very floppy. I emptied some of the sphagnum and perlite from the plastic pot around the layer and saw loads of pre-root nodules had formed. There was a cluster of root nodules that were at least 5-6mm long already.

I covered the layer with the sphagnum mix again and set up a bamboo stake and some wires to hold the layer branches back up into their original position.

What are the chances the layer will still be successful?

Im pretty depro about it, was looking to be a pretty instant bonsai (2 years to a nice tree)

:(
 

0soyoung

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It may still root, but having little connected xylem means it is going to be a lot like trying to root a cutting. IOW, you may need to tent the layer foliage and shade the works somehow.

Of course, the measures you have implemented to stabilize the break are good.

Meanwhile, look around for another 'tree in 2 years' and start another layer. You probably still have enough season left to succeed.


I get the impression that when you girdled the stem you whittled away a lot of wood, making the stem easy to break. Even if I've got this wrong, I just want to point out that one only needs to remove the bark and walk away for a day or two before bundling it up - the cambium residuals desiccate easily and there will be no risk of regrowth bridging.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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With pencil thick wood, you can wonder if a cutting would have sufficed as well. With that I mean: even if it snaps, it might behave as a cutting and continue living.
I think it'll make it. You guys are entering spring right now, aren't you?
If that's the case, and you're already noticing 5mm root nodules, I think that it might be ready for separation in one or two months.
 

SeanS

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It may still root, but having little connected xylem means it is going to be a lot like trying to root a cutting. IOW, you may need to tent the layer foliage and shade the works somehow.

Of course, the measures you have implemented to stabilize the break are good.

Meanwhile, look around for another 'tree in 2 years' and start another layer. You probably still have enough season left to succeed.


I get the impression that when you girdled the stem you whittled away a lot of wood, making the stem easy to break. Even if I've got this wrong, I just want to point out that one only needs to remove the bark and walk away for a day or two before bundling it up - the cambium residuals desiccate easily and there will be no risk of regrowth bridging.

I only removed the bark, but the 2 upper branches (the layer) had bulked so much and had so much foliage it was like a sail on a Volvo ocean race yacht!

0C42F667-E02D-461C-851F-1952DCB31298.jpeg
C35CA113-5E94-4FB4-B25A-E21BA79F8075.jpeg
 

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