Air Layer Acer Palmatum 'Winter Flame'


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Mooresville, NC - USA
Hello. I have a acer palmatum winter flame that is a grafted tree. It is about 5 years old, and i am wanting to do an air layer to get the real tree with no graft scars. Which would give the best results? 1) Let the parent tree's branch to layer get to the size wanted then layer, or layer and let it grow on its own? I guess if was layered and grown on its own it would develop a better nebari quicker. Which would give you the largest caliper trunk quickest?
Leave it on the tree to thicken up. Air layering it, then waiting for it to bulk up will set you back two or three years, as the air layered roots develop enough to push the top growth that drives trunk thickness.
Yep...what Rock said. I'm taking it a step farther and planting good stock in the landscape and layering off big branches (instead of doing cuttings). Then...the "piece d resistance" will be making a bonsai out of the stock itself one day.
air layer

if you watch for bud burst you can time out the days perfectly to get a stable new tree fro the procedure if you have a long enough grwoing season. No mater what the tree is going to stress simply because it has to establish new root no matter what. Not lettign the layer freeze is crucial as the new roots will nto be hardy as the grafted stocks. but after a few eyars it will be as strong. I can start a Acer P. layering just after april and by june i can be planting it. A skirt help here to produce awesome nebari right away. To much heat and dry will kill the roots fast and too much freeze will as well. a winter shack help to keep the cold burst of frost off the roots. I have found so long as you protect the roots a bit more then and time it out right you can get consistent strong air layerings time and time again in the same season potted. You will always have the issue of roots to foliage issues the first years. But once the tree stabilizies out the foliage will come back. Do not prune away foliage after an airlayer for a few years as this helps to rebuild the roots up.
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