Air layer and Potting Japanese Maple

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Good day All!

It's my first post!
So, I'm planning on air layering this Japanese Maple, one in the middle of the main stock and one down at the bottom fork. This tree is only about 3/8-1/2" thick.

I'd obviously like to vigorously grow the trunks and am not too concerned about styling right now. If growing is my only goal for a few years, what kind of pot should I put my air layers into? Will a regular bonsai pot stunt it's growth, or should I just put it in a regular nursery pot?

I see the necessity of using a nursery style pot if your air layer has a vertical root ball, but I'm going to try and air layer using a container in a horizontal manner, to hopefully promote horizontal root growth but other than that I don't see any reason to.

I see a lot of people air layer than put the stock into nursery pots, I don't know why i guess.

IMG_20210618_160439.jpgIMG_20210618_161059.jpg
 

0soyoung

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Inorganic bonsai substrates are, for the most part, good for vigorous growth - roots get lots of oxygen and ramify.

As for air-layering, I do not think it worth the trouble to use shallow flat containers for rooting. Most of my layers were done with a wad of sphagnum around the girdle. I just remove the plastic wrap and plant the layer harvested in late-summer or early-fall and then repot it the following spring, removing most (if not all) of the sphagnum and put it in a wide shallow pot (usually a cut down plastic nursery pot) of my chosen bonsai substrate. The flat root pad and nice nebari develops rapidly letting it then just grow for a year.

I've also cut gallon nursery pots and placed them around the girdle, filled with my bonsai substrate. It is fairly easy to do when layering a vertical stem. In exchange for the inconvenience of rigging the pot, I get hardened ramified roots straight away that can go directly to a box or shallow pot in fall.

I'll just mention that I had a lot of nursery pots including big ones from trees that were planted around my home. It was a simple matter if I have these things, why not use them? I saw no need to build boxes or go buy something special to accomplish the task. It is straight forward to just fill the bottom 2 to 6 inches with substrate and plant my tree in that. Almost always, I reduced the height of the pot wall (partially/completely) to accommodate low branches. The only 'issue' is how to secure the tree (roots, specifically) in the container.

With sphagnum-wad layers I removed the stub of stem in the spring repotting, pretty much flush to the bases of the adventitious roots and oftentimes have driven a screw into it to hold a ceramic tile or board snugly against them. So the tree is secured to the board/tile and the works is secured atop a layer of substrate (in the plastic pot, in my case). This makes great nebari quickly. My point is that fancy stuff isn't necessary. Likewise, it needn't be a feat of engineering.

.... moving on. ;)
 

penumbra

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Don't overthink this. The purpose of an air layer is to create a new plant. Simple do that and establish the new plant and grow it on a season or two.
 

leatherback

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Will a regular bonsai pot stunt it's growth, or should I just put it in a regular nursery pot?
Yes, it will stunt your growth.
Treat the layer as any other tree you are growing out. Taking care to work the roots, but not worrying too much about it. If you repot every 2 years you should be fine with normal nursery pots initially.
 

sorce

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I'm about using a container you can just continue on growing it in for some time after you cut it off.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

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