Air layer help

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
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Hi everyone,

I read that while root pruning, you should remove around the same amount of foliage in order to balance the tree. I know there's some contraversy to this, but, assuming there's validity to this theory, when air layering, is there any guideline as far as root-to-foliage/tree size ratio when separating an air layer?

I know it depends on how many roots have formed, but are there any guidelines to this technique? I've tried looking at various articles but none of them seem to mention this.
 

digger714

Shohin
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I have done a few air layers, and i usually started them in the spring, the first of march here, and cut them off at the end of august. Most of the ones ive done are on "tougher" trees to layer, so it probably took longer than some. I did a maple, just to experiment, and it only took about 2 months to get enough roots to seperate. I dont know of any ratio, but just use your judgement. I have a laceleaf japanese maple that i have going. The trunk is going to be about 1 1/4" at the rootline, and the rootball now is about the size of a baseball. It is full of roots, and ready to seperate, but am waiting for it to cool down a little. Ill seperate it, pot it in bonsai soil, tied in, and keep in the shade for about two weeks or until i see new growth hopefully. Good luck.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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I started this one April 20th. It's on a "bloodgood" Japanese Maple. I should've started it sooner, but I didn't buy it until around April 15th. The roots were pretty dense, so I'm thinking it should be enough to sustain the tree. I just wasn't sure if there were guidelines to this beyond common sense :)

Thanks for your response =)

*crosses fingers*
 

digger714

Shohin
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From everything ive read, and been taught. Its best to let it go until it stops getting so hot, so they dont have to fight the heat, unless you arent able to keep the new tree healthy enough. If the roots have turned from white to brown then they are mature enough to plant, as long as there are enough roots to sustain the new tree. Ive dug up alot of trident maples of various ages, and they only have 10 -15 roots, and some smaller feeder roots on them. So if you have that many it should be good. Can you see the roots through the plastic? Have any pics?
 

Alex DeRuiter

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In retrospect, it would've been wise to wait until it cooled down a little. My outlook at the time was that I needed time for the tree to establish itself and get acclimated to the soil for the winter, but this probably could've waited another week or two, only because of the heat.

The amount of roots looked pretty nice. I'm including a picture I took about two weeks before I chopped the tree.
 

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