Air Layering in Late Summer

rollwithak

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Hi All!

I just recently bought a house. I'm in hardiness area 8-9. We have very hot summers and can stay warm into the fall and winter months. I have some Chinese Elm trees that I need to trim so I figured instead of just trimming the branches in the fall, I would first air-layer a few of them. Does anyone have any advice on starting this process in Mid August? Is it still capable of working even though it's late in the growing season?

Thank you for the advice.
 

rollwithak

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BrianBay9

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Yeah, you've got time. They'll be growing into November, maybe December. And your winter is so mild if you don't see enough roots just leave the layers on until you do.
 

rollwithak

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In my experience Chinese elms are quicker to air layer than maples. I did a thick branch and was ready to separate in about 5 weeks.
Yeah based on the reactions here I'm thinking (if i did everything properly) that I should be good to go... we have warmth into October...
 

Dav4

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That's awesome Dav. I know Elms and Maples are different but with yours, what time of the year were you able to cut it and replant?
It looks like I separated the layers the third week of October… First frost here is typically in mid November and things rarely freeze before late December, but we can have earlier hard freezes
 

sixemkay

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Because of this post I decided to try an air layer on my unidentified JM, just to see what happens. I plan to chop the trunk after leaf drop so it's basically free material. I'll post at the end of the growing season (maybe November?) to let everyone know if it took or not.

Really hot temperatures today--- I hope that won't mess up the experiment. I'm keeping the air layer portion covered with black plastic pot so the poor thing doesn't bake.
 

rollwithak

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Because of this post I decided to try an air layer on my unidentified JM, just to see what happens. I plan to chop the trunk after leaf drop so it's basically free material. I'll post at the end of the growing season (maybe November?) to let everyone know if it took or not.

Really hot temperatures today--- I hope that won't mess up the experiment. I'm keeping the air layer portion covered with black plastic pot so the poor thing doesn't bake.
Super hot temperatures today.... Thermy is hitting 108 where I am... Sure Sac is feeling that too.... I will keep updates coming with mine too... I did 4 in air layers in total. I am attaching some photos of mine. Best of luck on yours as well. Looking forward to receiving update!!!
 

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rollwithak

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Anyone who has air layered before, how often are you adding water to the air layer to keep it moist? In other words, how moist and humid are you keeping the sphagnum moss throughout the process?
 

cbroad

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Theoretically, keeping the substrate wet before roots are formed does nothing.

Once you see roots though, it's probably best to keep it moist. Water is still being conducted until the point the layer is severed, but the newly formed roots must not dry out.

Once roots are formed, I check mine a few times a week for water.
 

Dav4

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I use sphagnum moss wrapped in plastic. I’d soak the moss before performing the layer and would only apply water to keep it moist but not sodden. That might be one or twice a week to every few weeks if it had been raining.
 

BrianBay9

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Anyone who has air layered before, how often are you adding water to the air layer to keep it moist? In other words, how moist and humid are you keeping the sphagnum moss throughout the process?

If you're wrapping in plastic you can gently squeeze it and feel if there's significant moisture in there. I'm adding water to those about once a week. If you're using the pot with bonsai soil method, water it whenever you water your other trees in pots.

Just noticed you're running temps in the 100's where you are. Forget that once a week advice. I'm in the fog zone. You may need to add water once a day. It depends on how tight you're wrap is.
 

rollwithak

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If you're wrapping in plastic you can gently squeeze it and feel if there's significant moisture in there. I'm adding water to those about once a week. If you're using the pot with bonsai soil method, water it whenever you water your other trees in pots.

Just noticed you're running temps in the 100's where you are. Forget that once a week advice. I'm in the fog zone. You may need to add water once a day. It depends on how tight you're wrap is.
Yeah I’ve been doing about every other day or so. I started with moistened sphagnum and have probably been objecting water every other day or so, but only little amounts.

Thanks for the help everyone. I may have hope to become a tree Jedi yet!
 
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Sphagnum moss soak up water like sponge. Even in hot climate, under the plastic wrap, there should be a need for water every other day if they are moist to begin with.
My experience the most issue I have with layering is the medium stay too wet. Also the layer is highly dependent on the type the trees. Some will throw out roots within three or four weeks and some just sit there and do very little for a long time. Note, I said dependent on trees and not species... I have Trident, normal green and lion head Japanese maples that didn't show any root for 7 weeks. I just uncover one of the trident and only saw one white root. I have others green Japanese maple showing roots in about 3 weeks.
Good luck.
 

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