Air layering Japanese maple

mattspiniken

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I love air layering. I’ve been making them like a crazy man the last few years whever I can. Here is one, before picture is 1 year after separation and second is 3 growing seasons after.
Here is what I have done so far: air layer at a crotch of a branch for more options. Plant air layer in flat wooden box, place on ground to allow for escape roots. Next year I will cut back, wire, and work the roots. I’ll put it right back into the wooden box.
Anyway I’m putting this here for two reasons, a progression for myself and others and to see if anyone wants to chime in. Especially those that have seen through some long term deciduous projects.F0236BF8-386F-4578-8D9F-9B4B13A8DDBA.jpg
 
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mattspiniken

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I was wrong I checked and the second photo of the tree is about exactly 3 years since separation and 1.5 years from original photo.
 

Shibui

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Appears to be the same photo at different magnification?
Great material but if you are trying to make a point maybe be specific??????
 

mattspiniken

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Appears to be the same photo at different magnification?
Great material but if you are trying to make a point maybe be specific??????
I’m creating a thread on the progression of this tree so I and others can follow it over time. I’m also happy to have anyone chime in on technique they recommend. I’ll update this next spring after I work it. I think there is value in seeing the 2 year transition from almost nothing to the beginnings of something. I’m not really trying to say anything profound or make a point.

My post must be coming across as random because there is no final image. I get that.
 

BobbyLane

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so is the straight trunk a sacrifice trunk and going to be chopped off at some point, are you ultimately building a twin trunk maple? i see what youre doing if thats the case, but a newbie might not.
 

mattspiniken

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so is the straight trunk a sacrifice trunk and going to be chopped off at some point, are you ultimately building a twin trunk maple? i see what youre doing if thats the case, but a newbie might not.
Hi Bobby yes you are right it is being built as a twin trunk. The long straight bit is left to thicken the base. I’m considering if it should be cut off next spring or wait one more year. I don’t want to big of a scar.
 

Mike Hennigan

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How do you feel about those big ass wire scars? I got this air layered JM clump in the works right now. This reminds me of it a bit. Separated last fall, should be ready for its first serious root prune and structural prune and wire next spring.
 

mattspiniken

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@Mike Hennigan I don't know I guess I was hoping the wire scars would go away after a few more years of growth. I don't know though, I really don't have any long term experience with Jap Maple. One thing I wonder about is the green bark, anyone know how old the growth needs to be before it turns brown? Nothing says old ancient tree like some bright green bark...haha.
 

LanceMac10

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@Mike Hennigan I don't know I guess I was hoping the wire scars would go away after a few more years of growth. I don't know though, I really don't have any long term experience with Jap Maple. One thing I wonder about is the green bark, anyone know how old the growth needs to be before it turns brown? Nothing says old ancient tree like some bright green bark...haha.




Wire scarring on a Japanese Maple will take quite some time to heal, if at all. You'll see it for quite awhile, more so as you get to refinement as the growth will be much slower.
Try some heavily diluted lime sulfur and spray as a fungicide prior to dormancy. As a bonus, it will color the bark somewhat, as if it was more aged.
I've had a Coral bark in a grow box for about 5 years with unrestrained growth. Those marks left from my clumsy wiring when I first started are still there....close to a decade later.
Bill Valavanis has a great JM that he left a wire on a bit too long early in it's development...it's still there near 50 years on......
 

mattspiniken

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Bill Valavanis has a great JM that he left a wire on a bit too long early in it's development...it's still there near 50 years on......
Oops thanks for the info... live and learn. Thankfully I have quite a few more air layered JM's that I am working on and will be more careful with those.
 

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