Air layering old, large Maple

Jason200282

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Hello all and thanks in advance for any advice given.

I am currently 8 weeks in as of the 29th July to air layering a large, old japenese maple, that is planted in the ground and was taller than a house. I recently trimmed it.

I have made a multiple of air layers using rooting compound, plant pots filled with sphagnum moss and wrapped in cling film.

I checked the air layers yesterday as the tree is at my Aunts house. I couldnt see roots yet. The tree has started to sprout a large amount of bud and leaves below the air layering.

The tree has to be at least 30 years old and has been planted in the ground for the most of that time. The trunks are approximately 6inches in diameter.

Does this appear all OK to you all?

As you can tell I am not the most experienced with air layering, this is my first tree of this age and size.
 

Shibui

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First and foremost where are you. Location is a big factor in when and how to do many plant related practices.
Your mention that the tree has started to sprout has me confused as northern hemisphere should be well into growing now and southern is still mid winter so trees are still dormant.

Leaves below the layers and not above does not sound good. There is still a chance that growth above is just a bit delayed by the layering but I have has a number of JM layers fail when starting before bud burst. I certainly get much better results doing layers just after the leaves open fully.
Age of the parent tree should not affect layering success unless it has some other problems or disease.

Some more info on location and layering method will help us give better advice. Photos are even better as people can pick up cues in pictures that you may forget to write down.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

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This seems to me to be like beginning a political career by running for President as soon as you turn 35. It can be done, but the problems are magnified by the size of the project. It's going to take a substantial amount of roots to support the trunk and I suspect there are/will be just tertiary buds on the wood above the roots that will be kept making for a slow start next spring. Any goofy weather or missteps over winter or next spring will be magnified by the tenderness of the project. I would be doing something like this with a 5 gallon pail sized ~ground layer~ on stilts.
 

Tieball

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Hi there……a few photos will be helpful.
 

Jason200282

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Thank you all,

I am in the United Kingdom (Wales). The tree and was already in full leaf before I started the airlayer.

What I am referring to as budding, is below the airlayer, so lps the lowest point that the bark and cabium were removed. The tree has started growing new branches.

I am assuming this is because I have seperated the flow of nutrients?

Sorry but I can't take pictures at the moment, should of done it yesterday when I was with the tree.
 

Shibui

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Correct about the tree sensing the change in nutrient and hormone flow. As far as it knows the part above has gone so it activates dormant buds to replace the lost limbs. That's normal.
Provided there is still leaves above the layer all is as it should be. Roots may take some time. At least a few weeks and maybe a few months. Larger and older branches do tend to take longer than younger parts but it should still happen so just be patient. There's nothing you can do now that will speed up the root production process. That's totally up to the tree now.
 

bwaynef

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I am currently 8 weeks in as of the 29th July to air layering a large, old japenese maple, that is planted in the ground and was taller than a house.
That seems like plenty of time to have roots.
I have made a multiple of air layers using rooting compound, plant pots filled with sphagnum moss and wrapped in cling film.
I've never seen cling film around pots on an airlayer. I don't think it'll cause problems but seems unnecessary.
I checked the air layers yesterday as the tree is at my Aunts house. I couldnt see roots yet.
Did you remove all of the sphagnum? Did you see all the way back to the trunk? After 8 weeks, if you didn't see roots, I'd think your attempt(s) may have bridged and may not root as a result.
 

Forsoothe!

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I wouldn't take it off until it's time to plant it in the ground over winter. I go to ground the first winter as the best conditions for roots over winter, others may do otherwise.
 

Jason200282

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That seems like plenty of time to have roots.

I've never seen cling film around pots on an airlayer. I don't think it'll cause problems but seems unnecessary.

Did you remove all of the sphagnum? Did you see all the way back to the trunk? After 8 weeks, if you didn't see roots, I'd think your attempt(s) may have bridged and may not root as a result.

What does bridging look like?
 

bwaynef

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This.
 

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Jason200282

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There was nothing like that I could see, I checked the biggest scmection of trunk and the smallest. The smallest seemed to have what was possible the start of roots.

If any of them bridge can you just cut it back and creat a new clean cut at the top.
 

bwaynef

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If any of them bridge can you just cut it back and creat a new clean cut at the top.
That's what I did. I left a bit of callous tissue along the top ring and made sure to remove it everywhere else, going a bit deeper all the way around to make sure I got all the tissue thats alive. The problem with mine was that I made the ring a bit narrower than I would've chosen ideally. I suspect it'll root this time though.

Good luck with yours.
 

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