Air layering spruce, anyone done it ?

davetree

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I have a dwarf blue spruce landscape tree that would make a pretty nice bonsai except for the graft. Is it possible to air layer a spruce ? Has anyone done this or can you give me any advice ? Thanks for your help.
 

Walter Pall

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To this kind of questions I have the following answer: If one ever finds a tree of that species in nature that obviously air-layered itself it is certainly possible. In case you never found one of the exact species but a related one that air-layered itself it should be possible. If you find many examples of self-air-layering then it is very easy.
OK, I have found many European spruce (Norway spruce), Picea abies, that have air-layered themselves. So it should be possible and easy. Well, as easy as it gets with conifers. They take so much longer then most broadleaved trees. Only junipers are very easy to air layer. In fact I know part of the Alps where one single Sabina juniper covers an acre of a mountain, having air-layered itself all over the cliffs ten thousand times over a few hundred years.
I think you should go ahead and try your luck.
 

davetree

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Thank you, Walter, for the advice and encouragement. I will attempt the tourniquet method, unless you have a different suggestion.
 

rockm

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Anything is possible. The question is "do I have the patience?"

"They take so much longer then most broadleaved trees." This is the seminal point...Conifers can take years to air layer...Y-E-A-R-S...
 

davetree

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Years is ok, otherwise the tree will be just another landscape plant. wait, how many years do you mean ?
 

ghues

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Years is ok, otherwise the tree will be just another landscape plant. wait, how many years do you mean ?
A fellow here air layered a mountain hemlock in the wild and it too 2 full growing seasons (2 years).
 
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Why start a new thread... When you can use an old thread. I am curious on air layering a Spruce as well. Has anybody else tried to do this?
 

oddirt

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Why start a new thread... When you can use an old thread. I am curious on air layering a Spruce as well. Has anybody else tried to do this?
This article shows it’s possible. I’m going to be trying this with some of the spruces native to the west coast. Looks like applying the right amount of rooting hormone, using sphagnum moss, and creating the right girdle width are key. No mention of the tourniquet method but I’ll try both girdle and tourniquet come spring time. https://rngr.net/publications/tree-...orway-spruce-and-blue-spruce/at_download/file
 
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This article shows it’s possible. I’m going to be trying this with some of the spruces native to the west coast. Looks like applying the right amount of rooting hormone, using sphagnum moss, and creating the right girdle width are key. No mention of the tourniquet method but I’ll try both girdle and tourniquet come spring time. https://rngr.net/publications/tree-...orway-spruce-and-blue-spruce/at_download/file
I read the same article, looks like a good way.
 

Adair M

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I have a Colorado Blue Spruce, yamadori, that is a natural raft. That is, it appears to have been knocked over so that the trunk was in contact with the ground. And it has sprouted roots along the bottom of the trunk. That’s a “ground layer”, and Walter’s comments above are really describing “ground layers”, not air layers. But, if a tree can ground layer, it should air layer.
 

ngonz

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i'm going to revive this old thread here, i'm curious as to what results you all got. I'm looking to airlayer a small picea abies, anyone here had any luck with the method mentioned above?
 

Lorax7

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I’ve attempted to air layer a bird’s nest spruce once. The layer was okay for a couple of months and then everything above the layer suddenly turned brown and died. There were no branches below the layer and girdling the trunk did not cause it to back bud and grow anything new below the layer, so my hypothesis is that’s why it failed. You probably need to have at least one branch below the layer. Either that or I just had crappy luck with that particular tree. 🤷‍♂️
 
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