Air Layering

BondaiNate

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So I did air layering for the first time after watching many videos on it's so I knew how to do it properly. I did it on a lions head Japanese maple that I have; I air layered two branches on this tree and waited 8 weeks. I checked today if there were roots and this is what I saw (see pictures).

What did I do wrong? Can I recover from this and try again? Will the black kill the tree?

I will note that for the past 2-3 weeks they leaves have been withering a lot.
 

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Tbwilson33

Mame
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I’m not positive but if it were mine I’d wrap it back up. I see a root starting not all is lost. The third picture it looks like there was bark that ripped up not sure if that was operator error.
 

Mike Hennigan

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I think you need to be more patient. It has calloused up and even looks like you’ve got one or two root nubs popping out already. Slap some sphagnum back in there and wait. Don’t open it up again until the sphagnum fills wit roots (hopefully)
 

BondaiNate

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I figured it was roots forming but wasnt sure since it was my first time doing it. The 3rd picture was after opening I carved more away because the wood was rotting, turning fully black. I'll cover it back up and give it a few more months.

It's just from every guide I've seen, they usually only give it 2 months max.
 

atlarsenal

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I agree with @Mike Hennigan. 8 weeks is not near long enough for Japanese Maple. You can even let it go through the winter if needed and separate it next spring.
 

Tbwilson33

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I have 5 going on lions head JM and it’s taken 2.5 months to see a senile root pop through the sphagnum be patient I know it’s hard. Lol
 

atlarsenal

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I figured it was roots forming but wasnt sure since it was my first time doing it. The 3rd picture was after opening I carved more away because the wood was rotting, turning fully black. I'll cover it back up and give it a few more months.

It's just from every guide I've seen, they usually only give it 2 months max.
Some species can be separated in as little as 4 weeks like crape myrtle. Others take much longer maybe a year or more. Don’t separate until you see a pile of root showing through the plastic.
 

Mike Hennigan

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Yea, for the most part Japanese maple cultivars haven’t been the fastest to throw roots for me. But I air layered a straight species Japanese maple last summer and it throw so many roots pretty quickly. A lot of the cultivars aren’t nearly as vigorous as the normal species varieties of JM.
 

BondaiNate

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Is it a problem that all the leaves are withering? They are still for the most part all green, just all shriveled... maybe too much sunlight
 

Mike Hennigan

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Is it a problem that all the leaves are withering? They are still for the most part all green, just all shriveled... maybe too much sunlight
Put it in a really shady spot and see how it responds.
 

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