Creating a Flare on an Air Layer

vicn

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I know I've seen pics and discussions regarding air layers where a wire is put on to start a flare. My question is whether the wire is really put on tight, or not so much? Okay....I lied...I have more than one question.
Is this done a year ahead, a month?
Does the wire need to be removed before placing the air layer?
Is the actual cut to remove the bark done just below the wire, or just above it?
thanks!
 

AlainK

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I usually do it the year before, and the wire doesn't need to be too tight.

I've only done it on maples, and I've always removed the wire before removing a ring of bark, just below where the wire was.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I'm not sure I understand your question. Typically when wire is used with an air-layer, it has less to do with creating a flare, and more to do with preventing hard-to-root trees from bridging the gap you create in the bark.

In the process of creating an air-layer, a flare at the roots is usually created naturally, because you have a section of trunk that is suddenly sprouting roots where nothing was before. Because the roots are forming outside the old trunk line you will get a natural flare. In fact I'm not sure how you could create an air-layer without creating flare.
 

Steve Kudela

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When a tree leafs out in the spring it is working off of stored energy from last autumn. After the new growth comes out and grows awhile, it will begin to lignify(turn woody). Once it has hardened off, it goes into energy gathering mode. My method is to let the new growth harden off, then remove a ring of bark 2 to 3 times the width of the branch being layered. Scrape it pretty good to prevent bridging. Some rub with alcohol, I don't worry with it. Then bag it and keep it watered. The energy gathered will stop at the top cut, it will produce callous tissue that creates the flare and the new roots sprout from that flared area. That method works for deciduous and conifers. I've heard of the wire method just never used it. I've also understood that it's done at different times of years with good results. I've just posted methodology that works for me. Hope this helps.
 

0soyoung

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I know I've seen pics and discussions regarding air layers where a wire is put on to start a flare. My question is whether the wire is really put on tight, or not so much? Okay....I lied...I have more than one question.
Is this done a year ahead, a month?
Does the wire need to be removed before placing the air layer?
Is the actual cut to remove the bark done just below the wire, or just above it?
'Swelling' will occur anytime the PAT (Polar Auxin Transport) and flow of photosynthate is interrupted. A branch will swell quickly when wire spiraled around it 'bites in'. A stem will thicken/swell/flare-out immediately above a wire tourniquet because it interrupts the PAT once it has 'bitten in' because it squeezes off the cambium in which the PAT occurs. Obviously a girdle will cause this as well, because it also interrupts PAT and the flow of photosynthate in the phloem (inner bark).

In any of these circumstances, roots will develop if the affected area is kept moist (say packed in damp sphagnum). Otherwise, the nascent roots get air pruned as soon as they emerge. Among other things, root initials are formed when there is excessive auxin in the cambium, regardless of whether happens because of obstructions of the PAT or the application of rooting hormone.

Usually one applies a wire tourniquet and leaves it in place for a season or two until the desired flare has nearly developed. Then it is immersed in a damp medium. The tourniquet can be left in place or it can be removed and a girdle at the bottom of the flare before packing it up in sphagnum or a pot of some other substrate around the stem to then grow roots.
 

Velodog2

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The wire is typically used as stated before: to prevent the tree from bridging the gap. But it can be used to create a better flair also. If the bark/cambium is undercut above the stripped portion then slit vertically into strips like a coarse grass skirt, the wire can be pushed up under these strips to flare them out. The roots should grow from the cut edges and ends of the strips.

This can create better flare if it works right, and also helps obscure or eliminate the tell-tale ring of scar tissue that can persist forever on some species at the top of the roots from an airlayer, working even better if the strips are trimmed to random lengths.
 

AlainK

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Some say that the "bulge" created by seccuring a wire around a trunk/branch doesn't mean that there will be more cells where new roots can start.

I don't agree with that, but even if it didn't, the "flare" will be more evident.

It's also true that it's mainly because of the regular circular cur that roots will spread more evenly, star-shaped roots.

Here are for instance a few pics of air-layers I did on an A. buergerianum, look at them to see what I mean:











Both lived for two years, but unfortunately, the 2011 winter was fatal to them, like it was for quite a few of my trees that I didn't protect.
 

AlainK

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Not on pines!

Firstly, I'm still learning about deciduous, secondly, my knowledge of conifers (except larch) is close to nil.

I tried air-layering pines: ... :(
 

Velodog2

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The drawing appears to be illustrating the technique I described! I've heard pines can takes more than a year to issue roots from a layer. I've never tried them. But I airlayer things all the time and typically it's a base layer to improve nebaris. The myrtle in my avatar was base layered. The "flare" on that was already there in the form of a large bulge right at the soil line. Unfortunately it necked back down below that before the roots began.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Nice work there @AlainK , too bad they died....
Has anyone tried this?
I've seen videos online of people doing it, but there's never any follow up video...so I assume the worst....
View attachment 138068
Giving this post the bump because I'm curious if anyone has tried the technique in the picture you posted.

I've got a Ficus with some though branches I'd like to try this with, but I have no idea how you'd be able to cut underneath to make flaps like this.
 

just.wing.it

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Giving this post the bump because I'm curious if anyone has tried the technique in the picture you posted.

I've got a Ficus with some though branches I'd like to try this with, but I have no idea how you'd be able to cut underneath to make flaps like this.
Maybe a if anything could handle it, probably a ficus could...
I might try it on a small Jmaple next year...just for fun.
 

just.wing.it

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I have no idea how you'd be able to cut underneath to make flaps like this.
I saw at least one old YouTube video of a guy doing it, a long while ago.
If I recall, it was a heavier trunk...can't remember the species of tree :mad:...and he used a hammer and chisel to make the "flaps".....
It was not pretty...:eek:
And he shoved wood wedges underneath to hold the position....
No update video was posted...
 

Cattwooduk

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I saw a video of this method some time ago as well.
I've got this JM I had in the ground for a couple of years, cut it back hard and lifted it into a shallow grower last spring but have decided I probably could have cut it back harder.
The base is also crap and I'm pretty sure it's grafted right at the bottom - the big ugly knobbly bit is where o removed 4 branches all coming from the same point.

I think it recovered enough last year for me to attempt this method of air layering do I can get it restarted on its own new roots. I'll then leave it a couple of years before cutting the top back again most likely. If it doesn't make it I'm not especially attaches to this tree any more! 15169971642931595008286.jpg
 

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