Dawn Redwood - too soon to remove air-layer?

emk

Mame
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I'm air-layering several of the trees I've collected prior to doing major trunk-chops on the bottom portions. My Dawn Redwood has been the quickest to respond and has sent out several thick roots around the perimeter, which then hit the side of the plastic I wrapped the Sphagnum Moss with and then curl back into the moss down below. Now, since one of the points of doing an air-layer is to get a nice, even root flair at the base of the material, roots curling back down just 1/2" from the trunk is not what I was hoping for.

I guess I'm surprised by the thickness of the roots (about 1/8" thick) and am wondering if I should leave them be until they completely fill the bag of moss or take them off now so they have a chance to grow out rather than just down. The layer was started about 2 months ago. I've read that 4 months is a good rule of thumb for most trees, but does anyone out there have any direct experience with air-layering Dawn Redwoods?

(I'm actually air-layering two sections of this tree, so it won't be a complete loss if one of the sections doesn't make it.)
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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Hi EMR,
I haven't layered DR before, but quite a few maples, and found it's best to wait as long as you can before you separate, allowing the bag to fill as much as possible (usually it looks like more roots are in the bag than are actually present). Also, when you separate the layer, be sure to not disturb the root ball at all, and just plant the full mass straight away. The roots will grow well next year on their own, and root work can start in the following year.
 

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