Deshojo maple air layer winter protection

jstare

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Hey everyone, I have a Deshojo maple that is about 8' tall and in a pot. It has a nice trunk at the base so I am working on air layering off the top of the tree to reduce it down and eventually use the base for a Bonsai.

I layered the top 4' in June and it didn't show any roots until September. And currently it only has small 1" roots sticking out around the trunk. If I keep it protected from the cold I am assuming the roots would continue to grow in the Spring and then I could likely separate in May or so.

I have an unheated garage that is attached to the house so it stays at about 0-10c through the winter. I also have an uninsulated wood shed in the backyard that would get much colder but protects from frost. Once leaves drop do I just bring it into one of these locations? I doubt the layer would survive if I tried separating it now. Any input would be appreciated.
 

0soyoung

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Leave it on the tree and keep it protected in your wood shed. If the roots should get damaged by the cold, they will regrow next season. But, exposed to the normal fall daily cycles of deeping overnight cold the roots will easily survive cold to 15F/-25C.

If you cut if off with insufficient roots, the layer most likely will die as soon as the leaves are being expressed in spring, though it may take a little longer. Your description sounds like "insufficient roots".
 

garywood

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J, as Naught has said, you don't have to separate the same year. Your normal winter protection for maples is sufficient. It would help to know where in the world you are. I've done layers that had enough roots in the fall but the quantity or quality wasn't what I wanted. I root pruned those to equalized the strength in them and separated the following summer. Just don't let the layer dry out.
 

jstare

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@garywood @0soyoung thank you for the responses. I feel like there is not enough roots to separate, and I doubt it would survice. Your advice to protect over winter is helpful, I will plan to move it into my shed after leaves fall off. And then wait until spring to separate.

For reference I live near Vancouver, BC, Canada and I am in zone 8a.
 

0soyoung

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And then wait until spring to separate.
NO.
Wait until it has enough roots to support the foliage on the layer. It may take until next summer or even early next fall, but it won't be until sometime after next year's foliage has hardened.

Haste makes waste.
 

jstare

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NO.
Wait until it has enough roots to support the foliage on the layer. It may take until next summer or even early next fall, but it won't be until sometime after next year's foliage has hardened.

Haste makes waste.
Sorry for the lack of clarity in my previous response. When I said I would wait until Spring, I meant when there was enough roots to separate likely in late spring or early summer.
 

keri-wms

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I’ve got a handful of various maple layers which I left on over winter due to only having a few roots each. The logical timing options to cut seem to be “as the buds start to swell” as if repotting, “once the first leaves harden” and the top has it’s solar panels as though it’s a hardwood cutting but that’s also the normal time to START a layer, or once I have a load more roots whenever that happens. I suppose the overriding factor is when I have more roots?
 

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