Giant air layer question

bestbluebeans

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I started this air layer (pot 7 gallon) in May and seeing roots as of two weeks ago when I lifted flagstones I had on to keep soil from washing out in rain
I live in zone 5, IA and will over winter in unheated garage
Should I leave on until leaves drop? or remove sometime before then?

Thanks
 

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Arnold

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If it will be well protected in winter I would leave it until next spring, when the buds start sweling cut it and repot the layer
 

bestbluebeans

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Too cold here in winter as typically get a few -20F (-29C) days and no easy way to provide supplemental heat.
 

Arnold

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Wow thats freaking cold, then I would cut it when is totally dormant and do a light repot in spring sorting the roots without cutting too many
 

Shibui

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Layers seem to survive with remarkably few roots so it may survive removing now but I can't see any significant advantage in removing early.
Leaving a bit longer will obviously allow more roots so is safer from that point of view. Need to balance that with ability to water. As roots develop the tree will take more and more water from the new roots and there's a definite risk of the whole layer dehydrating if you don't keep up with water.
Leave it as long as you can or until leaf fall but make a point of checking more often from now. If you see signs of dehydration either increase watering or chop it off and put it somewhere you can water easier.
 

Bonsai Nut

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As roots develop the tree will take more and more water from the new roots and there's a definite risk of the whole layer dehydrating if you don't keep up with water.
I tend to think about this in the opposite way. It is all about the rate of transpiration from the foliage and the balance of foliage mass to root mass. Rather than focus on the roots (which are just starting to grow) I think it is easier to try to reduce the rate of transpiration from the foliage via sun and wind protection and misting. Then you don't run the risk of overwatering the new roots.
 

bestbluebeans

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I appreciate the responses. The roots are now across the full surface of the pot. I haven't probed deeper.
The canopy above the layer looks healthy without any sign of scorch
I don't have an easy way to mist or shade this large layer so I will continue to make sure the pot has enough moisture and if foliage starts to suffer, I will separate
Otherwise I think I will leave it till leaves drop.
Thanks again
bbb
 

bestbluebeans

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I ended up separating the layer today and planted out
I am setting up an intermittent timer to sprinkle the foliage regularly during the day
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