Hackberry airlayer project

PaulH

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I started this Hacberry ( Celtis australus) from a seed about 20 years ago and grew it in the ground for several years. I put it in a bonsai pot a couple of years ago. The inverse taper bothered me more every time I looked at it so I decided to get drastic and airlayer.
I've done a lot of airlayers but this is the first of this type on a bonsai I don't want to kill.
Here goes.

The tree before the project
airlayer_010.jpg


Bark removal

airlayer_004.jpg


The plastic basket
airlayer_006.jpg


filled with soil
airlayer_009.jpg


And now we wait
airlayer_010.jpg

airlayer_011.jpg


The soil I used is Turface mixed with about 10% shredded sphagnum moss.
I brushed Rootone onto the edge where I want roots and covered to soil surface with moss to hold moisture.
Wish me luck!

Paul
 
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milehigh_7

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Good luck indeed!

I can't wait to find out what happens. It is my understanding that these don't do especially well from cuttings or layering. Please let us know your results!
 

PaulH

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Success! I separated the layer Saturday and it looks great. Lots of roots.
bonsai_91109_002.jpg


The roots are evenly around the trunk.
bonsai_91109_005.jpg


Ready to pot.
bonsai_91109_012.jpg


In the new pot.
bonsai_91109_014.jpg


Paul
 

ml_work

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Paul, that is Awesome! To grow a tree 20 years to what looked great to me and then chance killing it to make it better. Hopefully in time I will gain the knowledge and confidence to do such a thing.

"Keep LOOkin Up!"
Michael
 
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Most impressive - I tried the same thing with my C. occidentalis, but I was not aggressive enough with the girdling ring (probably not wide enough) and the cambium regrew. I was disappointed when I removed the basket and saw no roots.
 

PaulH

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The stump will go in the ground next spring to regrow.
Paul
 

PaulH

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sac show 2012 001.jpg

Here is my Hackberry in the Sacramento Bonsai Club show today.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Nice! Air layer to show in 3 years, most impressive! Who made the pot?
 

PaulH

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The pot is by a local Northern California potter named Pate.
 

Gene Deci

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I have a hackberry that I collected in NW Arkansas about ten years ago. It has done very well and I like it a lot but it has a similar problem - bad reverse taper right above the soil level. My first idea was a root graft but hackberry are not found naturally quite this far north so I could not get any seedlings. I have been afraid to try a layer. Your project is just what I needed to see. Thank you, Paul, for posting. One question though. Did you do the layer in June?
 
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PaulH

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I have a hackberry that I collected in NW Arkansas about ten years ago. It has done very well and I like it a lot but it has a similar problem - bad reverse taper right above the soil level. My first idea was a root graft but hackberry are not found naturally quite this far north so I could not get any seedlings. I have been afraid to try a layer. Your project is just what I needed to see. Thank you, Paul, for posting. One question though. Did you do the layer in June?

I started the layer in the last week of May and it had enough roots to separate it in the fall.
 

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