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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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!
 
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
 
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
 
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.
 
The stump will go in the ground next spring to regrow.
Paul
 
sac show 2012 001.jpg

Here is my Hackberry in the Sacramento Bonsai Club show today.
 
Nice! Air layer to show in 3 years, most impressive! Who made the pot?
 
The pot is by a local Northern California potter named Pate.
 
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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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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