Hands down my best local material BUT...

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I seen the hugest juniper I have ever seen at a local nursery, I couldn't even get near the trunk as it took over at least 1/4 of the greenhouse it was almost ready to lift to a tree house,

Not as much of a bush as a solid wall pushed firmly into the glass fully shading one side

When trying to come up with a way of getting my name on it should it need moving my friend who works there told me he was trying to clear 'the overgrown stuff' but getting nowhere

My question is do junipers take ok for air layers? I researched spruce a while ago and remember seeing evergreen is very slow to root? being in the greenhouse my plan was to potentially air layer some larger bits off at a time. My thinking it will be more manageable than trying to take the whole thing in one go? Plus its the wrong time to dig im pretty sure, if I can save the greenhouse the tree is likely to stay longer and I doubt I'll ever get a better opportunity to collect anything similar locally so I see this as possibly the closest to the US yamadori experience I can muster up I think I remember from childhood that its planted in a long hidden rock garden landscape type thing so as wild as I can get material like this.

MAYBE eventually take the main trunk when it doesn't need so many roots (which i imagine to run most the length on the greenhouse easy)

I was put off air layering a spruce for fear of cold and not knowing how the roots would last over winter here but in the greenhouse even over winter(s) it shouldn't be a problem with cold.

If I could get some layers im then concerned about how it will cope being treated as it should and left out in the cold as the greenhouse it has taken over is where they keep fairly tropical stuff here would it be similar to buying say a Spanish one fresh from Spain? Likely to do much harm? Any tips for aftercare?

Somebody had kindly advised me previous about light hours needed for junipers and being local already I know it is OK with the light hours but will I be better breaking common sense and keeping a juniper 'inside' my glass house?! or am I giving it a better free range life, worrying about nothing and it'll acclimatise ok? Will the layers be better off straight out or kept in the glass?

Such a good opportunity is certainly worth taking the time to plan ahead Im sure you will agree

Going back in a couple of days to speak to the friendly owner my mate is just the muscle, would like to be as clued up as possible to increase my chances

sorry no pics but next time they won't be able to stop me burrowing in to see what's there may aswell take some pics while I'm there
 
From what I've read it's difficult to air layer conifers, junipers included. Not impossible, but difficult. It can take 2-4 years for roots to appear, and the older the branch, the slower/less likely to succeed. So if you go for it, you're in for a long haul.
 
Thanks for the input @Dav4 I don't think this is a chinensis but I'm happy to hear someone has good results with a juniper my research on conifer layers was along the lines to what @Esolin confirmed.

I kept looking and found info from leo along the lines of

For each year older the growth you start the layer at you can expect to wait longer for roots

I'm wondering if there's a cut off point/ max age of wood and how thick a layer is possible
 
@RoadManDenDron - @Dav4 has more experience than I do air layering Junipers. Juniperus chinensis, which includes Shimpaku should for roots in one growing season, even older branches.

It is true that the larger the diameter, the older the branch being air layered, it can sometimes take longer to get roots. The winter hardiness of the roots is the same as for the parent tree. So most junipers are very winter hardy, if an air layer does not form roots by autumn, it is no problem to just keep the air layer in place over the winter. The UK won't get cold enough to kill newly forming roots on a Juniper air layer.

Some conifers simply will not air layer. I kept an air layer in place on a JWP 'Ibo Can' for 4 years. Each year I would trim the callus slightly and make certain the cambium had not bridged the band of stripped wood. After 4 years I had a fairly wide disk of callus, but absolutely no roots. I called it a failure and removed the layer. This will be the response with the vast majority of pines. Maybe callus might form, but no roots will form. There ae a few exceptions, several specific cultivars of JBP and only two cultivars of JWP are known to form roots when air layered.

Most other conifers will not air layer.

Thuja, Chamaecyparis, Tsuga, Taxodium, Metasequoia, Taxus, Juniperus and maybe one or two additional genera of conifers will air layer. The rest are very unlikely.
 
Huh, well maybe I'll try again to layer off my giant yard Chinese juniper. I attempted to layer a finger-thick whip last year, but after six months all it had was a little bit of callus. No roots. I gave up because it seemed like it'd be an uphill battle just for skinny material I could buy for far less hassle.
 
Thank you everybody for taking the time to answer, my own research before this post was negative but now I'm hopeful thanks to your knowledge and guidance

I'm going to make sure I put that list to use as I already have a couple of trees on it!

Fascinated by air layering even my horticultural friends have not actually tried them so I really appreciate the help.
 
Huh, well maybe I'll try again to layer off my giant yard Chinese juniper. I attempted to layer a finger-thick whip last year, but after six months all it had was a little bit of callus. No roots. I gave up because it seemed like it'd be an uphill battle just for skinny material I could buy for far less hassle.

This point, that one can easily buy nursery grown material with little effort and modest cost, is the reason that even attempting air layers on more commonly available material is generally viewed as "not practical".

There are only 3 reasons to do air layering.
1. the material is exceptionally rare and difficult to obtain. Here the purpose of air layering is propagation.
2. An otherwise acceptable bonsai has very poor root structure, and replacing the roots through ground layering or air layering would greatly improve the bonsai. Ground layering and air layering are essentially the same technique.
3. The material is grafted. The graft union is clearly not going to heal, and it is known that the scion has a proven track record of being successfully air layered. Here it is done to get the scion off the understock and on its own roots. HOWEVER. VAST MAJORITY of conifers DO NOT reliably air layer. So, for most conifers, the simple result is you just have to live with the graft union scar.

There are things you can do to live with graft unions.

1. Generally there will be one side of the tree where the graft union is significantly less noticeable than from other sides. Make this side of the tree the front. Choosing the front of the tree by which side the graft union is least obvious is really quite effective.

2. Have a branch, usually the first branch above the graft union, have a branch or secondary branch with foliage cross in front of the trunk right at the level of the graft. This is a game of peek-a-boo, hiding the graft behind a little foliage is a time honored technique. Look at some of the Kofuku-ten and other show photos of old Japanese white pines. Many of the pines with a low first branch that crosses in front of the trunk are hiding the graft union.

3. Time. A graft union takes time to heal. A graft union is not even completely fused between the scion and the understock for at least 5 years in maples and fruit trees and as much as 10 years for pines and slower growing trees. Generally the appearance of a graft union improves over a period of 20 years. Just giving a "good" graft union time, it can heal to the point of being insignificant in the course of 20 years. A good graft is when the scion and understock are well matched for growth rates and species compatibility. Point is, a graft can "disappear" as a problem. Of course, in poorly matched grafts this does not happen. But there are "good, or well done" grafts.

So having a graft is not a "fatal flaw" for a bonsai.
 
Uh?
This thread is not at all about grafted stock, is it? Nevermind the above post, it is "out of context". However, it is a good post about grafts. I'll leave it instead of deleting it, even though it has little or nothing to do with the OP's questions.
 
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This point, that one can easily buy nursery grown material with little effort and modest cost, is the reason that even attempting air layers on more commonly available material is generally viewed as "not practical".

There are only 3 reasons to do air layering.
1. the material is exceptionally rare and difficult to obtain. Here the purpose of air layering is propagation.
2. An otherwise acceptable bonsai has very poor root structure, and replacing the roots through ground layering or air layering would greatly improve the bonsai. Ground layering and air layering are essentially the same technique.
3. The material is grafted. The graft union is clearly not going to heal, and it is known that the scion has a proven track record of being successfully air layered. Here it is done to get the scion off the understock and on its own roots. HOWEVER. VAST MAJORITY of conifers DO NOT reliably air layer. So, for most conifers, the simple result is you just have to live with the graft union scar.
Good to know. I wouldn't bother except that I do like the foliage on this Chinese juniper. I don't know the cultivar, but it's an old tree, 15ft high with a foot thick trunk. And while there's no shortage of scale junipers for sale around here, most are Sabinas, Old Gold, or Tams, so I thought hey, some cuttings/air layers from this older variety with tight, dark green foliage might be nice. So far I've had no luck collecting either, but I know part of the problem is my lack of 'equipment'. I need to get one of those seed germinating boxes with a good lid to hold in humidity until the cuttings can root.
 
Good to know. I wouldn't bother except that I do like the foliage on this Chinese juniper. I don't know the cultivar, but it's an old tree, 15ft high with a foot thick trunk. And while there's no shortage of scale junipers for sale around here, most are Sabinas, Old Gold, or Tams, so I thought hey, some cuttings/air layers from this older variety with tight, dark green foliage might be nice. So far I've had no luck collecting either, but I know part of the problem is my lack of 'equipment'. I need to get one of those seed germinating boxes with a good lid to hold in humidity until the cuttings can root.

Then you should attempt an air layer. I use long fiber sphagnum for the media, and wrap with clear plastic wrap, the type used for wrapping food. Fairly simple & straight forward. Cut the band of bark off, make sure that there is at least a centimeter to 2 cm band where the bark and cambium is removed. I normally don't use rooting hormone because if you over-dose the hormone, the hormone can actually inhibit rooting. Just plain water without hormones to moisten moss is fine. Or wet the sphagnum with a dilute solution of seaweed extract, to get a light dose of humic acids and fulvic acids. These are not rooting hormones "per se", but they do seem to help without the danger of inhibition if overdosed.
 
As far as I know all junipers are easy to layer. My shimpaku frequently produce new roots from any branch close to the ground if it is sheltered by foliage so the new roots don't dry out. I have wired bends into thin whips on sacrifice branches on shimpaku in pots then a year or so later when the stems have fattened a bit I layer those off to get new twisted shimpaku. Success rates have been good.

Layering really thin stems is difficult for nearly all species. They often die instead of making roots. Try with pencil thick or bigger stems. Thin ones are better as cuttings.

Junipers are generally mountain trees so should be able to cope with any cold that UK can throw at it. Not sure why it would be in a glasshouse????
Rooted layers could be taken straight out of the glasshouse and kept outside. They are likely to stop growing for a few weeks as they adjust to new conditions but I have seen that also happen with many trees moved from one place to another. I think straight outside will be better than adjusting in another glasshouse unless there is a huge temp difference. By the time any layers have roots it is likely to be summer there so temps difference will be small anyway.

I generally transplant junipers after all the deciduous trees are repotted so it is probably not too late to transplant over there. Late summer and Autumn is another time when many growers are transplanting junipers now. They seem to do far better if plenty of growing tips are left on the tree. pruning a big juniper just before or after transplant seems to be a good way to reduce success. I expect it would be far better to do any drastic pruning then allow 6 months or a year for the tree to recover and produce new shoots then transplant.
Giant junipers may not be the best material for bonsai. We do want thick trunks but we also want branches and leaves close to the trunk and most larger junipers have long, bare branches with most foliage near the ends.
 
This point, that one can easily buy nursery grown material with little effort and modest cost, is the reason that even attempting air layers on more commonly available material is generally viewed as "not practical".

There are only 3 reasons to do air layering.
1. the material is exceptionally rare and difficult to obtain. Here the purpose of air layering is propagation.
2. An otherwise acceptable bonsai has very poor root structure, and replacing the roots through ground layering or air layering would greatly improve the bonsai. Ground layering and air layering are essentially the same technique.
3. The material is grafted. The graft union is clearly not going to heal, and it is known that the scion has a proven track record of being successfully air layered. Here it is done to get the scion off the understock and on its own roots. HOWEVER. VAST MAJORITY of conifers DO NOT reliably air layer. So, for most conifers, the simple result is you just have to live with the graft union scar.

There are things you can do to live with graft unions.

1. Generally there will be one side of the tree where the graft union is significantly less noticeable than from other sides. Make this side of the tree the front. Choosing the front of the tree by which side the graft union is least obvious is really quite effective.

2. Have a branch, usually the first branch above the graft union, have a branch or secondary branch with foliage cross in front of the trunk right at the level of the graft. This is a game of peek-a-boo, hiding the graft behind a little foliage is a time honored technique. Look at some of the Kofuku-ten and other show photos of old Japanese white pines. Many of the pines with a low first branch that crosses in front of the trunk are hiding the graft union.

3. Time. A graft union takes time to heal. A graft union is not even completely fused between the scion and the understock for at least 5 years in maples and fruit trees and as much as 10 years for pines and slower growing trees. Generally the appearance of a graft union improves over a period of 20 years. Just giving a "good" graft union time, it can heal to the point of being insignificant in the course of 20 years. A good graft is when the scion and understock are well matched for growth rates and species compatibility. Point is, a graft can "disappear" as a problem. Of course, in poorly matched grafts this does not happen. But there are "good, or well done" grafts.

So having a graft is not a "fatal flaw" for a bonsai.
4. There's an interesting section of something (that may be common) that will give you something fun to work with far faster than growing out/buying :)
 
I air-layer a branch out of a j.torulosa in February, after 6 months (stated in Sept). I used the tourniquet technique and one of those Amazon plastic propagation balls filled with sphagnum moss. I'm planning on airlayering a few trees this year.
 
No pics but dramatic turn of events there are in fact many junipers which are already potted though no doubt escaping roots.

I think it was maybe a shade for the sun originally rather than the guy thinking it needed to be kept under glass personally id achieve that from the outside though?!

A lot of what I seen was very straight and not interesting, though very well placed to need such inspection to see what was actually making up the mass

If I can find something interesting I'll pick one up or if I can get a straight one cheap enough I may get one to air layer for the experience

I got a real ugly prunus instead this time destined for trunk chop but I'm gonna do layers anyway

when I do get pics of the junipers ill update and I'm sure I'll end up getting one because its green at floor level I have some young common junipers and there low branches where nearly all lost before I got them
 
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