Japanese black pine airlayers

S-bender

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I have a few JBP air layers which have been successful. Should pot these up or wait for cooler weather. I worry with the heat in Sydney they may dry out if I can't water them in time.
Thanks
 

Dav4

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I have a few JBP air layers which have been successful. Should pot these up or wait for cooler weather. I worry with the heat in Sydney they may dry out if I can't water them in time.
Thanks
I think you may have answered your own question. With deciduous trees, the consensus is to leave layers in place through the heat of the summer if possible, particularly if the presence of adequate numbers of new roots to support the layer is questionable. I don't see why this wouldn't apply to JBP. The other side of the coin is that you must keep the rooting medium consistently moist throughout the process.
 

Shibui

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Dav4 has mentioned the most important point. As layers grow roots they start taking more and more water out of the layer. If they get too dry they will die and they soon get to the stage of needing daily water. I've had better results removing them and providing appropriate care in a pot.
The answer then depends on how well you can maintain the layers on the parent V caring for them in separate pots.
Most layers will survive on very few roots. Removing them seems to force them to grow more roots quicker.
We are now past the solstice so it is officially a good time to repot conifers according to many well respected growers and potting layers seems equivalent to repotting to me.
If the don't have many roots I would wait but if you have plenty of roots I don't think the weather will be an issue. I repotted a whole lot of natives just before the last heatwave and put them right back on the bench in full sun and they are all growing strong except 1 leptospermum.
 

sorce

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I've found that there are reasons we need to remove layers, and ways to remove those reasons.

There is really no reason at all we shouldn't put a good regular giant pot in the tree, we just don't.

Point is, the closer we can make the environment condusive to long term growth, the less we need worry at all about survival.

There's also this aesthetic thing, that fucking sucks ass with a bunch of sphag bagged roots...sure you can adjust em, but then you're dipping into shitty horticulture..

Anyway rant over.


Sorce
 

bwaynef

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It appears too late to do much good in this case but, a suggestion I saw @William N. Valavanis make (that I've used to good effect) was that once you see roots (and, I'll add, have plenty of time left in the season), add more sphagnum/media to the existing media. This gives the roots room to run and gives you a larger rootball for separation. That'd alleviate some of the worries about it drying out faster as well.
 

penumbra

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Thank you for your replies. It has given me confidence to remove the layers from the parent plant. Here are the pictures of the layers.
Considering your location and the time of the season where you are, I think you did exactly the right thing.
 

S-bender

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Can we see the whole thing please? Never seen a JBP airlayer myself.
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These were made in August, packed tight with spagnum mixed with dilute seaweed solution, no hormones used. I check every week or two to ensure they are moist and not wet, especially after rain fall.
It's 45°C currently and looks like I will have to wait till cooler weather to pot some of these up.
 

Shibui

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When you decide to separate, new roots are incredibly brittle so best to just pot up as is. Only try to remove moss if you can be very, very careful. I usually just pot the ball up as is then repot again the following spring. By then the roots are much stronger and can be manipulated safely to get rid of the moss.
 

S-bender

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When you decide to separate, new roots are incredibly brittle so best to just pot up as is. Only try to remove moss if you can be very, very careful. I usually just pot the ball up as is then repot again the following spring. By then the roots are much stronger and can be manipulated safely to get rid of the moss.
Thanks for the advice. As you mentioned it was quite difficult to remove the spagnum moss. Here are a few pictures.
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In hindsight I should have layered closer to the whorl to make a clump or shohin.
 

Shibui

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Hindsight is wonderful but it looks like you have 2 well rooted black pines now. Plenty of time to work out what to do with them as they grow. I have also learned that layering immediately below a branch or group of branches gives a better result and far more options to style. Even if you plan a single trunk tree the trunk is actually thicker at a branch junction so you end up with better base flare by layering at branch junctions.
Threading through the CD is OK but I would not have bothered for now. Luckily the roots are old enough (changed from white to brown) to become more flexible and less likely to break off. I think you still need to unpot next spring to get out more of the sphagnum. By then the roots would be much more stable and could be spread out flat. There is no need for anything under roots like these. When they have started growing radial that's where they will stay. A few new ones may head down but the established lateral roots will dominate once they have started to grow.
I notice that you have planted your trunk vertical through the CD so assume you are intending to grow a formal upright bonsai from that one. I prefer to get trunks established with an initial lean from the roots because, except for the formal upright styles, bonsai seem to be far more dynamic when the trunk emerges from the roots at some sort of angle. That's probably something that most initially overlook and I see most beginners choose trees with upright trunks thinking that is good. Explore images and trees on show benches to see this.
 

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