Live Oak layer

Dwight

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I have a medium sized live oak ( nursery stock so don't know what kind ). It will eventually need to be removed so I thought I'd air layer it rather than throw it all away. Any suggestions would be appreciated as to time , method , problems with oaks , etc.

BTW who came up with these darn lables ? If there is something I'm NOT it's a masterpiece unless da Nut is referrin to my Grandaughter
 

rockm

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By "medium size" what do you mean?
If it's under 12 inches or so in diameter, I'd dig the whole thing up in the spring and use it.
 

PaulH

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I've tried many times and never gotten an oak to layer successfully. They put out huge callus growth but never any roots. If it works for you be sure to post with photos.
Paul
 

Dwight

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By "medium size" what do you mean?
If it's under 12 inches or so in diameter, I'd dig the whole thing up in the spring and use it.

About a 4" caliper. Problrm is it's 20' tall and the part I want is in the middle.
 

Dwight

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I've tried many times and never gotten an oak to layer successfully. They put out huge callus growth but never any roots. If it works for you be sure to post with photos.
Paul

Now thats depressing !
 

oakbonsai

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OK , sorry for the lack of quality. The red box is about what I want.
Don't mess with air layer, I've tried several in Houston and Paul is correct, they callus like they do when they are healing a pruned branch but don't send roots. I would just wait 'til early spring, before the old leaves drop and the new ones emerge and saw it off where you would like. When the new growth comes out within a month, you'll get an expolsion of growth an be able to choose from more branches, etc.
 

Dwight

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Don't mess with air layer, I've tried several in Houston and Paul is correct, they callus like they do when they are healing a pruned branch but don't send roots. I would just wait 'til early spring, before the old leaves drop and the new ones emerge and saw it off where you would like. When the new growth comes out within a month, you'll get an expolsion of growth an be able to choose from more branches, etc.

But then I loose the Y in the trunk. I guess thats better than loosing it entirely. BTW , it's evergreen.
 

rockm

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Losing the Y in the trunk is a good thing. The part you have selected is not worth air layering. It's lanky and straight--even with the Y.

Next spring, I'd lop the top two feet from the ground. You WILL get an explosion of backbudding on the remaining trunk to work with. The following year, start working to remove the ENTIRE remaining trunk--dig one side of the root mass, back fill. Remove the trunk from the ground into a container the next year.

This may sound slow, but you've got a pretty nice lower trunk to work off of. Depending upon the nebari that is probably buried beneath the mulch, you might have an excellent trunk to work with.

The best part of this tree is the first two feet out of the ground, NOT the upper portion...
 

Dwight

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Well it's definately better than throwing it in the fire place. And probably faster.
 

Eric Schrader

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I'd second what RockM says. It's possible that the nebari is there somewhere and worth looking at. About five years ago I bought a ten foot tall nursery live oak from a place that was going out of business. The trunk was ramrod straight with no character. I cut it off about 18" above the ground and then I waited for the sprouts to come out. After they all got to about 2 feet long I thinned them and wired the ones I was keeping. I ended up keeping only the first 6 inches of the original trunk and regrowing from the sprouts. Five years later I have a multiple trunk tree that I put back into the ground to continue developing branches so that it looks like an oak. It's a long process. I'm not generally one to quote Naka but he did mention in his books that if you get something with a straight trunk and no character that this is your best option.
 

Bill S

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I'm with rock on this one, in a few years the trunk will far surpass what you have boxed in. too straight with no real taper.
 

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