One season layering - JBP

Bonsai Nut

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I was talking to George Muranaka at the GSBF show today, where he was selling some JBP airlayers. He explained his process to me pretty well, and said he had photos up on his blog site. For those interested, check out his Bonsai Blog (August).

 

wvbonsai

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Do you recall how old the mother plants being layered are? In the blog it sounds like he uses only current years growth but in this image it appears as long as needles remain above the potential layer site then a layer may root.
 
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I saw the airlayers at Muranaka nursery last year and they're on the trees he's growing in the ground - taking the top of the tree saves him 2 to 3 years. I bought a couple of these trees to try them out. They're really vigorous but they are very straight and will need to be trained in the next few years if I want any kind of movement.

Hey Bonsai Nut, who are you so I can say hi at the show, I'll be there tomorrow (Saturday).

Juniperus Californica
 

greerhw

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What am I looking at..?

keep it green,
Harry
 

Bonsai Nut

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Hey Bonsai Nut, who are you so I can say hi at the show, I'll be there tomorrow (Saturday).

Juniperus Californica

Hey Juni!

My name is Greg Peterson - but I won't be at the show tomorrow :( I have a conflict this weekend so I was there Thursday and today. I wish I could have been there for a longer period of time, but I am really crunched right now. Only had a couple of hours each day... long enough to buy a few trees, a ton of pots, and say "hi" to a few old friends :)

One comment I'll make on George's air-layers. He was successful with one year and two year methods. The one year method he used slits and not a full ring of removed bark. Apparently the two year method yields better results in terms of nebari and trunk flare at the base (since the entire base calluses). I agree the trunk is a short, straight stub, but if the nebari is good that (in my opinion) is a big gain in a short time.
 

Bonsai Nut

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What am I looking at..?

keep it green,
Harry

You are looking at field grown JBP with long leaders. The leaders are being airlayered in order to create short, stubby small JBP. George was selling them at the show - they were covered with buds and showed a lot of promise as a jump start on JBP development (especially for small JBP).
 

nip

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Is it just an illusion or are some of those layers 1-2+ inches big?
 

wvbonsai

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Do you recall how old the mother plants being layered are? In the blog it sounds like uses only current years growth but in this image it appears as long as needles remain above the potential layer site then a layer may root. Just applying horticultural principles I think I can see whats going on here. A. It appears that you can layer anywhere below where needles remain. B. The grower is taking multiple layers from the same mother plant. Many believe that this causes increased failure rates but Peter Chan advocates the method in his book Bonsai Secrets. C. This area appears to be secondary growth (back budding) encouraged by the removal of a previous layer above the current apex section. This part of the plant's natural reaction to the pruning being done serves to provide plentiful branching for a shohin or to be grown out into a larger specimen. The age of the material to me appears to be 4 yrs and beyond, as indicated by the levels of branchinglower on the trunk.

Does anyone think that this seems accurate?
 

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J.C.

George is air-layering from the trees he sells from the field - some are 4 up to 7 years old. The theory is to air layer at the tip of the pine where it is most vigorous - hence all the buds and real tight needles. George prepares the tree before air-layering by removing the needles just below the tip of the runner. I think he was experimenting by air-layering down the runner, I'm not sure his success rate was that good. If you contact George he'll not only tell you what he does but he'll ship you one of the small trees, he's very nice and informative. If you're in California you could take a drive to his nursery.

Juniperus Californica
 

Attila Soos

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I asked George: "So, what is the advantage of layering a one year old lignified straight candle, versus growing from seed, other than gaining one year's worth of time?" It is true that one gains one year's worth of time, but the price is that the candles are dead-straight. A seedling, on the other hand, can have an interesting cuve to start with.

The answer is that these layers have a few things going for them, that the seedlings don't. They are incredibly vigorous, so in addition to the first year's worth of time gained, there is more time-saving to come, since they will grow much faster in the future. They have a perfect nebari. And, the most powerful advantage is that they have dozens of buds on a tiny trunk that is only a few inches long. This means that you will have dozens of low branches, which will result in amazing taper in only a few years.

To create movement, one needs to plant these in an angle and use a side branch for trunk line, or just grow a formal upright pine. Growing a formal upright pine is always a great challenge, and it is hard to find adequate material.
 

wvbonsai

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Ok great. That's all well and good considering layering of yearling candles. George outlines the procedure for that prety well on his blog. My question is about the other layers that can be seen lower on the trunk on older wood. Is this something he is experimenting with? Do you know how his success rate or methods?
 

nip

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Why do all of the tall leaders have no branches or even buds? Like perfectly straight poles. Is one single bud allowed to grow each season?
 

digger714

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It looks like these were all sacrifice branches that he decided to start layering. Am i correct about this? Sounds like a great idea to me, if they are strong trees after layering is complete.
 

pwk5017

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About how much do these pine layers go for, and is it too late to order them?
 

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