Pinus densiflora air layering?

TomB

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Has anyone out there successfully air (or ground) layered Pinus densiflora?
The general nurseries near me are stocking a nice dwarf cultivar but they're all grafts of course. If one could layer off above the graft, I've seen some stock that has great shohin potential.
Has anyone done this with a decent success rate, or am I wasting my time considering it?

PS I know *how* to do it, I just want to check if it's worth bothering as I don't have the $£, energy or bench space for doomed experiments right now :)
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Well of course, the dwarf cultivar can be air layered.
If you have the right dwarf cultivar.. Google shows there are more than 5 different dwarf cultivars.
We don't know which cultivar you mean ;-)

Most pines can be layered, but it depends a lot on age, the cultivar and the amount of time you want to spend on it. If cuttings take 6 months to root, and air layer might take 8 or 12 months or maybe just 3. And it could take multiple tries. It can help a great deal if you know which cultivar you're talking about. There must be a nursery somewhere in the world that tried it.
 

TomB

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Well of course, the dwarf cultivar can be air layered.
If you have the right dwarf cultivar.. Google shows there are more than 5 different dwarf cultivars.
We don't know which cultivar you mean ;-)

Most pines can be layered, but it depends a lot on age, the cultivar and the amount of time you want to spend on it. If cuttings take 6 months to root, and air layer might take 8 or 12 months or maybe just 3. And it could take multiple tries. It can help a great deal if you know which cultivar you're talking about. There must be a nursery somewhere in the world that tried it.

Thanks. Have you layered a Pinus densiflora, or seen an example of one done?

The cultivar was 'Edsal Wood' though I'm really asking about the species rather than the cultivar. For example I wouldn't bother trying a Scots pine no matter what the cultivar, Japanese Black Pine I would probably have a go at.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have seen a few youtube videos of people air layering pines, I think densiflora was one of them. Some guy was using his sacrifice branches to form air layers and it took about 2 years for them to establish well.
I have successfully struck cuttings from densiflora, by accident though.. I just put some clippings in the dirt after dipping them in rooting hormone and they rooted (1 in 20). My current rooting gel (clonex) contains 3 grams of IBA per liter. That's quite a high concentration!

Mugo and scots have been successfull in my backyard as well, as cuttings. This means air layering would probably work too. However, this has always been with young material. Less than 10 years of age. Since the Edsal Wood cultivar seems to grow just an inch a year, it might be less responsive to hormones overall or only to very specific hormones (NAA, IAA) like some plants are. Then again, since auxin doesn't seem to be in its book (slow growth, more adventitious branching than regular), it might respond very well to it. I know some plants with those characteristics do in fact have very little auxin production and respond vigorously to externally applied auxins.

Where we usually cut all around the trunk, you might want to do some kind of hybrid between a ground layer and an air layer, by making vertical slits and powdering them with rooting hormone, then enclose those slits in peat moss. It might be the best chance you have for slow growers. I have successfully layered hard-to-root plants like that in the past, but also with limited success.

I do have to say that waiting 2 years for an air layer to take possibly fail doesn't sound like a thing I'd want to try or even recommend. Chances are slim, I mean, it can be done but success rates are very low. Without a giant bucket of luck, I think it's hard to do.
I have some densiflora pines that were sown in way too shallow pots and they have fingernail-sized needles and serious dwarfish growth. An inch tall after three good years! But that's not starter material of course.. Not before 2029 at least.

I can't promise anything, but I'll see if I can find the video I watched. I'll post it here if I do.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have air layered JBP, P. thunbergii, and it is a hit or miss process. Over some 20 attempts total, I have had about a 40% success rate. In my zone 5 b climate, cold, it usually takes 24 months to root. One took 36 months. Others failed, or were deemed failures after 36 months. One rooted in about 12 months. I've never had one take less than 12 months. But my summers are not as long as people in the south. I expect success rates for JRP, P. densiflora to be similar. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't.
 

Shibui

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I have been able to root P. densifliora as cuttings from year old wood. Not a large % strike but enough to know it is possible. I have not tried layering them yet but if cuttings can strike it should layer even better.
If it is possible to layer just below the graft it won't matter what variety is on top. Roots will be from the rootstock and may even be stronger than from the variety. Maybe they are grafted onto JBP? As long as the graft is really low you won't have the problem of the bulge or difference in bark showing.
 
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