The science of air-layering

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The most important thing about an airlayer is making a window thru which you can check progress.

When the roots are full at the window!

Around your regular repotting season if possible.

Rain and Wane sure!

I am close to digging more yard stuff...and removing groundlayers come to think of it...since the leaves are almost opening, buy the waning moon isnt for another week or so....decided waiting is better.

Sorce
Thanks Sorce, I have a window and I can see roots, but they are not full, so I will wait until they are full. Thanks again.
 

rollwithak

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Not really a ideal size. I would say one tip would be to avoid smaller branches if you have a larger choice available. Sizes of a quarter inch don't seem to work as well. Of course you would think the younger wood of a smaller branch might do better, but I think the larger ones have more action up and down form the leaves and roots. I guess I tend to find branches ~1 inch to be a nice size for energy and not being to large. Now if you are doing this on something in a pot that you can really get to, use a pot system for the layer, larger sizes are more manageable. Trying to wrap sphagnum moss around a 4~inch branch is a pain! LOL Different species might have some different ideals, all my layer have Japanese maples.
Which makes sense if you think about it... a tree will want to spread resources to its strongest areas and can afford smaller twigs to go un-repaired.
 

leatherback

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Which makes sense if you think about it... a tree will want to spread resources to its strongest areas and can afford smaller twigs to go un-repaired.
You realize that plants to not make cost-benefit analysis right?
It is all about energy balance, nutrient status and movement of fluids.
 

NOZZLE HEAD

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Has anyone completed a successful air layer on large vine maple branches, 5”. I had a branch break about 18” from its base on my landscape tree in an unusually large snow storm last winter and it threw out a ton of adventitious branches, so I decided to air layer it.

I know they ground layer naturally as their primary means of propagation, so it should be fairly straightforward.

How long should I leave the spagnum/ wrap on the tree?
 
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Last year I ground layered 3 trees to improve nebari and roots: an American hornbeam, a winterberry, and a yellow birch. The hornbeam and birch were left in the ground, and the winterberry was layered in a pond basket. All layers were wrapped in sphagnum moss after removing bark and cambium. I sprinkled rooting hormone on all, although I'm not 100% convinced of it's effectiveness. I did this after leaves had hardened off last year, then left in place for one year. I just removed the layer on the hornbeam (leaves just beginning to open), had a nice bunch of new roots. I'm waiting for the buds to elongate on the winterberry and birch before I do the same. I can see new roots on the winterberry, but haven't checked the birch yet.

On the hornbeam, I didn't remove the sphagnum moss, because the delicate new roots were intertwined and I didn't want to risk damaging them. I'm hoping for 3/3 success.

This is the first time I've done a ground layer, mind you. so if a tree-killer like me can do it, anyone can.
 

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