Trident-how young can you air layer?

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
This year I want to try an air layer. The pyracantha I was going to use formed a problem and lost the top of the plant at the end of the season last year. So now I am looking for something else to try on. The only thing I have would be a two year old trident maple. It is about four feet tall and branched. Approx. 1/2-5/8" at soil level. I had planned to re-pot into a deep growing box and not really root prune. I am growing it out I want unrestricted growth but know that the majority of the tree will be cut away later. Since they make air layer pots for 1/4-1/2" I am assuming I could do a small layer off the top of the tree and then let it continue as if it had a small chop. I know it would slow the big plant but I really want to be able to say I can do an air layer and two tridents are better than one.

Any guidelines for minimum/maximum thickness to try. Certain number of nodes or branches necessary? Age of the wood? I know other trees will vary but this one should have well established boundaries. It sounds like it should work, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,365
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
you can airlayer any tree that is old enough to have woody tissue.

However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Air layering to avoid "wasting" the tree isn't a real good reason to do this. Air layering because you want two for one is OK, but you may not get what you're after.

If this were my tree, I'd simply let it be for a few years. Down the road, you will be able to get dozens of air layers from it as it grows.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
you can airlayer any tree that is old enough to have woody tissue.
That is what I was looking for. All of yours points are well taken, this is for learning purposes. I understand this is not optimal. However I would really like to accomplish a small layer this year so that I will have real experience when I find something more important to take.

As I realized my only knowledge was basic I went back and reread several descriptions of air-layering. Many said to cut to bare wood. A few say make sure not to remove the xylem. How do I identify this layer as it is so crucial to the process?
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
9,024
Reaction score
16,292
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
7B
If you want to airlayer something, look out in your yard. Find a nice tree and airlayer a branch at the base of a fork (so you get a nice flare). Remove the layer, plant it in the ground and let it grow unchecked for a couple of years. Wait till early spring, trunk chop it, pull it out of the ground and move it to a growth flat. You might be surprised how quickly you can get decent progress following this method.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
I just wish I had access to something worth doing that with. Between me and the neighbors we have a silver maples, a few red maples, an eastern red cedar, a mulberry and a giant sycamore. Maybe my co-worker would let me do his japanese red maple. There's always the chance I will find something to bring home this spring that would also be suitable to practice on.
 
Top Bottom