Newbie + Air Layering questions

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Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  outatime on Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:33 pm

Hello All

Just found this wonderful forum and wanted to say hello, I am super new to bonsai although admired the style all my life (35 years). I recently bought a Fukien Tea for my office window which has spurred me to delve deeper into Bonsai.

I started off with a cheapo Ginseng Ficus for $5 that was knocked about in the Lowes discount area and then picked the Fukien Tea from eBay. I have been looking around my yard and I have three trees which need cutting back and I wondered if I could air layer them for Bonsai. I have a Sea Grape, Bougainvillea and a Jacaranda and after some research it appears I can air layer these trees.

I have only air layered once when I was 13 years old and the rubber plant still lives to this day but never done it for Bonsai use. Can someone please offer any advice please? I have some real nice think trunks which I could use on all trees but am I able to air layer on the bottom of a branch that's 6 ft tall? Should I cut it back first then air layer? Hope you guys don't mind all the questions Smile

Thank you

Stuart

outatime
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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  0soyoung on Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:45 am

The growth of roots is driven by the auxin and sugars produced by the foliage, so don't cut back beforehand.

After roots have developed, you may consider cutting back when you harvest and plant the layer. However, I prefer to locate the layer in shade and even make a humidity tent rather than cut back. Anything you can do to minimize water loss in the first days after harvest to keep all the foliage will be rewarded with the fastest establishment of a vigorous new tree - the foliage feeds the roots and drives root growth (which, in turn, increases water uptake capacity). But serious cut-back and even defoliation may be your last chance if you've harvested way too soon.

Patience will be rewarded.

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  yamasuri on Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:21 am

Hi,
Air layer is always challange. Get as much as you can info before you attempt to do so. Here is some very good reading. Good luck.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATLayering.html
BTW yesterday I did next step on my Larix air layer...after roots apear through the pet moss and plastic. I "install" container with bonsai substrat and leave like this till late Autumn when I separate the a-layer from mothers tree. Than bearry all in open ground for winterizing. I might make whole technic thhread how I did it all from biggining.
I'm in rush to work..sorry

yamasuri
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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  outatime on Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:17 pm

Thank you both very much for the reply and links, I have just finished reading the pages from the link and its pretty much as I had imagined and remembered from all those years ago.

I guess here in Florida I am good to go ahead with my air laying on the three plants I mentioned but still not sure how to deal with the large branches that I plan on using. All trees where I am considering the layering have thick truck/branches but would I be able to trim it down after the roots have taken and would it sprout new shoots or will it just kill it, how do you know when and where to cut down too for bonsai use?

Thanks again

Stuart

outatime
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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  Marty Weiser on Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:57 pm

I would also add that removing the correct amount of bark/cambium is important. Too little and it will bridge over and not root, too much and the foliage will die back before it roots. Did 3 on a Jacqueline Hillier elm earlier this year - 2 had great roots in about 5 weeks and one bridged. Redid the one that bridged along with 5 others and I think I cut too deep on one since the leaves are slowly browning. Hopefully it will reach a state of equilibrium where there is enough moisture to keep the remaining leaves alive. However, given how well the others are doing it will not be a great loss.

Interesting comment about putting a pot and soil around the fresh roots before separation. I'll have to try that sometime.

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  0soyoung on Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:25 pm

'Bridging' is a misnomer. It is really regeneration of the tissues because cambium cells were left on the wood. The solution is simple. Leave the girdle open to the air for a day or two OR wipe/scrub it with (70%) isopropyl alcohol  before bundling it up.

We all seem to instictively rush to cover up the girdle after we've peeled off the bark and the instinct is exactly wrong. Take your time. Cut the girdle and then casually round up the supplies and install them. I always pack a bottle of alcohol and some paper towels with my grafting knife whenever I'm using the knife - I sterilize my knife before and after every use (to prevent spreading any pathogens that might be around). So it fits in my habits to just wipe down the girdle with isopropyl after I've cut it. I then take my merry time - enjoy a drink, loll around on the patio, do some other bonsai-ish things, even check whats is going onthe IBC = no bridged air-layers.

BTW, the pot of medium can be done straight away - sphagnum isn't necessary. Water the pot of medium daily or wrap it up in polyethylene if you cannot.

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  outatime on Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:40 am

Thanks for the replys, once it has rooted how far down to the root can it be cut to? Does it need to have a shoot or if cut back say 8" from the rooting will it start to sprout new shoots from a stump? The. Stuart

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  leatherback on Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:55 am

outatime wrote:Thanks for the replys, once it has rooted how far down to the root can it be cut to?   Does it need to have a shoot or if cut back say 8" from the rooting will it start to sprout new shoots from a stump? The. Stuart

Considering you have just a few young roots, the reserves are at a minimum. I would nto cut back to a stump untill you have a solidly rooted plant. So leave for a season. Then cut back. Or cut back before separating, and wait for the new foliage to appear (Although that may be tricky too).

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Air layering Step-by-step guide

Post  theBalance on Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:55 am

For anyone who wants to do airlayering,
feel free to see a Step-By-Step guide that I wrote - just follow this link :
Air Layering Guide

theBalance
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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:57 pm

I guess here in Florida I am good to go ahead with my air laying on the three plants I mentioned

I wouldn't.  Even in Central Florida, plants slow down over the winter; spring is always better.  And why on earth would anyone want to layer a so-called Ginsing Ficus?

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:19 am

Seagrape,

is very easy, but I would follow Jim's advice.I have airlayered up to 3" thick branches, as I have a tree in my front yard, easy and convenient.

After the roots show, just leave to grow in a suitable soil mix for one year, to establish, what I call a - core - basically get the airlayer rootbound in a not too large pot.

Do you need an image ?
Best of growing.
Khaimraj

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

Post  Norma on Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:19 pm

Hi Stuart, Above is the forum's search engine; I highly recommend going through the posts to find more information about air layering.

Good luck, Norma

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Re: Newbie + Air Layering questions

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