New Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' from Air-Layer

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New Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' from Air-Layer

Post  bilbo on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:57 pm

Progression thread for the mother of this tree

So, I already stated pretty much all the history of the mother, in the above linked thread.
Only to add that after the last post in that thread, and thinking safety in numbers, I added 3 more air-layers to it.

Time goes forward.
Meanwhile I’ve done the typical June/July candle/needle work to my other JBPs and kept procrastinating on this Thunderhead monster.
Until today.
I got started and it was just annoying the crap out of me, working on such a huge monster with so many long untrained branches and associated candles.
I decided to inspect the air-layers to see if there was any progress after close to 6 months.
After finding the first three I checked were actually healing over I lopped those branches off, along with a ton of other branches including the remaining two air-layers.
Inspecting the last two, to my surprise, I found that one of them had actually rooted!

I can see at least 6 thick roots have reached through the sphagnum.
I have not poked into the sphagnum to look for more.
Obviously they’re not as heavily rooted as many would consider ideal.
Had I known it was rooted, for the health of the layer, it obviously would’ve been better to leave it on the tree, but that ship has now sailed.
Over time, I frankly placed less and less value on any progeny from this tree anyway so I’m not really sure I would have left it on the tree even if I knew it’d rooted.

Never the less, now I have a rooted (albeit lightly rooted) branch shown in the pictures below that I should now try to save.

My experience with deciduous trees suggests I place it in a good potting soil, reduce the branch/needle volume to relieve load stress on the roots at the height of this summer in Texas, keep it moist and in the shade and hope for the best.
However, being a Pinus, I know potting soil and pruning could actually have the opposite effect and reduce a requisite load which might further drive the roots to grow more rapidly.

My questions are:
1. Reduce/remove sphagnum or leave it undisturbed?
2. Good bonsai mix or good potting soil?
3. Branch/needle reduction or leave them alone for now?



bilbo
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Re: New Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' from Air-Layer

Post  bilbo on Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:00 pm

I received some helpful guidance on Facebook to:
Remove as much of the sphagnum as possible;
Pot in coarse soil;
Leave all the foliage.

After removing all the sphagnum, and trimming off the lower part of the layer, here are the roots.


I got it potted also.

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Re: New Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' from Air-Layer

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:07 pm

Hmm, I do them as cuttings in a commercial mix of peat moss / perlite and 5 mm silica based gravel
, and grow them straight into a mix of 5 mm silica based gravel and aged compost.

Have never done an airlayer, the cuttings normally grow really fast.

Send an image or two of your results in 2 months please.
Thanks for showing.
Laters.
Khaimraj
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Re: New Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' from Air-Layer

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