Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

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Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:53 pm

Hello,
So around mid summer I got an incurable itch to airlayer a branch from a crab apple tree. Now as the temperatures begin to drop I am faced with the problem of protecting it through the winter. The branch is about 5-6 feet above the ground in the tree. It has grown a good root mass but I don't think it is strong enough to survive the winter if removed. I know I can wrap the airlayer with bubble wrap to protect it from the cold, but will this be enough? Does anyone have ideas for additional protection? Were there more growing time left I would be removing the layer in a week or two. Another thought I had was to remove it and grow it indoors just for this first winter, then return it to its regular cycle come spring. Is this even a viable option? Thanks for any advice.

Todd


Last edited by DreadyKGB on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Protecting a crab apple airlayer?

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:03 am

Hello Todd. If it has a good root mass then it should be safe to remove the new tree but indoors is not a good idea. Indoors might kick the tree into life again. I would remove the layer, pot it into a large container, without disturbing the roots and store it somewhere cold like a shed,cold greenhouse or garage. Have you a photo of the airlayer and roots?

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:22 am

Hey Will,
I don't have a photo of the layer, due to where it is, I'd have to climb into the tree with the camera. I can't get a good view of the layer fro the ground and definitely not well well enough too portray its situation. The thing that worries me is that the roots haven't really started to harden off yet. Last year I lost a few collected trees because they had weak root systems and we had severe temperature fluctuations through the winter, so I am worried about my trees this year and don't want a repeat of last year.

What would your thoughts be on waiting until the leaves had fallen and then removing the layer? Ideally I am leaning towards leaving it on the tree until spring but haven't tried this before and am a little wary.

I'm just torn on what to do, and would hate to lose the cutting due to poor planning. Next year I plan to take a couple more but much earlier in the season.

Todd

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  my nellie on Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:03 am

Hello!
I have also some airlayers myself since laste February '10.
When asked here on IBC I was told to cut them off after the leaves have fallen. So, I am still waiting.
Here around the Mediterranean temperatures are still high enough and leaves haven't start to even getting yellow colour of autumn yet...

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:22 pm

Nellie,
What species are you airlayering? I took two Amur maple airlayers in the spring and removed them from the tree about 9 weeks later as they were well rooted.

So would the recommendation at this time of year (early fall w/leaves not yet dropped) be to leave it on until the leaves drop?

Thanks,
Todd

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  my nellie on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:40 pm

Hello Todd!
Mine are a pomegranate, a prunus, a hybiscus syriacus and a bougainvillea (which is the least possible to have sprout roots).

Nevertheless, I intend to check on them for the volume of rootball and if it is enough (which I hope) I will cut them off (before the leaves have fallen) in order to get advantage of the still mild weather, because I have read some article about airlayers which quoted that airlayers cut late fall will not have enough time for the tiny roots to harden off before cold winter. This made me change my mind.

Hope for some quotes and advice of IBC members on this....

Thank you!

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Pics and Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:47 pm

Hey all,
Here's the pics after removing the layer. I am now looking for advice on over wintering it. Which would be the best option?
1. Sink entire pot into the ground in a protected area with tree cover and a fence.
2. An unheated shed in the yard.
3. An unheated garage attached to the house.

The rooted area






Overall this has come out quite well so far for a random experiment. Originally the branch was one that I had planned to prune of this fall to give the large tree a better shape. I am crossing my fingers that it survives until next spring but worst case scenario I have learned a number of things from this project, and now plan to take about 5 more next spring. I used no rooting hormone, only sphagnum and water. Any other comments or advice is welcome.

Todd

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:01 pm

That is a very good result for an experiment. Well done! I would advise wiring it to the pot with some stout wires. ANY movement is likely to be fatal. Keeping it in an unheated shed or garage should be fine (but what usda zione is Illinois?). Just don't forget it and allow it to dry out completely. Just damp is the aim.

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:50 pm

Kev,
Thanks. In the larger pics you can see somewhat that I've tied it into the pot as tightly as possible. Where I am in Illinois is zone 5a (Chicago area). The unheated shed was what I was thinking would be best, but sinking the pot into the ground was my other thought so I wouldn't have to worry about watering. I just hope we have a mild winter this year, but we'll see.

Todd

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  JimLewis on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:13 pm

I'd wrap some duct tape around the pot a couple of times-- leaving room for watering -- just to be safe about movement. Kev is right, just damp is all you want for it while it is leafless.

good job

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  my nellie on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:28 pm

Good luck, Todd!


PS: I 've cut mine, too. Both of them. I keep both pots in a non-heated lobby of the appartment building near a window. When they leaf out I will put the pots into black plastic bags until next spring. So, I will have some kind of control over the humidity (and temperature, too) which I will check every now and then of course.

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:23 pm

Yep I saw it was tied in with string. If the string is polypropylene or similar, that should be fine, but if it is the sort that deteriorates over time, especially when damp, I'd replace it with wire. It needs to be secure for 6 months at least. I always pad the wire with old bike tyre inner tube or similar to stop it cutting into the bark.


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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:50 pm

Kev,
It is actually copper wire holding it down. I have some small pieces of pine bark in place to stop it cutting into the bark. It is quite stable at the moment. I am pleased with the result, although had I started it earlier It would be much better. Next year I will begin in early spring. I am also going to try a couple other species(river Birch, Hawthorn, and smoke bush).

Nellie,
Do you have any pics of your airlayers. I'm always interested.

Jim,
I'm not sure what you mean by wrapping the pot in duct tape. Do you mean in order to keep the tree stable.

Thanks,

Todd

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Re: Protecting a crab apple airlayer? w/Update

Post  JimLewis on Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:39 pm

im,
I'm not sure what you mean by wrapping the pot in duct tape. Do you mean in order to keep the tree stable.

Yes. It tends to keep the soil inside the pot.

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