Ground layering a cherry

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Ground layering a cherry

Post  RichLewis on Wed May 25, 2011 7:39 pm

Hello all

There's a fruiting cherry tree growing in my parent's garden. It was propagated from a sucker, from a tree belonging to my late Grandfather.

It's an attractive tree, and I've set a couple of airlayers to propagate it. However, at the base the trunk diverges and I would like to layer off one of the trunks, which was cut down to a stump a number of years ago. It's about 20cm across and would give me a few years on developing a tree from a much thinner airlayered branch.

I had an idea to saw a wedge out of one side, pack with moss and rooting hormone and sort of build the soil up over it to see if it will shoot roots.

Does this sound feasible? Has anyone ground-layered a tree in this manner before?

cheers


RichLewis
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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed May 25, 2011 9:20 pm

I've layered Prunus avium with ease a few years ago. Ground layering one should be just as easy. Encirle it with a cut down bucket or something larger to hold a good quantity of mix for roots and leave it at least a year before checking and hopefully severing.

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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  RichLewis on Wed May 25, 2011 11:08 pm

Thanks for the info Kev! Would you recommend I remove cambium and ring it completely, or just notch it in a couple of places?

Unsure of the actual ID, as you can see it has red foliage and wood but as far as I know its in the Prunus genus.

Attached are pics of airlayers completed today. The smaller one on the right was ringed completely, the one on the left I cut out some wedges to interrupt sap flow but didn't want to ring completely as it's much larger and I had a feeling it might need some life support whilst it roots. They contain moss with added vermiculite for (hopefully) better water retention. Hopefully they should come to something, so we'll wait and see.



Last edited by RichLewis on Wed May 25, 2011 11:57 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added pics)

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Update

Post  RichLewis on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Well, I ended up ringing the branches in the end, and they're rooting, so pretty chuffed about that!

I'm in no rush to remove them, but will they be ok over the winter?

Cheers cherry

RichLewis
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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  lordy on Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:11 pm

I'd think that 2 months should be enough to produce roots, but perhaps a bit too soon to cut and plant. You do, however, want to get them into the ground before the new roots freeze, and enough before the first freeze to allow the young roots to acclimate to being buried in soil. This is what I did and the tree is still doing well after several years in the ground.

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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:25 pm

RichLewis wrote:Well, I ended up ringing the branches in the end, and they're rooting, so pretty chuffed about that!

I'm in no rush to remove them, but will they be ok over the winter?

Cheers :cherry:

If they are low enough, simply pile mulch around the base of the tree and the layering. If they ar higher, wrapping them in some sort of insulating material probably would be enough.

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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: Ground layering a cherry

Post  RichLewis on Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:50 pm

Thanks for your replies

Definitely not enough roots yet to fully support the layers; I'm wondering if the cold and wet weather we've been having has slowed their development.

The layers are at eye height, too high to mulch however I have a lot of bubblewrap available. A few layers of that should suffice? We don't usually get massively freezing winters, although the last one was a shocker.

Would you advise gently fertilising the layers to assist development?

Cheers

RichLewis
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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:01 pm

Yes, certainly fertilise gently and regularly while growth is active. The wet and windy weather we've got now will slow growth a bit but better conditions are hopefully just a few days away. Make sure that everything is well secured, so that new roots are not rocked. Don't take it off until you think that there's enough roots to support the top growth. That could even be next year, and if so will need insulating through the winter.


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Re: Ground layering a cherry

Post  lordy on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:49 am

having never tried airlayering over the winter, I would need to hear from anyone who has actually done it sucessfully before I would feel comfortable insulating the layer site and hope it didnt damage the new roots. If the roots are growing well they should have a better chance of survival in sub-freezing temps better regulated by earth around them. That's why overwintering pots do better in contact with the ground rather than on benches. I would give them a little more time then cut the layer off and plant it with probably a good month or more of non-freezing temps. Then mulch the young roots up about 3 to 4 inches above the soil level. Keep it protected from wind and from any heavy snow, and you should be able to see swelling buds next spring.

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