When is it safe to remove air-layers?

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When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  prestontolbert on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:13 pm

I put on quite a few air-layers in early spring. I ringed the bark completely, used sphagnum moss, plastic sheeting, and electrical tape. I am starting to see roots through the plastic. My question is: Should I wait till fall or pot them up right now? Should I wait till the roots are pushing out of the plastic?
-PT

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  Jim Doiron on Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:28 pm

If you see the roots through the bag you should pot them up now so they have time to establish in the pot before the winter. That is what I am planning on doing with the air layers I have done except I have not seen any roots yet? Hope I did it right.

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  NeilD3 on Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:44 am

I always wait until I am sure the roots have nearly filled the bag. Just seeing them on the outer part of the bag or on the underside may be deceptive. I've done this in the past and found very few roots. The tree made it, but it was very weak.

I'd say leave until the bag is full, however long that is.

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:36 pm

I agree completely with Neil. In your area, I'd leave the layers in place until late August. Then cut them off and plant, sphagnum and all in plastic nursery pots. Give them protection in winter.

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  Jim Doiron on Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:35 pm

Thanks for correcting me all, everything I have read said nothing of waiting for the bag to be full of roots but that it was more important to get it established for the winter. When I did it in the past things have survived and done well but perhaps they could do better this way. Thanks again Embarassed

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:14 pm

Well, it's always better to wait -- on cuttings and layers -- until you have a LOT of roots. In either case, the roots are VERY tender and the slightest jostling after they are separated or transplanted can destroy the effort. You can always move them somewhere for winter protection if you live in a very cold area.

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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: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  prestontolbert on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:09 am

Thanks for the replies. I'm moving to North Carolina in December and as of yet don't have anywhere to winter my trees. These airlayers are on desert hackberry and I'm sure they won't survive the cold, wet NC winters. Does anyone have any suggestions?
-PT

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  NeilD3 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:08 pm

Is it possible for you to enlist the help of a local bonsai friend to hold onto them for you for the winter? Move them to NC after after winter and after they've begun to grow well.

Just a thought.

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  prestontolbert on Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:18 pm

Thanks, but now I'm thinking along the lines of building a quick cold frame when I get there.

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  EdMerc on Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:58 pm

Jim Doiron wrote:Thanks for correcting me all, everything I have read said nothing of waiting for the bag to be full of roots but that it was more important to get it established for the winter. When I did it in the past things have survived and done well but perhaps they could do better this way. Thanks again Embarassed

I think it makes good sense to have more roots than less. Consider the possible loss of roots during separation and potting. Consider also that the tree will now be dependent on whatever roots it has available. In both cases it's better to have more roots than not.

Good luck with your move Preston.

Ed

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Re: When is it safe to remove air-layers?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:46 pm

Guess you didn't see my PM. Where are you moving to in NC, Preston?

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