Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

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Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  David Noya on Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:08 pm

Hello all,

I've got the privilige of living close by one of worlds largest tree nursery grounds (Boskoop, the Netherlands). One of the nurseries is specialized in maples, japanese maples. They've got about 700 different cultivars. Only problem is that they are all grafted to an ordinary acer palmatum base.
I have planned to buy me a couple of nice specimens with fairly large trunks ( +/- 6 to 10 cm in diameter). In order to transport them I need to trunkchop them, that shouldnt give problems (except the sellers faces when doing it after buying them). The next step is that I want to pot them into large trainingpots in spring. They need to be rootpruned first. They are all potted at the nursery so that should be not a major problem also. In may next year I want to layer them above the grafts to create nice nebari and to get rid of the grafts ofcourse. I wonder myself if this all is possible to do within one season (potting in trainingpot and layer it a couple of months later)??

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  mbolos on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:18 am

Why would you repot / root prune if you are just going to layer the tree anyway? Since most of the strength for pushing out roots from an air layer comes from the top of the tree (as is my understanding), this seems like an impossible task. Your best bet is (1) air layer in spring, (2) Pot next fall, then (3) trunk chop. The reverse doesn't seem like a good idea, but perhaps others will disagree.


Last edited by mbolos on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:21 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misstatement of timeline)

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  drgonzo on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:48 am

1. make sure you are willing to lose whatever money you're about to pay for these trees.

2. Trunk chop in early summer to get it home. Seal the wound.

3. plant it into the ground, roots undisturbed, allow to grow for at least two full seasons

4. Air layer in mid spring of third season after leaves harden off.

5. Pray.

Its been my experience that:
One cannot root prune and air layer the main trunk in the same season,
One cannot trunk chop and air layer in the same season.

I feel I should mention that what your proposing is approaching Master level stuff, Be certain your horticultural abilities are up to the task.

good luck
-Jay

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  sunip on Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:11 am

Hi David.
I send you a PM.

Sunip

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  marcus watts on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:00 pm

i agree with the horticultural advice above 100% - horticulture must always come first, bonsai second

i would hire or borrow a van or trailer or pay the delivery charge - then you get the trees home with no chop. Now you can airlayer at some better places up the trees, once these root and you remove the tops that is in fact the trunk chop.......then you take the low layer that you are planning on - this gives you 2 trees.

choose your varieties very carefully though - many are grafted to ordinary palmatum stock for a reason.... the roots of many cultivars are very weak, leading to poor characteristics and success rates as bonsai or potted tree. if the varieties were good on their own roots they would be grown from cuttings and layers in the first place. commercially the extra work and added timescale of growing palmatum seedlings and then grafting the scions to them is done to achieve better, stronger plants.

Excelent results can be achieved if you find well grafted material and as the trees age the graft will dissappear, the bark will match up each side etc - the beni in my 'changing face' thread is grafted to palmatum roots so it is not always better to put an acer back to its own roots.

whichever path you decide on good luck

marcus


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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  drgonzo on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:24 pm

marcus watts wrote:
i would hire or borrow a van or trailer or pay the delivery charge - then you get the trees home with no chop.

This small fee you pay for renting a Van may well save you the total cost of whatever you purchase. In fact if you ask at the nursery I bet someone there would be willing to deliver the trees to you rather than watch you chop them in the parking lot.

Marcus is quite correct in that often weak cultivars are better off on strong roots and that is the price we have to pay in order to have the opportunity to work with unusual varieties. Often the frilly and variegated Maples will NOT survive Bonsai techniques on their own roots.

The answer I gave you was directly related to your question, The advice Marcus has given you is the much preferred way to arrive at your ultimate goal.
-Jay

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air layer over a graft?

Post  jacksmom on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:09 am

I believe I read somewhere, if you air layer over the graft site, the roots will have the characteristics of the "base", sorry I don't know the correct term. Does anyone have any experience with this?


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Air Layer over a Graft

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:33 am

No, that is not true. If you air layer a grafted tree, you will get the characteristics of the scion, including its inherent root proclivities.
Iris

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:33 pm

I have a large lions mane maple that has 6" of rootstock(grows to a much larger caliper) at the base. Ive let it grow 3 seasons in the ground now to get real vigorous. I thought I would layer about a 1/2 below the graft union. I figure in time any severe thickening of the root stock would just appear as stronger nebari and the union would not be as obvious. I also figure it will airlayer more effectively as well than airlayering the scion wood. Does this sound plausible? Also I wanted to point out that for airlayering, the bottom portion will die if it has no branches feeding it below the girdling mark, hopefully by the time that happens the top will have rooted enough.

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Buck-

why not just air layer above the graft and be rid of it altogether? shishigashira should be fine on its own roots, and keep in mind the under-stock doesn't die in the layering process but often times will callous the bottom part of the bark wound and then pop buds of its own below the bark ring.

Keep in mind shishigashira is slow growing and a layer might need a couple years to really get going.
-Jay

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:50 pm

thank you jay, Since it may take a couple years for the layer to take for this variety, that would mean the layer would be exposed above ground for at least one full winter. This would kill the roots right? Would burying the whole tree 6" deeper be better that way the new roots would be below/at the ground layer and be easier to protect? I tried burying a giant dawn redwood 2 feet deep for this reason one year and i think the root stock lost all oxygen and died and I ended up with nothing. Is there a certain depth that it is safe to do this. By ground layering trees theoretically all your trees could end up with perfect nebari, so I wonder why more people arnt doing this all the time?

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  sunip on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:15 pm

Hi all
Hello Bucknbonsai,
I actually airlayered on 7 jun, this year, a Acer Shishi Gashira who is grafted on a palmatum.
The scion part developed nice roots in the moss package since, in late spring i will cut it from its base,
it is in the greenhouse over the winter.
This is a acer i planted in the garden on a wrong place and had some branch die down there,
so i planted it in a pot again and forgot about him.
After three years in the pot he was healthy and the strong under-stock had developed 1,5 meter shoots from the base who has nice nebari.
So i decided to airlayer specially for the under-stock, but i will use the Shishi Gashira as well of course,
i did the ring on the graft part.
In late autumn i took the under-stock shoots back to the first place where new shoots will start in spring.
See where it goes.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:19 pm

You learned the hard way that planting the roots of a tree too deeply is not a good thing...the root crown needs to be at or slightly above the soil surface for the tree to remain healthy. By the way, you should be able to successfully air layer a Shishigashiri in one growing season....

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:35 pm

Dave Murphy wrote: By the way, you should be able to successfully air layer a Shishigashiri in one growing season....

definitely!

And don't forget about the Palmatum under-stock that might give you something nice to work with as well!
-Jay

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

Post  Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:04 am

One cannot root prune and air layer the main trunk in the same season,

I did have excellent results with japanese mapples air layered the same year I had taken them out of the ground. From a physiological point of view, it makes sense to me.

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Re: Maple layering, trunkchop and rootpruning, in what order??

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