Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

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Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  dangsy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:10 am

Hello,

I'm looking to air layer my mom's Japanese maple for a go at turning it into a bonsai. Where on the branches would be an ideal place to air layer?

Thank you!

dangsy
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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Where ever the branch above the layer appears to have the best shape for a future bonsai.

If you are experienced with the process, you probably could layer a 2-3 inch (diameter) branch. If you are inexperienced, something nearer an inch might be a better test attempt.

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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:56 pm

WELCOME!

Find a nice fork in the branch with multiple branches coming from approximately same spot. You should have a bulge at that area. Make your cut and induce root growth just below that bulge which is your future base. Plan on removing most of the branches after so check for the potential main trunk and consider that as you air layer.

Of course, if you have a nice movement or taper elsewhere, you should do that instead. Without seeing the tree, this is only a general guideline and everything really will be up to you.

By the way, do not trim the tree above the airlayer until you separate them. The leaves above will help induce the roots to form.

Good luck!

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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  marcus watts on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Hi,
firstly and most importantly work out what variety of maple it is as many of the nice garden varieties are weak trees when growing on their own roots - this is why many are grafted plants rather than layered. As a clue if the original is grafted ask yourself why ? , red, pink, feathery, and delicate acers are all commonly grafted and many are known to adapt poorly to life in a bonsai pot on their own roots, so you could save yourself years of struggle if the variety is wrong.

then 'where' to layer is easy - it is where you see a section that will look good in its own pot and this could be any style that pleases you.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  dangsy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Thank you for the welcome and info!

Unfortunately I missed Marcus' post before giving the air layering a shot...We aren't 100% sure of the variety but from what I remember it is red and it does look a bit wispy.

I chose a section that I felt would look good, but after layering I think I may not have left enough room for a nice trunk. What do you all think?

Thank you all again for the great information.


dangsy
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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

Post  marcus watts on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:26 am

Hi,
as you can now can see more room was needed.
the roots form from the upper cut and this section will be planted under the soil if it thrives. Unfortunately the low bendy branch (new trunk) will emerge from under the soil level but this is a good practice layer.

The area of the tree you layer is equally important too - in a tree that is strong in the top the layers will also be stronger if taken from the top. Using weak growing lower or inner branches can lead to poor airlayers if the parent tree was strong in the apex (the opposite applies to trees base dominant of course).

Very rarely does the end of a branch in nature look like a good bonsai straight away but you can pre prune and semi style sections of the real tree before taking the layers.

good luck

Marcus

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Re: Best place to air layer a full sized Japanese maple?

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