Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Forum for discussion of Deciduous bonsai – Maples, Crabapple, Hornbeam, Elm species etc.

Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » January 8th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Thanks guys! If i remember to I'll take a photo of the twin trunk shishi in 2 week's time to compare the root development at the same interval after separating the layer from the tree. Both came from the same motherstock tree but i'm certain the twin trunk won't have anywhere near as much roots as this as it is moving around in the pot still.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » January 10th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Next update is an exciting one personally, the Linden/ Tilia cordata cutting i had given up on has actually grown roots! It came from a beautiful old tree in my back garden that is as old as the house, so i wanted a piece of it as a memory as much as to bonsai it.

Given how tricky it was to get it to root i will give the details of what i did. This is by no means a guide for others to follow because it clearly took a very long time and therefore i feel there must be better answers for growing Linden/ Tilia cordata.

Cutting spec: Heel cutting of 1 year old wood, bout 5 inches in length/ 3-4 leaf/ bud nodes.
Start Timing: Cutting taken in early spring/ Approx September (i didn't record the exact date)
Treatment: Initially treated with rooting hormone powder, callus formed but no roots, after several months with no root growth the callus was scarred again and hormone applied a second time. Leaves remained green and buds plump the entire duration.
Rooting timing: Roughly 4 months for roots to emerge and establish. (noticed in January)
Location: Cutting kept in early morning sun, protected the rest of the day in dappled light/ full shade position.

Not sure what else to include but happy to answer any questions if people think of other things they would like to know
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby Max » January 13th, 2019, 2:11 pm

When they ripen I'll get you a few

20181226_123132.jpg

20181226_123145.jpg
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » January 13th, 2019, 2:34 pm

The natural fertility rate of Tilia cordata seed is extremely low from what I've researched about them, even lower in areas that experience cold, near freezing or freezing climates through winter. Seems like less than 20% of produced seed is viable, and the since the large one in the back garden hasn't ever produced seedlings in all the years I've seen it i started looking at other ways to try to grow Tilia cordata. I tried airlayering with no success at all, and i had written off my cutting but it finally decided to grow some very small, thin roots

If you feel excited and want to try to grow it from seed then go for it, just collect a heap of seed to try to get at least a small number of seedlings from it!
Last edited by TimS on January 13th, 2019, 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby gnichols » January 13th, 2019, 3:01 pm

Max wrote:When they ripen I'll get you a few

20181226_123132.jpg

20181226_123145.jpg
How do you tell when they are ready to pick?

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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby Max » January 13th, 2019, 3:11 pm

when they brown and harden, scarification is needed after stratification, i leave them in a bag (brown)outside, just before spring, chuck in a half hand of sand and shake like a martini for a minute and sow. I get cold winters here 8-)
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » January 30th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Photo of the roots of the twin trunk shishigashira. Definitely not as prolific root growth as the single trunk one and the tree is still very wobbly in the pot so i'm sure that the roots are still only on one side of the trunk.

Anyway, it's growing and given i separated an airlayer of two trunks over 30cm tall, with only two strong roots, it has grown well and hasn't had any die back at all.

Maybe a second year in the sphagnum moss might be the best approach for this one until the roots are able to properly support the trunk
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby shibui » January 30th, 2019, 6:51 pm

Have you checked which side of the trunk these roots are growing from? I've noticed that most twin trunk layers here grow most roots from the side with the smaller trunk. Mot sure why that is and just wondering whether others have noticed any similar trends.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » January 30th, 2019, 7:51 pm

I just had a poke around shibui; both trunks are a similar thickness, nigh on identical, but I would say the roots grew from underneath the branch that came off the trunkline, rather than from the branch that would more rightly be considered the natural continuation of the trunkline to the apex.

I hadn’t thought about it at all, though to come to think of it it seems odd that roots would emerge from the side that you wouldn’t assume it would. I would have assumed they were more likely to emerge from the under the dominant trunkline. I’ve not tried a twin trunk airlayer before to have noticed such a thing.

I assume in time with usual root pruning the roots will balance out eventually?
Last edited by TimS on January 30th, 2019, 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby shibui » January 30th, 2019, 8:09 pm

That's exactly what I have experienced on most twin layers. Less dominant, usually side branch throws roots but main trunk resists.

Nearly all trees gradually grow more roots to balance the rootage around most of the trunk. Sometimes you need to 'encourage' it a bit by pruning dominant roots but in this case I think it is a bit too early for that just yet.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » February 4th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Success finally with one of my Mikawa Yatsubusa airlayerings! It only took 6 goes! Not too excited just yet as it's only one root, though it looks strong, but there is a lot of summer still to get though and the leaves are looking very unhappy about life though new growth is just starting to emerge. Likely it won't be able to be separated if it lives until late spring at the earliest now.


My straight species and shindeshojo airlyers both threw in the towel on one of the hot days we had a week or so back. RIP.

All else trucking along nicely all things considered
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » February 10th, 2019, 9:08 am

Quick update, i have been forced to pot on all my air layerings as their roots have become waterlogged and going black in their original pots of sphagnum moss only. I took advantage of a cooler spell of weather here in Melbourne to do the work and just moved them up from 6 inch pots to 25cm nursery pots i had around the house.

I teased out the roots a little bit and removed some of the sphagnum to hopefully reduce the water retention, and used a standard bonsai mix from my local bonsai nursery along with slow release fertiliser. Hopefully the bonsai mix will act like a wick to suck out excess water from the sphagnum, though this might just be my fanciful thinking more than any actual experience to base it on.

Anyway, all are still looking healthy enough, but my plan to wait until spring to repot had to be abandoned for the good of the plants.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby gnichols » February 10th, 2019, 12:18 pm

Mine suffered during our run of 40 plus days and lost all it's leaves. I'll still care for it and Fingers crossed it bounces back next spring, I have doubts though. Maybe I should have waited until March to remove it from the tree?

I have a few going on what looks to be a Callistemon (with some beautiful bark) which I really hope can work.ImageImage

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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » February 10th, 2019, 1:09 pm

Those will be excellent material there if you can nurse them through the remainder of the summer! That bark is beautiful!

Mine don't mind the heat because they are under shade cloth in a recess that doesn't get much wind. That might be a double edged sword of reducing the stress of summer but also the reduced air movement means less transpiration, which in turns means the soil remains damp. Even my seed grown maples under shade cloth are getting wet feet despite the warm spell we had. I've backed off the watering now to let them catch back up.
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Re: Deciduous Air Layerings class of 2018

Postby TimS » February 14th, 2019, 9:28 am

Tecnically still a part of the 2018 group, I've found that a second layer of Mikawa Yatsubusa has grown roots over summer, as well as the second layering of rough bark maple 'Arakawa' so my success rate is a little better than i first appeared.

All of these will remain on the trees right through until spring now as the root mass is insufficient to sparate now, and the foliage of all three is visibly discolored. I will put some diluted liquid fertiliser into the sphagnum moss to try to help them along a bit as well.


Looking to 2019 class i don't see many trees i will attempt other than perhaps some more Shishigashira from my large motherstock tree as i am hoping to get more budding lower on the trunk, but it is a bit of a waste to just cut off branches and throw them away on an uncommon cultivar. I'm already up to my eyeballs in maples at the moment, and plan to do more seed growing as well the year so space is at a premium.
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