Air layer Prunus mume

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Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » January 2nd, 2018, 7:02 pm

Hi all, I set some air layers on my large sticks, and I decided to set some above each other, with plenty of foliage in between....today I checked them only to discover the lowest ones are full of roots, but the ones above appear to have none. :(

Should I leave them for a bit longer to see if the higher ones will take, or should I just cut my losses and chop the lower ones and throw away the extras?
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby shibui » January 2nd, 2018, 7:26 pm

Hmmm, Tough choice :lost:
If you leave them there's a slim chance of something going wrong and losing even the ones with roots but leaving them :fc: to get roots on the upper ones is very attractive too.
I can't offer any first hand advice on this but my gut feeling is that if some are well rooted and others are not they probably won't.

If you decide to separate don't throw the upper ones away. Put them in as cuttings, especially if they have some callus around the wound. Separating them may just be the push they need to make some roots.
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » January 2nd, 2018, 7:31 pm

If you decide to separate don't throw the upper ones away. Put them in as cuttings, especially if they have some callus around the wound. Separating them may just be the push they need to make some roots.


Excellent suggestion, Neil, thank you! I'll do that tomorrow, and report back. :)
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby bodhidharma » January 3rd, 2018, 7:21 am

I did that with a Mulberry layer and on one i took off the Sphag moss and it did not grow. On the other i left the Sphagnum moss on and it went on to develop roots and survived. Just a thought and hint.
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » January 3rd, 2018, 7:27 am

I did that with a Mulberry layer and on one i took off the Sphag moss and it did not grow. On the other i left the Sphagnum moss on and it went on to develop roots and survived. Just a thought and hint.


Thanks bodhi, I've actually used coir this time, cos the sphag is so hard to remove, I keep losing roots when I try. Figured the coir would fall out much more easily. I've done about 6 on these three, 2 on each, so I might take one and plant the one with roots as well as the one without....and leave the others for a little longer.
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby Ray M » January 3rd, 2018, 8:51 am

Hi Mel,
Trust you will have a great new year. A couple of thoughts.

    * Did you use the new method described in the book?
    * I always use Sphagnum moss. If the roots are to entwined in the moss just plant the tree as is. As you do repotting, over the next couple of repots, you will find that you are able to remove the moss without damaging the roots.

Regards Ray
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby Sno » January 3rd, 2018, 9:16 am

If you put the sphagnum moss through a blender first it should be easier to remove .
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » January 3rd, 2018, 9:41 am

Hi Ray, thanks, and to you and yours!

I did use the new method, just coir instead of Sphagnum.

I've had a few apparent successes, only to some of them die once they're potted up, both with the Sphagnum intact, and without. I find that when the Sphag is left intact the mix stays too wet, and I'm still not disciplined enough to separate them so they don't get watered when the others do... I'm a bit lazy....lol

I went out and had another look this morning, and realised that the ones with the roots are the ones that are hidden amongst the foliage, whereas the ones without the roots are more open to the sun. I've just wrapped them all in alfoil! :oops:

Thanks Sno, that's a good suggestion. Don't have a blender, but sounds like a good investment. :)
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » February 25th, 2018, 6:20 pm

I separated all the layers, and it seems that all but one has continued to grow. I'm leaving the other to think about it... :)

What I really need to do is plant these in the ground now, I reckon...they're fast growers even in pots, but I really do want to see at least one flower!

Thanks for all your help everyone.
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Re: Air layer Prunus mume

Postby melbrackstone » July 9th, 2018, 1:38 pm

My Japanese Apricot is flowering! This is happening on what's left of the stock trees after I cut the air layers off. The tree was chopped around pretty comprehensively, and it seems only one or two of the original length weeping branches were left. One of those has produced flowers. I guess that means if I want flowers in the future I need to be very mindful of what and when I'm pruning. Sadly I have no sense of smell, so can't tell if it has a perfume, but I've read that they can be exquisitely perfumed as well as pretty. The leaves haven't dropped, so the flowers are competing with the leaves...think I might plant one in the ground and let it show me its natural tendencies....

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