Air Layering a Mel...

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Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » January 21st, 2015, 8:53 am

I was away with the family for an extended Christmas break and we stayed on a property down on the Bellarine Peninsula (Vic) that had some pretty interesting trees in and around it. One in particular was in a neighbours property (on the fence line) that looked like some kind of melaleuca. So I had a chat with him, and the tree was due for a big chop as it was starting to lean on the fence ... so I proposed to have a go at an air layer before it gets cut back (as you do). With no real tools or supplies on hand, and given I had never actually performed an air layer, I got anything I could find in his shed and the garage where I was staying and made a quick 3 hour trip home for a few basics. I also got some great PM advice from Ray M : thanks heaps! :) .
I thought I might put up some pics of how I went about it and see what people think my chances of success are ... I did three layers in total.
I think from my research this tree might be a Mel Huegelii, but if anybody can confirm or clarify a species ID that would also be appreciated!
I've got the property owner watching it for me and I plan to go down in a couple of weeks or so to check it out. We'll see how it looks in a few months! :fc:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ray M » January 21st, 2015, 11:23 am

HI Ryceman3,
Mate, I can see why you wanted to try and get some trees off this one. Those flowers are beautiful. Looks like you did a good job on the layers. Looking forward to see how these go for you. :clap: :clap: :aussie: :aussie:

Regards Ray
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Jason » January 21st, 2015, 12:57 pm

I think you're spot on with your guess of Mel Huegelii :)

Have one of these in my backyard :aussie: Lovely flowers, and the leaves are very strange, have always wondered how they could be styled into a bonsai so look forward to seeing where you take it :cool:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » January 21st, 2015, 2:59 pm

Ray M wrote:HI Ryceman3,
Mate, I can see why you wanted to try and get some trees off this one. Those flowers are beautiful. Looks like you did a good job on the layers. Looking forward to see how these go for you. :clap: :clap: :aussie: :aussie:

Regards Ray


Cheers Ray,

Yeah, the flowers are great and not too big so I think will fit in well in terms of proportion from a bonsai perspective. Thanks for the encouragement re: layering technique... if all works out for the best I might owe you a beer, you're help was invaluable! Might have one myself!
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » January 21st, 2015, 3:04 pm

Jason wrote:I think you're spot on with your guess of Mel Huegelii :)

Have one of these in my backyard :aussie: Lovely flowers, and the leaves are very strange, have always wondered how they could be styled into a bonsai so look forward to seeing where you take it :cool:


Thanks Jason,
I think this species of Mel is from your neck of the woods so would make sense you've got one in your backyard! The foliage is a little weird, almost scale-like and growing close to the branches... Nice and compact leaf size though so that's a plus. If these layers take I too will be interested in how I go styling a bonsai out of it, I have some ideas though. From what I've read about them they take well as cuttings so maybe you could have a go too and we can find out together!
:tu:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Jason » January 21st, 2015, 6:49 pm

Ryceman3 wrote:
Jason wrote:I think you're spot on with your guess of Mel Huegelii :)

Have one of these in my backyard :aussie: Lovely flowers, and the leaves are very strange, have always wondered how they could be styled into a bonsai so look forward to seeing where you take it :cool:


Thanks Jason,
I think this species of Mel is from your neck of the woods so would make sense you've got one in your backyard! The foliage is a little weird, almost scale-like and growing close to the branches... Nice and compact leaf size though so that's a plus. If these layers take I too will be interested in how I go styling a bonsai out of it, I have some ideas though. From what I've read about them they take well as cuttings so maybe you could have a go too and we can find out together!
:tu:


They also backbud quite well on old wood, which is always a positive for bonsai use :) we chopped ours back quite hard, and its shooting our from every which way :yes:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ray M » January 21st, 2015, 7:54 pm

Hi Ryceman3,
With the comments that Jason has made concerning this species gives a lot of hope that the layers should work okay. I will follow this thread with interest. :reading: :aussie:

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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » January 21st, 2015, 8:37 pm

Thanks Jason, I noticed the back budding too on some previous parts of the tree that had been chopped back, that helped me make up my mind it was worth a shot!

Ray, I'll be sure to update the thread after I go back down and check how things are going... Hopefully in a few weeks!
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Neli » January 25th, 2015, 1:32 am

One big one I layered. Had to use the angle grinder to cut the bark
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » January 25th, 2015, 10:01 pm

Wow! Angle grinder!!?! I thought using the Stanley knife was a little agricultural but you my friend are HARDCORE! Hope we both find ourselves with a few new trees in a couple of months regardless of technique! Good luck with yours. :tu2:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Neli » January 30th, 2015, 8:00 pm

The bark was just too hard, or maybe I dont have enough power, so I just used the angle grinder., and it worked very well.
I used to get a lots of die back of branches before I layered it. Now I put all my mells in a tray of water and they are growing like crazy.
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I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » February 12th, 2015, 6:32 pm

UPDATE :
Been down to check out the layers, and as shown in the attached pics not a moment too soon! Looks like all three had dried out a bit - not sure if that is due to summer weather or my lack of skill when it comes to layering, but really glad I prepared and took down the seasol and a syringe to help rehydrate them! There was still a tiny amount of condensation in all the bags before I added some more (about 100ml per layer) ... I chose to open up the bag at the top and then use the syringe through the opening rather than make a hole in the plastic ... not sure that is wise practice!! I'm a little worried the drying out is going to render these a failure ... no sign of roots yet but I guess it is only a few weeks, gotta keep positive!!?! :fc:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ray M » February 13th, 2015, 10:03 am

Hi Ryceman3,
Ryceman3 wrote:UPDATE :
Been down to check out the layers, and as shown in the attached pics not a moment too soon! Looks like all three had dried out a bit - not sure if that is due to summer weather or my lack of skill when it comes to layering, This is quite normal but really glad I prepared and took down the seasol and a syringe to help rehydrate them! There was still a tiny amount of condensation in all the bags before I added some more (about 100ml per layer) Mate, be careful not to over wet them. I'm actually working on a new document concerning this subject. I've been researching this for 18 months or so. I'm still doing some more experiments. When I'm pleased with the data I will put it on the forum. ... I chose to open up the bag at the top and then use the syringe through the opening rather than make a hole in the plastic ... not sure that is wise practice!! I'm a little worried the drying out is going to render these a failure ... no sign of roots yet but I guess it is only a few weeks, gotta keep positive!!?! :fc: It looks like you did the layers quite well. Patience is the name of the game. It could be several months before you have enough roots to remove the layer.

Regards Ray
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby Ryceman3 » February 13th, 2015, 4:18 pm

Ray M wrote:Hi Ryceman3,
Ryceman3 wrote:UPDATE :
Been down to check out the layers, and as shown in the attached pics not a moment too soon! Looks like all three had dried out a bit - not sure if that is due to summer weather or my lack of skill when it comes to layering, This is quite normal but really glad I prepared and took down the seasol and a syringe to help rehydrate them! There was still a tiny amount of condensation in all the bags before I added some more (about 100ml per layer) Mate, be careful not to over wet them. I'm actually working on a new document concerning this subject. I've been researching this for 18 months or so. I'm still doing some more experiments. When I'm pleased with the data I will put it on the forum. ... I chose to open up the bag at the top and then use the syringe through the opening rather than make a hole in the plastic ... not sure that is wise practice!! I'm a little worried the drying out is going to render these a failure ... no sign of roots yet but I guess it is only a few weeks, gotta keep positive!!?! :fc: It looks like you did the layers quite well. Patience is the name of the game. It could be several months before you have enough roots to remove the layer.

Regards Ray



Cheers Ray, I was actually thinking I might be going a bit overboard with the Seasol, but I didn't completely soak the sphagnum - I left the bottom part dry and let it soak through from what I put in ... I was worried I didn't know when Id get back down here and I don't think I can count on the owner to look for me! Look forward to reading up on your research results - I'm sure it'll be very useful stuff to know. Thanks for the encouragement - it's all about the patience I know!

Cheers mate :yes:
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Re: Air Layering a Mel...

Postby wattynine » February 13th, 2015, 5:23 pm

Thanks Ryceman3, great post, gives me much hope for my latest project
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