Air layer question

Discussions about propagating from cuttings, seeds, air layers etc. Going on a dig (Yamadori) or thinking of importing? Discuss how, when and where here.

Air layer question

Postby Meagi » October 14th, 2017, 5:28 pm

Hi guys

Black plastic or clear plastic when setting air layers on trees or does it matter .

Any tips on width of airlayer to cut in bark compared to thickness of trunk... there is a rule of thumb but I have forgotten it.

Any tips to get a successful layer up take root would be appreciated.

Looking at elm, hawthorn, crabapple, plum . ... how long do they take to be successful. ..... if I set now will them be ready in autumn ( April -may ) ? Or sooner .

Cheers
Last edited by Meagi on October 14th, 2017, 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air layer question

Postby Daluke » October 14th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Meagi wrote:Hi guys

Black plastic or clear plastic when setting air layers on trees or does it matter .

Any tips on width of airlayer to cut in bark compared to thickness of trunk... there is a rule of thumb but I have forgotten it.

Any tips to get a successful layer up take root would be appreciated.

Looking at elm, hawthorn, crabapple, plum . ... how long do they take to be successful. ..... if I set now will them be ready in autumn ( April -may ) ? Or sooner .

Cheers


There are pros and cons for both. Black plastic attracts heat and tricks the roots into thinking its night time which should equate to more growth. With clear plastic you can see when you need to water or when the roots have grown without disturbing the layer.

I think the rule you are asking about is that the height of the ring bark should be roughly the girth or circumference of the trunk or branch you are layering.

There is no set time frame. Each tree grows at a different pace. That being said you have picked pretty vigorous species.
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Re: Air layer question

Postby Meagi » October 14th, 2017, 6:27 pm

Thanks Daluke.

So I would have to water the airlayer?
I thought that was the idea of the plastic as it would sweat and keep itself moist .

Just wondering as I plan on setting a lot of them many miles from my house and impossible to water them all .


I don’t want to go to all the trouble and find out they were unsuscessful .
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Re: Air layer question

Postby Beano » October 14th, 2017, 6:35 pm

Yes they dry out, I just did one on a pear tree out front, in clear plastic them covered with a separate layer of black garbage bag, and checked on it after 3 weeks, it wasn’t very wet anymore. I realised there wasn’t quite a seal around the bottom edge. Redid it and injected it with water and more roofing hormone. They dry out even quicker once it starts getting roots
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Re: Air layer question

Postby Meagi » October 14th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Ok thanks I’ll have to make a few rounds then I guess .

When you injected it with rooting hormone again did you just mix it with the water ?

If Work what was the mixture to water ?

Cheers
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Re: Air layer question

Postby shibui » October 14th, 2017, 7:22 pm

In my experience it does not seem to matter whether you use clear or dark plastic for layers. I think it is moisture that counts above all else. Any plastic wrap will get hot in the sun. If there is direct hot sun I would wrap the plastic in another layer of something - maybe cloth? - to provide insulation and shade.
Even plastic wrapped layers can dry out. How often to water depends how well you can seal them. Tie top and bottom as tight as you can to hold the water inside. Once roots form they will start to take water and they will need more attention.

General rule for ringbark air layer is make the ringbark at least as wide as the trunk is thick. Make sure you scrape the cambium after taking off the bark or they will just heal over without growing roots. You can make a thinner ringbark and tie wire around just below the top cut to stop it healing.

Hawthorn seems to be difficult to root and may not be successful. Elm crabapple and plum are relatively east and should have roots in a couple of months but may take longer if the trees are not very healthy or conditions are not good.
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Re: Air layer question

Postby Beano » October 14th, 2017, 7:54 pm

Meagi wrote:Ok thanks I’ll have to make a few rounds then I guess .

When you injected it with rooting hormone again did you just mix it with the water ?

If Work what was the mixture to water ?

Cheers


Yes I mixed it about 30:70 hormone:water. Probably a waste of rooting hormone but I didn’t want to disturb the area by removing the moss to paint it on and I wanted enough concentration within the layer when mixed with water. I used about half a mug full of the mix and used my bbq injector to inject it into the moss in various spots. It does make holes in the wrap but a lack of holes won’t stop it drying up so I figured it’ll be ok if I inject with the same holes each time I need to. I don’t use rooting hormone all the time either, usually just water.

I haven’t put the black layer back on this time, this layer is on a tree branch which is awkward to get to, so it’s easier for me to see if it’s dry or has roots if I don’t have to faff about with an extra bit of plastic. I used to use a foil cover so I could check and then just replace the foil but it rips and blows away if it’s windy, also the branch is off a street tree overhanging my property, and is close to the fence and I don’t want to draw attention to it as I have a pretty busy pedestrian path out the front of the house where people could decide to interfere with it if they spotted it.


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