I have a Redhaven peach tree that is leaning pretty badly. I'm not sure how many years it'll last, so I want to get another one started. It had four droopy branches fairly evenly spaced around the tree, so I made my first attempt at tip layering. It's too soon to tell for sure, but I think I bent 3 of them too far. The part of the part of the branches that are sticking up are pretty droopy. If they don't make it, I'll still have branches stuck into the ground. If they root, it seem like they would be like extra trunks and support the tree very well. Does anyone know if it will work that way?
When you started your ground layering of this tree did you read up on it first?
To ground layer a tree branch you need a few items
1). good growing, long, easily bent branch
2). two "pins" to hold the branch in the shallow trench
3). watering can to keep the soil moist enough to promote root growth
Once you have bent the branch down and determined where you will be able to get good ground contact you then dig a shallow trench for the branch to lay in.
Now score the branch in the contact area (rooting hormone is considered optional in this method), removing any leaves that would be buried helps the branch form roots at the point of contact.
With this done you need two pins, these can be made of metal or branch wood from any pruning (my preference).
These are pushed into the ground so they hold the branch tight to the soil, one on each side of the contact point, then you mound the soil from the trench over the branch and water gently so the soil isn't displaced.
Now you monitor the soil, keeping it moist (not soaking wet), it will take two to four months for roots to form (at which point the branch tip should start growing again).
After you notice the tip growing again, carefully pull back the soil mound to check the root formation, if there are lots of them, cut the branch loose and plant the new tree.
If you don't feel like there are enough roots yet, just put the soil back over the branch, water gently and continue waiting.
I like to dissolve some B-Complex vitamins and water with that solution all the time I am rooting a branch this way. I also use this solution when I water in any new planting.
This method is almost as effective as air layering and for stubborn rooters it is one of the best if not only ways to get a well rooted cutting.
Branches that this is done to can also be used like living guy wires (they will offer some support to the parent tree but they are not the best solution for propping up a leaning tree).
Thanks for the advice. I did read up on it. I think the instructions I found weren't detailed enough. I think I should have bent the branches closer to the tip where they are more flexible. The bends are too sharp. I used rocks over the dirt to hold them in the ground. Idid score the bend and I used rooting hormone. It's right by my deck so I can water with a hose. One looks great. The other three are wilted some but not dead.
Those should make a comeback. The only real problem with sharp bends is if the cambium breaks.
Broken cambium will heal over time and allow the roots to form. (when you make cuttings you are breaking the cambium) with the use of rooting hormone, you are giving them the best chance for root formation.
Just watch the wilted ones for soil drying.