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Good method of air layering?  RSS feed

 
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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My fruit trees (appples, pears and 1 peach) are victims of my pruning paralysis. This must be corrected, so I am going to try my hand at air layering this spring. I plan to create an open basket form. Though these trees are all between 3 and 6 years old, this may require major surgeries.

There are many instructional you tubes…The below method is not new to the world, but perhaps tweaked from the poster’s previous practices. Would this be a good method for the mid-south? The tin foil used would presumably prevent sun burning of the fragile root system.



Would trees in my local prefer to have a small quantity of cambium left intact from proposed new tree to the curent trunk? Do others successfully use a different method in the mid-south?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Bump

Clearly the guy in the video got this to work well. There are many you tubes with tweaks in their methods. This is the best I found for start to finishing with success shown in the same video. I need to air layer my trees soon,so the root ball can develop before the real heat hits us in July. Does anyonr know of a reason this wouldn't work in the MId-south?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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bump

I followed a you tube instructions for something similar that did not work in my yard...
Several years ago I had a downed apple tree which I was unable to save. Several root sprouts have since emerged, and I tried to air layer them as follows:

I placed a gallon sized plastic pot over the sprouts, through the bottom hole. I 'roughed up' the sprouts within the height of the pots. I filled the pots with wood shavings, and kept them damp. No roots formed. I assume that I did not do enough damage to the cambium layer, or 'damp' actually meant wet (to me).

The method that failed for me, did work for the You Tuber. He showed his success.

I would like to know if anyone sees any problems with the method in my original post.

 
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hau Joylynn, unfortunately I can not see the original youtube because of them being blocked on my computer (work comp.).

What I can do is give you a step by step of the method of air layering that has never failed me.

Items needed:

1 piece of visquene plastic (white or clear, not black) cut this 8 inches top to bottom and 3 feet long. (I like 4 to 6 mil thickness)
2 pieces of cotton or other type of string, I like to make mine about 12 inches long so I know I have long enough pieces.
1 bag of sphagnum moss, soaking in a pail of water.
1 sharp knife or a new bladed razor knife and a small glass of bleach water (1 part bleach to 2 parts water) for sterilizing (not needed if only doing one branch))
1 container of Rooting Hormone Powder (small, soft bristle brush is optional but recommended for applying the powder without any waste)

Method:

1. Select a good branch that would be pruned normally (this saves all the good branches and makes good use of a branch that would need to come off anyway).

2. With a sharp knife or a fresh bladed razor knife make four (4) slits approximately 3 inches long equidistant around the branch (I've tried the ring method and found it only works on easy to root tree varieties).

3. make a second slit parallel to the first set about 1/8th inch away from the first slit and remove the 1/8th inch piece of bark and cambium, leaving the rest of the bark intact.

4. dust the new wounds with a hormone powder any brand will do the job.

5. wet sphagnum moss and wrap around the treated area so it is about 2 inches thick.

6. wrap a piece of visquene plastic twice (2 wraps) around the sphagnum moss and tie the lower end tight to the branch, then tie the upper end a bit looser to the branch (use a bow so you can open this end if you should need to add water).

Watch the plastic to see if you need to add water (the moss should remain very damp (almost dripping water), do not add water if it looks damp inside the plastic wrapping.
When roots can be seen poking through the moss and against the plastic it is time to remove and plant up the new tree.
Cut the branch/new tree below the bottom of the plastic wrapping, and ready the container before you cut the strings and remove the plastic wrapping.
Once everything is ready, remove the plastic and plant the tree with the sphagnum moss still in place, water it and enjoy your new tree while it grows more roots.
In the late fall, the tree should be ready to be planted in the ground, wait till the leaves have dropped and the tree is dormant, then plant like you would any tree from a nursery.

Let me know if you need anything clarified.

Redhawk
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
What I can do is give you a step by step of the method of air layering that has never failed me.....

When roots can be seen poking through the moss and against the plastic it is time to remove and plant up the new tree.
Cut the branch/new tree below the bottom of the plastic wrapping, and ready the container before you cut the strings and remove the plastic wrapping.
Once everything is ready, remove the plastic and plant the tree with the sphagnum moss still in place, water it and enjoy your new tree while it grows more roots.
In the late fall, the tree should be ready to be planted in the ground, wait till the leaves have dropped and the tree is dormant, then plant like you would any tree from a nursery.

Let me know if you need anything clarified.

Redhawk



Bryant, thanks for spelling this out so well.  I'm planning on using your method on my apple trees and maybe on the peaches and plums.  Can you please tell us when this method should be started?  I'm assuming it would work best in the spring or summer when the tree is putting out new growth.  What are your thoughts on doing this in the fall?  Is it too late for this year?

Bonnie
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Air layering works best from spring to early fall, if you set up a branch for air layering in the fall, it will need to stay on the tree until well after bud out the next spring.
In that situation you will also have to protect the branch from freezing since there may be small roots around the time of first freeze and those would die if the branch isn't well insulated.
 
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