alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Making something of my arboricola

I have a smallish Scheff with unique foliage/growth pattern which I really wish to develop further, particularly the base and try for 'aerial rooting(s)' if at all possible. I do have a small greenhouse-like plastic-thingy (desktop-style ~10"x 15" and ~12" tall at peak of roof) in which to give it the proper humidity and all. The plant has great vigor, and needs repotting anyways, so soon would be ideal time to get things rolling in that direction.

The roots have formed a fairly 'dense' arrangement just sub-surface, so I know there's a good start right there towards the nebari - I kinda envision a wide-stance of rootage with aerials coming downward along the main-trunk...trunk is around a foot long with two branchings at around 3" up from soil, and trunk makes a sharp 90deg turn just above soil (plant seems almost weeping, fwiw). Either, or both of these branches can be used as new leader, or left as sacrifice-branches as I am positive plant will put off new branches once I clip the leader's terminal growth...

What I am wondering is if there's a good chance/prospect of me leaving the entire trunk-length to 'run' across and drop off some (or a lot of) aerials leading towards a 'raft-style' tree with a strong (gnarly) nebari and hopefully get a branch further out to work upwards if/when the aerials start their thing? Make sense? Or would it be better to cut back just above the branchings and work with aerial-development from the shorter part of trunk? Kind of more of a roundish base with fewer aerials around it in a manner of speaking, I guess. It is just so hard to describe, and a virt is impossible with this one, LOL ;-)

[url=https://img339.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scheffbanlengthwise18jako1.jpg][img]https://img339.imageshack.us/img339/9638/scheffbanlengthwise18jako1.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scheffbanbranchings18jaet6.jpg][img]https://img413.imageshack.us/img413/2061/scheffbanbranchings18jaet6.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img255.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scheffbanneb18jan08hn4.jpg][img]https://img255.imageshack.us/img255/1918/scheffbanneb18jan08hn4.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img265.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scheffbantrunk18jan08se4.jpg][img]https://img265.imageshack.us/img265/2567/scheffbantrunk18jan08se4.th.jpg[/img][/url]

The pics show how it grows outward more strongly than upwards, and even some relatively-new cuttings I made are starting to show this tendency (cool trait, IMO). These leaves stay smaller and are somewhat curly/deformed compared to usual species' traits, fwiw, though these pics don't show it much. The pics also do not show very well just how parallel to 'ground' that the trunk is - *very* flat once it curves over, with the branchings going outwards for the most part, and part of why I am leaning towards making a raft-like planting from this.

Thoughts? Leave trunk long? Chop shorter and work with present branching as new leader(s) and get aerials from *those*? Just where do aerials form from (old -v- new wood??)... Also, I am going to have to cut rootball back fairly hard as that pot is stuffed with rootage currently - has never caused any harm in past, so not an issue ;-)

Thanks for input as I have never really worked-up tropical stuff, LOL. The aerial-root part is totally new to me, and no amount of reading compares to actual experience with their development, hence my posting here :-)

Alex

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Alex;

For aerial roots to form, heat and humidity is the key. Your little greenhouse should do the trick. You want to keep the humidity at 70-80% or higher and kept in the warmest place you can find. Small bumps should appear on the older wood, then a thin white root. They have to be kept moist, so misting helps a lot.

Since the tree trunk is growing sideways, you might want to mound soil up to the trunk. Once the roots are going good you can remove a little soil at a time and let them harden.

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Thx, Phil - understand what you are saying...however, is there a difference in appearance/structure between 'honest aerials' and those that form within soil itself and harden from exposure to air/light? Follow what I am asking here? If they are literally the same, soil-removal roots would be faster assumedly, but its no prob misting a lot and keeping humidity up if true 'banyan'-like roots are more appropriate-looking and realistic...

Thanks,
Alex

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Alex;

There's really no difference in appearance. Think root over rock here, without the rock. Both ways will work, it's just a matter of what's easier for you.

Another way is to use a t. paper roll from soil to trunk and fill with s. moss. Once the roots hit the soil you can start removing the roll and soil. Sorta like air layering.

The main thing is to keep the new roots damp until they take hold in the soil. So high humidity is a must.

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Got it - and thanks...now have a little 'project' for tomorrow :-) Be nice if I can get a whole line of aerial rootings along that trunk(!) with branchings that actually go *upwards* off of it...

Alex

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Alex;

This is a strange plant you have. Curly leaves, varigation, and a trunk that grows sideways. The plant world never ceases to amaze me. best of luck and keep in touch.

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Phil - will definitely keep in-touch :-) The mama plant of this one has plenty of re-growth(s) so I am planning on making as many as possible of cuttings when Spring rolls around and I have more room indoors - all space is taken with other species' seedlings (!)...

I am no big fan of 'tropicals' at all, but this one is really getting my attention, needless to say - the gamma irradiation years ago certainly did something to parent plant genetically, no doubt at all LOL! Years of it sitting by a radioactive 'generator' (Tc-99m 'pig' for those with knowledge of such) when I worked in/ran a NucMed lab at Hospital, fwiw, did *something* to it -> "somatic herbaceous effects" woulda been a cool 'research topic', 'eh?! And so no one gets worked up - it was/is absolutely safe, no remnant radiation whatsoever (!!!), no beta (physical particles, per se), etc produced in that place that could be adsorbed/removed/used...

Alex

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