User avatar
MC Mixin Bricks
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:18 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Air layering

Anyone know the largest diameter a branch can be for air layering. to be honest, i want to take the top off my apple tree. one way or another it's getting topped. but if i can air layer it, i will. the tree is about 8' at the point i want to cut. I'm probably the only one earth who would consider such a big job. the just the way i am. if no one is certain that it can't be done i will try. if it doesn't werk, no big loss. if it does werk, awesome.

I'm taking it off at around the wires.

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae41/MC_Mixin_Bricks/apple.jpg[/img]
Do or do not....there is no try.

JONA878
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Mixin.
You can certainly air layer your apple tree.
I would not try it on too thick a branch though.
The most successful way I have found is.

1. Select a branch about 1-2 inches thick

2. cut two circles about an inch apart and peel off the bark and the green cambian layer underneath.

3. Dust with a rooting compound.

4. Surround the bare wood with a good wade of spaghnum moss that has been completely wetted and wrung out to the damp stage.

5. Wrap the moss with a plastic covouring and seal with electrical tape at the two ends.

6. Wrap the whole thing now in aluminium foil.

7. wait....wait ...and then wait.
towards the end of summer there should be roots forming in the moss and the branch ready for cutting clear.

Good luck...it's good fun.

Jona.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

NOW you tell me. I just this morning finished the last pruning for my apple tree! :roll: :lol: Well, that's alright. I'm juggling too many projects right now anyway. Is early spring a good time to do this? Something to put on the list for next year?

JONA878
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

I found that it was best to start as soon as there was a good sap run star.
Anytime from early mouse ear on.

fletch
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: Calgary Zone 3a

How has your attempt at layering gone? Did you follow the suggested method of 'ring barking' or some other method?
Regards

Fletch

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wow, I TOTALLY forgot about this! I guess this will be one of next spring's projects. :wink: I hope I remember... :roll:

nickolas
Senior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:04 am
Location: Victoria, Australia

I am going to try my luck at air layering on my fruit trees. just like with the apple tree above my fruit trees haven’t had a prune in many year’s if ever. so they need a prune and I will give air layering a try on my peach, pear and two plum tree’s.
I have done some research on air layering in the past and I came across a site that said that you don’t have to use peat moss that you can use compost instead is that true, Also the site said that you can you paint honey on the exposed section of the tree instead of dusting it with a rooting compound, I don’t know if these are true or not but if they are I mite save some money. And if this is news to you than you will be glad to know that I will be trying both peat moss on some branches and compost on others same for the honey and commercially available rooting compound. I will keep you posted on how it terns out.
P.s. what does Wrapping the whole thing in aluminium foil do.
Thanks, Nickolas

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The peat moss is to keep it moist, and compost should work too.

The honey should work... here's what Wiki says:

Though not essential, several compounds may be used to promote the formation of roots through the signaling activity of plant hormone auxins, and is helpful with especially hard plant species. Among the commonly used chemicals is indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) used as a powder, liquid solution or gel. This compound is applied either to the cut tip of the cutting or as a foliar spray. Rooting hormone can be manufactured naturally - one method is to soak the yellow-tipped shoots of a weeping willow tree in water, or to prepare a tea from the bark of a willow tree. When using the shoots or bark, they should be soaked for 24 hours prior to using.[1] Honey, though it does not contain any plant hormones, can also make an effective rooting substance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_(plant)

The tin foil is to seal all the moisture in. If the spot where you are trying to air layer dries out, then the effort fails.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Fig3825
Senior Member
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

I actually did this with a crepe myrtle in our yard about 2 months ago. I wasn't very diligent in keeping it watered. I cut the strip of bark off, dusted with rooting powder, wrapped in a spagnum/peat mix, soaked and wrapped in black plastic. It say for a couple weeks, and I watered it again. I left it alone for a while. Quite a while - just too busy to mess with it.

Just last night, I figured it was toast by now since I hadn't watered it at all for about 4-6 weeks - I can't even remember when I wrapped them. When I unwrapped them last night they were covered in roots! I think I almost have enough to cut them and plant them - but I soaked them again and wrapped them back up. I'm going to give them a few more weeks and then pop them in the ground for the winter. I'm torn between potting them and planting them outside. I may put them in my garden when everything dies back but the raised beds may get too cold at root level.

At any rate, in another couple weeks I'll unwrap them again and get some pictures before I cut them off.

Thus far, it's been a success for me!

The smallest was about 1/2" and the largest is around 3/4".

nickolas
Senior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:04 am
Location: Victoria, Australia

Just wondering if it is to late into spring for me to air layer my fruit trees, it is 7 days into spring were I am. I would have done it a lot sooner but I have been sick.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

nickolas wrote:Just wondering if it is to late into spring for me to air layer my fruit trees, it is 7 days into spring were I am. I would have done it a lot sooner but I have been sick.
Should be fine! Hope you are better now...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Return to “Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges”