moulman
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Layering a tall tree

OK, so I've purchased this nearly 5 foot Dawn Redwood, and potted it in a large pot for now. I was going to wait till spring and then trunk-chop it to about 20" or so.
The base of the trunk is about 2" and it tapers smoothly to the top.
The problem is, the lower (about 16") section of trunk is devoid of branches. So if I chop the trunk I will have a 2" "stick". Also the base has no nebari at all, and it's my understanding that because the lower branches have been removed, Redwoods will not develop the prominent base that is common to mature Redwoods. Also it is not likely to develop new branches on old wood.

Sooo. I was thinking about layering the trunk just below the existing lower branches, using the "Toriki" method.
I am thinking this would be a good way to develop a nice base/nebari as well as allow for development of the existing branches - and reduce the height of the tree.

I am curious if anyone here has used this method before, and could offer advice, or explain how it worked for them. Is spring the time for this, or is it better to do during dormancy?

http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x168 ... edwood.jpg


Thanks,

Matt

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Gnome
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Matt,

I don't grow this species so I can't offer any specific advice.

I was thinking about layering the trunk just below the existing lower branches, using the "Toriki" method.
Do you by any chance mean the tourniquet method?

I've tried this before to grow a new root system on two different trees. Once with a Zelkova that did not work out and once with a Beech. The jury is still out on that one.

Usually layers are started in late spring or early summer after the foliage has hardened off a bit.

Norm

moulman
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Toriki

I was referring to the method described in "Secret Techniques of Bonsai" by Masakuni Kawasumi ( II & III ) p. 48 - with this method, a cut is made on the trunk at the chosen site using a "scraper" or cutter ( i.e. a rasp) through the bark and down to the wood. So that the "food route" to the roots ia broken. Then the area is wrapped ( the author recommends the use of a small plastic pot filled with moss) with wet moss and allowed to grow new roots at the point of cut.
Once roots are sufficient, the trunk is cut just below the new roots - hence the lower unbranched trunk and root ball is disgarded.
The author describes the method as "Toriki" and the specialized cutter as a "Toriki scraper" - although it appears to be nothing more than a wood rasp.
He states that once new shoots have developed, and the new leaves have hardened off, the trunk can be cut. So I assume it must be done very early, or during dormancy.

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Gnome
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moulman,

This sounds like conventional air layering. The only unusual aspect of this method is the use of the rasp. This is a new one on me. I usually use a razor knife and remove a ring of bark about as wide as twice the diameter of the trunk. If you don't thoroughly remove the bark the tree can, and sometimes does, attempt to heal over.

Norm

moulman
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layering

Yes, it seems to be conventional layering using a pot full of moss.
I am a little unclear about the timing. If it is done in early spring, then how can new growth emerge if the energy supplies from the roots is cut?
Is it better to do it in the fall so that new roots can grow and start storing some energy for the spring?
Or do you wait for new spring growth to become established, and then layer.......

ynot
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I don't grow this species either...but

moulman wrote:Yes, it seems to be conventional layering using a pot full of moss.
I am a little unclear about the timing.
The next two quotes refer to essentially the same timing:

Gnome wrote:Usually layers are started in late spring or early summer after the foliage has hardened off a bit.


moulman wrote:Or do you wait for new spring growth to become established, and then layer.......


Late spring, After the first flush of growth has lignified.

Good luck

ynot

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moulman,

If it is done in early spring, then how can new growth emerge if the energy supplies from the roots is cut?
An excellent question. In very simplistic terms your tree has two pathways, the inner one that flows upward and the outer that flows down. Once you know this then it all begins to make sense.

Water and nutrients from the roots are still able to flow up the trunk since you, hopefully, have not severed the path. But sugars and carbohydrates are unable to move downward past the layer site. Lacking anywhere else to go the begin to accumulate and thus stimulate roots to form.

This is why it is usually suggested to do this just after the leaves harden in the spring. By this time they are actively doing photosynthesis and such timing allows all summer for roots to form.

This is the method used for deciduous trees. I believe that conifers are handled differently.

Please forgive my lack of proper terminology. Here is a link that describes the process properly.

http://www.afn.org/~bonsai/airlayer.html

Norm

moulman
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Timing

"..I believe that conifers are handled differently.."

Well, as we are talking about Dawn Redwoods which are both deciduous AND conifers, do you have any specifics? I can't find very much about propagation, except for some very general statements like "best propagated through layering".

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moulman,

"..I believe that conifers are handled differently.."

Well, as we are talking about Dawn Redwoods which are both deciduous AND conifers, do you have any specifics? I can't find very much about propagation, except for some very general statements like "best propagated through layering".
Sorry, I had Pines in mind when I wrote that. Being that they are deciduous I believe I would try to do it in the spring as outlined above.


Norm

moulman
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Redwood

Thanks Norm, I'll give it a go.


Matt

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Matt,

You're welcome, make sure to stop back to keep us informed.

Norm

dgaunt
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I am soooo jelious... the redwoods are beautiful trees :)... Good luck! and yes, definatly keep us up to date...

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