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Air Layering 2.

9 years 1 month ago - 9 years 1 month ago #16121 by Taffy
These are the other method of Air Layering that I use. I picked them up from a friend on another website, so I owe all the credit to him – thanks Ian.

The bottles I’ve used here are 1.25 litres, but you could use smaller or larger bottles depending on the thickness of the branch/trunk you wish to layer. It wouldn’t be suitable for really large layers because I doubt if there is a plastic bottle big enough.

First, you need to cut the screw top neck off. That piece has no flexibility in it and cannot be manipulated. Now decide how long you want it and cut it away from the bottle. Next, cut it all the way up one side.

The length you need is really up to you and would depend on the thickness of the branch/trunk you intend layering. For thin branches it wouldn’t need to be too long.

The second step is to ring-bark the branch/trunk as per topic Air Layering 1, then apply the hormone gel or powder on the top edge of the ring-bark.

Place the bottle around the branch with the ring-bark approximately in the centre of the bottle and then tape the side up – photo 1.



Roll the bottle up so the end around the branch is tight against it and wrap the bottom (neck) of the bottle tightly with duct tape or similar to create a good seal.
When you open a packet of Sphagnum Moss, it is usually damp but there isn’t enough moisture for what you need. Also, who knows how old that moisture is – could have been bagged for months or more. So, take a handful and put your hand in a bucket with some water in it. Squeeze the moss, and then allow it to soak up the water. Squeeze that out with your hand still in the water and then once again allow it to soak up fresh water. Lift it out of the water and squeeze some of the water out of it. Don’t wring it out, just squeeze enough that it doesn’t drip any more. Now put it in the tube you formed with the bottle neck. Keep adding wetted moss until the tube is full to the top – photo 2.



Step 3 is to seal the top. There are a couple of ways of doing it. First, you can cover it completely with duct tape or you can do as I’ve done in the 3rd photo and cover it with clear plastic sheet. If you use plastic sheet, seal it against the tube at the bottom (not shown in this photo and then seal it at the top. As you can see, I’ve also wrapped a bit of wire around it and twitched it up tight. It isn’t necessary to do this – and if you do, be careful because if the layer needs to stay in place for a fair while, it can cut into the bark below the tape.



The final step is to cover it with black plastic sheet to keep the sunlight out.



This layer – and the next part below were applied on 5 Jan 10. These next photos show the layer when I removed it on 8th Mar 10. They were ready to sever in the first week of February, but I wanted to show some novices at our monthly meetings what they looked like before I severed and potted them up.





In the second photo, I’ve marked two of the roots that had actually found their way under the tape and wire. That red colour is the actual root tip – it hasn’t been dyed or anything. It’s because they were out in the open air.


A variation on the bottle method is to use two bottle necks instead of one – one inside the other. Decide what length you require and cut the bottles to suit. Split them both up the side, put one inside the other and connect them with some duct tape – as per photo below, but don’t seal over the side cut. You need that open so you can put it over the branch.



Fill the cavity with Sphagnum Moss, seal the side completely and then seal the ends off – next photo.



Last, once again cover it with black plastic sheet. In this photo, I temporarily put a bit of wire round both ends to hold it in place until I found the ball of string I’d misplaced.



Here is the Air-Layer when I removed it along with the one above:







An advantage of using this method is that the bottles will stay in place while you’re putting the moss inside, whereas using the clear plastic sheet as per the topic ‘Air Layering 1’, the plastic sheet is floppy and it can buckle and make it a bit harder to put the moss in. Another advantage is that the bottles are re-usable when they’ve done the job. I’ve used them a few times over. It also makes use of a disposable product.

There are a couple of other ways of doing Air Layers, and I’ll cover them in another topic on this subject.

I actually did two air-layers today as a demo for a new-comer to our small group. I did one as per the topic ‘Air Layering 1’ and the other was done as per this second method using the two bottle necks. I believe they will be ready for removing in the first or second week of January. I’ll take a couple of photos when they are severed and before I pot them up. Then I’ll edit this topic and insert the photos.

Regards,

Taffy

A seed is actually a tree packed ready for travel. (Bill Funk)

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9 years 1 month ago #16123 by Rod Lovett
Mate they are two great options , I like the idea it makes them a lot more secure. Taff as you saw on your last visit I have been getting into a bit of this, it is a great way to get some mature stock . With the elms that I am air layering, I would have just wasted a lot of good material previously .... a real waste!!!

Have you ever done celtis or elms if so Taff any idea how long they take to root ?

I can`t see them being as quick as figs.

Thanks mate for another well laid out and presented post .

Cheers Rod....

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9 years 1 month ago #16126 by Kris Matthews
Thanks for that Taffy, I really like the idea of using the bottle(s), would provide the newly formed roots a good deal of physical protection. You have really provided two great posts with fantastic pictures and concise clear explanations, well done and thank you very much. Time to start layering I think...Cheers Kris

Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.

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9 years 1 month ago #16128 by Peter Woosley
Ahhh....finally, a use for my 20 litre water bottles! Monster layers. Another great post Taffy, thanks for sharing mate.

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8 years 9 months ago #18392 by chad allard
thanks taffy
1 question can you plant your layers in the ground
or in a pot till they establish first?

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8 years 9 months ago #18501 by Taffy
Sorry Chad, somehow I missed your reply.

I guess you could plant straight into the ground, but because the roots are quite tender and the severing of the layer is quite stressful, I put them in black plastics and keep them under 50% shade for a while (two or three weeks) to let them get established, then the pots go out in the sun with everything else.

It's a good question though and I haven't tried planting directly into the ground, but now you've brought the subject up I might try one or two and see how they perform.

Regards,

Taffy

A seed is actually a tree packed ready for travel. (Bill Funk)

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8 years 9 months ago #18502 by Taffy
Sorry Chad, somehow I missed your reply.

I guess they could be planted directly into a garden bed, but because the roots are tender and fragile and the severing is quite stressful, I put the severed layers into black plastics under 50% shade for a couple of weeks to allow them to settle in, then they go out in the sun with everything else.

Actually, now that you've brought the subject up, I might try putting a couple straight in the ground and see how they develop.

Regards,

Taffy

A seed is actually a tree packed ready for travel. (Bill Funk)

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