Air Layer Woe

Apart from one tree a few years back, my air layers have never failed. I always use the same method, strip a ring of bark, apply moss and wrap with cling film. I can usually remove within 4-5 months. It would be easy to only post about success on the blog, but we all know bonsai has it’s fair share of failures and woe 😉

This year I did two layers, one on a Japanese Maple and one on a Trident Maple. Both species I’ve layered before.

The maple was slightly different this time as I used a cut flower pot to hold the moss in place. The Trident was done as normal.

This was the result of the Japanese Maple.

Roots only issued from one place that were of use.

Some other roots appeared but from below the layer on the parent trunk.

The tree had managed to bridge an inch wide ring to rejoin with the parent trunk.

I removed the unwanted roots and any unwanted bridging callus. I then removed even more of the heartwood to be 100% sure that bridging wouldn’t occur.

This time I opted to use root hormone to stimulate the tree. I mixed power with water to make a paste which was applied to the area where roots are wanted.

I then replaced the moss with a akadama mix with a little grit.

We will wait and see !

The Trident didn’t fair much better!

Loads of callus and very early signs of roots

As it was close to bridging, I removed the bottom but left the top portion as this will add to the future width of the nebari.

Moss reapplied and the mini tree was pruned to get a little structure into the future new image.

I’ll keep you updated next year.

2 comments on “Air Layer Woe

  1. Hi there
    We do a lot of both air layering and ground layering out here on the coast and find it a very usefull way of getting great material fast. What I noticed with your initial layering attempt was that your ring was too narrow. We do at least 1 to 2times the diameter of
    the trunk. As well as that we wrap a copper wire very tightly around the top edge of the ring. Seems to work well for us and the wire works to stop the bridging . On your second attempt it looks like you strip should do better.
    Good luck to you
    Qualicum Brian


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