Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Air Layering a Japanese Maple

This is a simple air layer to remove and improve a maple that failed to impress with good branch development as a chop-top . I have decided to layer the top off to form a raft style maple group, using the top shoot/branch as the main tree and a side branch as the raft as it has 4 strong shoots which will be wired vertical to produce the smaller trees on the raft . I first removed a section of bark around the trunk and underneath the main branch , then painting with hormone gel . Using bubble wrap i made a small cone securing it at the base around the trunk with duct tape , keeping the flat side of the bubble wrap to the outer for ease of sealing . Then i simply draw the wrap down and place damp spagnum moss into the base until a suitable pad is form , then drawing back up the trunk filling the bag as i close the wrap around the trunk and branches . Using a sharp knife i slit the plastic around each individual branch/shoot and sealed again with tape . To keep miost all i need to do is pierce the wrap with a small syringe and inject a small amount of water to maintain the humidity . As recomended by my brother i will leave these layers on until late winter when they will be severed over a 2 week period {to reduce shock / stress} and potted up ready for the spring growth to appear .

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