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can you propagate maples via air layering?

Posted by Sarah80 5b OH (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 1, 13 at 8:19

Specifically palmatums, but perhaps rubrums and others...I have tried rooting softwood cuttings, but they either dry up or rot.

Has anyone here succesfully air layered a maple?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: can you propagate maples via air layering?

look for threads on layering in bonsai groups. They have a lot of info about air layering & ground layer. I think it is worth joining so that you can see the pictures


Here is a link that might be useful: bonsai nut propagation forum

RE: can you propagate maples via air layering?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 6, 13 at 14:25

Our native Vine Maple roots when a limb or trunk is on the ground for some time. Propagation of palmatums is usually done by seeds or named varieties by grafting.

RE: can you propagate maples via air layering?

Air layering has been very successful for me with japanese maples, but I've only tried it with young trees that grew from seed. The only problem is that particularly heavily bred varieties can have weaker root systems than seedling stock. This, along with speed of propagation, is one of the reasons so many named varieties are grafted. I think it's definitely worth a shot, and I've often fantasized about sneaking into arboretums at night to air layer their maple collections.

RE: can you propagate maples via air layering?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 13:34

Maples air layer easily. As a bonsai practitioner (and bonsai judge), I realize it's imperative that my trees exhibit a strong buttress, and that the roots radiate evenly and horizontally around the tree. When buying deciduous material, experienced bonsai artists look almost exclusively at the root structure (nebari) where the plant makes the transition from root to trunk when deciding if the plant they are considering is one they would like to own. Here is how I develop good roots by air layering.

This is a trident maple that has been air layered:
 photo repots007.jpg

This one was done using a wire to constrict the polar flow of photosynthate and auxin, so they collect in tissue above the constriction and create a bulge that adds to the root buttress:
 photo repots013-1.jpg
 photo repots010-1.jpg

These pictures are actually the first repot after the air layer was completed, but the constriction wire is very visible.

These plants were layered using soil in a pot that was arranged around the constriction. The BEST way to ensure success is like this:

A) Choose the branch or stem to be layered and wrap 1 or 2 zip ties around the branch.
 photo repotting008.jpg
This is a hornbeam - maples are even easier.

Wait for a considerable bulge to develop above the constriction (I didn't on this tree), then drill a few holes that are evenly spaced, just above the constriction. Fill the holes with rooting gel, let the gel dry,
 photo repotting011.jpg

then, start your layer. Here is a zelcova in a container (on right) I'm layering the top off of in a pot:
 photo ChinaDoll003.jpg

It's also very helpful if you precondition the area above the constriction by keeping light away from that area. That predisposes the plant to developing root initials in that area. I use electrical tape applied not too tightly and applied so the sticky part is facing out - away from the bark. Now is a good time to begin preparing for an air layer you intend to start next spring. You can also use the method by which you ring the bark and remove a ring equal to at least 1.5x the diameter of the trunk @ the point at which you ring it. Be sure you remove ALL of the cambium, right down to sapwood.

 photo Mother-daughterAcer.jpg


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