How long does air layering take??

trace00969April 21, 2007

I have "tried" to do an air payer on my rubber tree......the ball of "roots" has been there for a couple months.....I cant actually see roots yet, but the top is still healthy and long before I see roots and shoudl cut this off the main plant??

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You say the ball of roots has been there for 2 mos., well either it's roots or it's sphagnum... did you use sphagnum to do the layer? If so, and you see no roots, the layer may have healed over (did you prop it open with a sliver of wood?), and so nothing will happen. I've layered a very large old elastica, and it took (and that was before I knew what I was doing :-), so I know they work.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 2:49PM
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I used a mixture of peat and light soil and wrapped it around the tree where I cut......and then covered it with a baggie......i cant see roots yet, how long before yours had noticeable roots?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 5:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The top is healthy and growing because water and nutrients are still able to move up to the canopy through the intact xylem whether you completely ring the bark, phloem, and cambium or just slice a sliver to achieve your air layer. It's also very effective when air layering to wrap a turn or two of wire around the stem and twist very tightly before you prepare the layer immediately below the wire.

As mentioned, if you did not ring the entire stem, if you did not make the ring cut long enough, or if you did not stick something in the cut (like a toothpick) it's possible the layer may have healed over w/o forming roots. Layers work by disrupting the downward flow of photosynthate to roots. It builds up at the layer and provides the energy to make roots at the point where you have provided favorable cultural conditions for root development.

How long a layer takes to root depends on many things. The two most important is how vitally the plant is growing, followed by how much energy is already stored in cambial tissues. Weak, stressed trees are reluctant to make roots when layering. Temperature, nutrient/water levels, growth cycle timing, light levels, also all play important parts in determining how quickly a layer will strike.

You should use clear plastic with chopped sphagnum moss (not sphagnum peat - there is a substantial difference) for your layering endeavors and cover it with aluminum foil or black plastic that you can peel away to check for evidence of rooting.

It's very early to be expecting results, considering you're in zone 2 (Not the best time to undertake a layer. Your tree is probably at the lowest energy point in its growth cycle right now.) I would remove your covering & inspect what you have, making sure that any roots that are showing do not dry out before you redo the layer as described.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 10:31PM
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