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Japanese Maple air layering

Posted by stevm65 z5Ma (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 25, 05 at 10:12

I have three air layers (branch calipers between 3/8 and 3/4") started in April on a large Sango Kaku Japanese Maple in my yard. The top sections above the layering point on all three are doing well with lots of new growth. I used the split pot method with bonsai soil, so I can't see the root development but I'm pretty sure it's moving along also. I want to leave the connection as long as possible, but I need to separate the layers before the Winter because I'm moving. Does anyone know whether it would be better to separate in late August before leaf drop or after the leaves fall. I plan on leaving them in the pots they rooted in, in a cold(35o) house until spring, how should I treat the cut end? Wound sealant? Maybe partially bury the whole small pot in a larger pot with fast draining soil and allow the cut end access to moisture? Any help is appreciated

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RE: Japanese Maple air layering

Considering the age of the air-layer and your intended after care, I would think either time would work just fine.
If I had to choose I would pick the earlier time period.
I only say this because putting it in another pot will act as a temperature buffer should you get a sudden cold spell.
The roots normally would continue growing as long as the roots are at a 55ish temperature. It's better that they harden off gradually.
Another reason, although I'm not sure it's valid, is that cutting off earlier establishes a trade-off in hormones between your airlayered roots and the foliage before going dormant.
As for sealing, I guess that's debatable. In both cases, you'll eventually be trimming them both back at some future time.

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