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  • Right time to put air layers

    I am in NJ, zone 6b, and anxious to get started to put air layers on my 50 or so fig trees. I thought I should wait for the thick branches on my figs to get fully lignified before doing that, but am also wondering if it would be OK to do this on partially lignified wood that is still partially green.
    Location: NJ, zone 6b
    Wish List: Martineca Rimada, BM-KK, Ischia Black

  • #2
    There is no right time but once the tree wakes is best since you have the whole season ahead of you. Partially lignified should be fine just depends on what you consider partially...a pic would help. If your planning to start now do it asap and a little smaller container or bag would help so you can remove it sooner. If it doesn't fully root you can leave it on till next season.
    Tony, Toronto Canada USDA 4B now 5B apparently!!
    Wishlist:
    Yellow Neches, St Martain, Texas Peach.

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    • #3
      They don’t have to be lignified to air layer. Green works just fine.

      It is starting to get late to air layer but you do have time if you get them started soon. I just set some 2L air layers that I probably won’t cut until dormant and then plant in 2-3G while dormant.
      Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

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      • FloraFig
        FloraFig commented
        Editing a comment
        I airlayered a couple branches that weren't lignified at that time. They had roots within a couple weeks.

    • #4
      One advantage to layering now is that you can let the tree go dormant, cut it off and store it over the winter. Up pot when you are ready to break dormancy. This way, there’s no transplant shock and wilting. The tree will produce leaves in balance with the roots. Also, the tree isn’t sitting in a big pot of wet soil over the winter, so it’s less likely to have root rot. If your roots are a little underdeveloped, you can just let it break dormancy in the bag or cup it was air layered in until the roots get thicker.

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      • #5
        figs are very forgiving. Just surround what you want with dirt, it will root. no fancy stuff. I have been airlayering almost every weekend since memorial day. branch here, branch there. I have already severed many off into there own pots.
        More fig trees , Mwah hah hah ha... oh sorry for that.
        Ike
        bergen county NJ 6b
        Wish list: oh lets face it Ill take any variety I dont have!!

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        • #6
          At this point I am cutting and potting the air layers but I may start one now if I feel that I really need to as there is plenty of time between now and November storage Besides, don't the trees that you want to air layer have fruit on them? Do you want to be cutting them off while the fruit is ripening?
          NNJ 6B
          Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV

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          • #7
            I have done a lot of air layers on partial green wood and they are really fast. This year I am experimenting with green wood air layers and waiting for the results.
            Dallas,TX - Zone 8a - Follow me @thefarmingtales on Insta.
            WL - Angelito, El Sueno Yellow, Yellow Absheron, Fico Giallo, Tia Penya, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Cessac, Boysenberry Blush

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            • #8
              Did 3 airlayers this past week. Depending on your location, 4-6 weeks should be fine for root growth, so you can either cut it off before winter or let it winter over.

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              • #9
                If you get the clear air layer balls, you'll see roots in 3 weeks. I took 2 off at 3 weeks, thinking that it was 4 until I checked my notes. The air layers are doing great. I'd say 4 weeks is plenty of time if you see lots of roots.
                Zone 6a/b, Cincinnati. Wishlist: Ouriola, Ondata & Tupac's Killer

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                • Harish-C
                  Harish-C commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I used (or rather re-used) 1-qt freezer bags (had saved quite a few of them), filled with moist coco coir as the rooting medium. Far cheaper that spending money on these plastic balls.

                • NotoriousFIG
                  NotoriousFIG commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've seen some jacked up looking air layer containers & they worked. No reason to buy the balls if you don't want to. Btw, I had an air layer fail too. So, no need to rush it.

                • Bellefleurs
                  Bellefleurs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I tried the rooting balls (mine are black).
                  Yesterday I checked and no roots. This is my second attempt with these things and I can’t determine what isn’t going right.
                  I’ve set successful surgery layers in the past. This summer nothing wants to cooperate.

              • #10
                Put 51 air layers between yesterday and today, on 31 different varieties. Four/five more to go. Used 1-quart freezer bags with coco-coir as the rooting medium. Went a lot faster than with plastic cups and sphagnam moss I used last year. Had to stop after doing every ten or so to wash the latex sap off of my hands and arms.
                Location: NJ, zone 6b
                Wish List: Martineca Rimada, BM-KK, Ischia Black

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                • #11
                  I think I am done putting air layers for now; put 74 in total on 35 fig trees. Just went around my mature trees but did not find any more suitable branches left to be airlayered, Enough.
                  Location: NJ, zone 6b
                  Wish List: Martineca Rimada, BM-KK, Ischia Black

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                  • #12
                    anytime as long as the night temp is warm. last time i did for previous forum was 7 years ago. took 3 weeks, i think, in early summer with night temp above 65°.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Pete
                    USDA Zone 7b
                    Piedmont NC

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                    • Harish-C
                      Harish-C commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Excellent roots, ready for potting, I guess.

                  • #13
                    I’m in NJ and will not stop air layering till the end of August. This will give me whole month and some (wether permitting) for developing nice roots.
                    Livingston NJ, zone 6b.

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                    • #14
                      Right now, until end of August, I will airlayer anything with no fruit that I want to airlayer.
                      MJ
                      Chicago Zone 5
                      Figbid Listings Varieties List

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                      • #15
                        Hi Vitaly, Greetings from a fellow NJer. I am in Bridgewater, same zone 6b.

                        My plan was similar, to set air layers in early Aug., hoping they will root latest by mid Sept, giving them enough time to start growing before hard winter comes. Just got delayed by a week or so. I plan to overwinter my potted air layers in a walk-in basement.
                        Location: NJ, zone 6b
                        Wish List: Martineca Rimada, BM-KK, Ischia Black

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                        • Vitaly Krovlev
                          Vitaly Krovlev commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yeah, that’s the way to do it. You have plenty time for it. Good luck.

                      • #16
                        What’s the most common/successful tool for this, is it the clear ball or the bag?
                        Zone 6B WL- To heck with it, I just want 'em all

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                        • #17
                          habutti they all work - a clear ball, a bag, a water bottle. I use whatever I have lying around. Some people like the clear ball because of the way it shapes the roots. I have been trying a taller square-shaped water bottle as many prefer to root out cuttings in tree pots as it helps form the roots - why not air layer in something similar? The concept is the same, no? Added benefit is that I reuse the container for another air layer.

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                          NNJ 6B
                          Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            KDAD it makes sense thanks for the reply. I’ll try the water bottle next spring.
                            Zone 6B WL- To heck with it, I just want 'em all

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                            • #19
                              I mostly used water bottles last year, but not the big ones shown in these photos, but rather the smaller 1/2 litre ones, and a few with freezer bags. I had 100% success in rooting every air layer that I started. Using quart freezer bags this year was certainly lot less work, and am pretty confident all 74 will root.
                              Location: NJ, zone 6b
                              Wish List: Martineca Rimada, BM-KK, Ischia Black

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