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  • Started 3 air layers on one tree tonight.

    The tree has been outside. I simply dragged it into the garage just to air layer it. I'll wrap them in foil tomorrow. I'm interested to see how long it will take to fill up with roots this early in the season.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

  • #2
    Frank it shouldn't take long. I did an air layer about 10 days ago and when I checked it yesterday there were root all over it. All I did was make a container with heavy foil and skipped the bottle. Yesterday and to day I did a few more for a friend and I hope they grow just as fast.
    "gene"
    Zone 9 Houma LA in the bayou land.

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    • #3
      Frank, I see you are a user of clothes pins. Handy things. Underrated in my opinion.
      SoCal, zone 10.
      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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      • F. Bennett
        F. Bennett commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, they are great!

    • #4
      I prefer the large metal paper clips with the folding/removable handles, but clothespins do the trick in a pinch (pun intended).
      Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
      N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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      • #5
        My trees haveput off at least 12 inches of fresh growth so far. I would like to airlayer some but not sure if i should start at the base of the green wood or further back to last year's wood. Also would the wood lingnify enough to be supported by the new roots? Im talking after there is a mass of roots in the airlayer also considering it will root fast.

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        • #6
          I did AL green stem last year. By the time I removed it in 5 weeks, the new wood was lignified and the young fig kept growing happily.
          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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          • #7
            Frank,
            Thanks for sharing the photo and info. Please keep us updated.
            I'm bringing my potted trees out of storage and was deciding whether to prune or air layer, if the air layers can be removed early enough, it should be almost the same as pruning, but gaining several new rooted plants that will have the entire season to grow.
            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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            • #8
              Originally posted by PawPaw "gene" View Post
              Frank it shouldn't take long. I did an air layer about 10 days ago and when I checked it yesterday there were root all over it. All I did was make a container with heavy foil and skipped the bottle. Yesterday and to day I did a few more for a friend and I hope they grow just as fast.
              "gene"
              Good to hear, Gene. I've done air layers in foil alone too, as well as plastic wrap. After seeing Pete's method, I've been using bottles. I like how it gives the branch a more uniform position. They all work great though.

              Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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              • #9
                Originally posted by AscPete View Post
                Frank,
                Thanks for sharing the photo and info. Please keep us updated.
                I'm bringing my potted trees out of storage and was deciding whether to prune or air layer, if the air layers can be removed early enough, it should be almost the same as pruning, but gaining several new rooted plants that will have the entire season to grow.
                I feel the same. I owe a couple of good guys an air layer, so the sooner I can root, snip, and stabilize, the sooner I can ship them.
                Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                • #10
                  That looks great Frank!

                  Questions for those with experience doing air layers:

                  I was given a large Adriatic(Grasa) tree, which may be the same as Desert King according to some. It is just starting to put out leaves at the terminal buds, and there are a good number of tiny breba figs at lower nodes. I was thinking of doing air layers on it this year because the tree is now 7 ft tall in a pot, so I need to reduce the size so I can move it more easily in the fall. If I air layer the trunk and large branches right below where the brebas are now, would the brebas fall off? Or if I want to try the brebas this year, should I wait till after it is done fruiting to start the air layers?

                  Thanks for any advice!
                  Ed
                  SW PA zone 6a

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                  • #11
                    That looks wonderful Frank!
                    When you do air layer do you girdle the part you are going to cover with moss and plastic/foil/bottle? And do you use any hormone or simply girdle and wrap? also does it matter how long the branch is you are air layering meaning say I have a 4 foot branch coming off main trunk can I make a 4 foot air layer or is it meant to just make baby?
                    Grazie
                    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                    • AscPete
                      AscPete commented
                      Editing a comment
                      On in ground fig trees I've been able to air layer 6' plus tall, 1-1/2" caliper branches with a larger volume air layer Pot, one (1) gallon jug, they were girdled and treated with dilute hormone. As Frank mentions below, the root ball has to balance the air layer.

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Taverna78 View Post
                    That looks wonderful Frank!
                    When you do air layer do you girdle the part you are going to cover with moss and plastic/foil/bottle? And do you use any hormone or simply girdle and wrap? also does it matter how long the branch is you are air layering meaning say I have a 4 foot branch coming off main trunk can I make a 4 foot air layer or is it meant to just make baby?
                    Grazie
                    If the wood is older than a year, I will girdle it. If it's green or has just hardened, I won't score it. I will cover it with foil. I don't use any hormones. Just Pro-Mix BX. I've done it with just peat moss too with success.
                    You can do longer branches, but you should have a larger rootball to support the length or it wills struggle. It's a balancing act.
                    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                    • #13
                      Bob C. (Harborseal) mentioned that he had good results leaving air layers to over winter on potted trees. This is the new growth on several air layers that were started on a potted VdB late last Summer early Fall, a few have already been removed. The bush form tree started to leaf out 2 - 3 weeks ago and is filling the air layer pots with new roots, the older over wintered roots are darker, brown and barely visible.
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                      Last edited by AscPete; 04-28-2015, 11:55 PM. Reason: added photos of 1 liter soda bottle air layer Summer 2014, Winter and Spring 2015.
                      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                      • #14
                        Anyone every just use a 1 gallon nursery pot to air layer?
                        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                        • AscPete
                          AscPete commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yes, over 2 dozen ground layers last season http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...tainer-options

                        • COGardener
                          COGardener commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sweet Pete..... thank you!

                          I want to remove a branch on my Sweet George that is growing from below ground level. One gallon nursery container will be quick and easy for me.

                        • AscPete
                          AscPete commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Although I kept most of the ground layer containers open on top, two were covered in plastic and taped closed to retain moisture. Good Luck.

                      • #15
                        Great inspiration! Now that it has quit raining I should get some started.

                        If you are using a 32 oz bottle, how thick and long should it be? Would a one liter bottle be better?

                        Should you trim back the top of an air layer to balance it with the rootball?

                        While you are air layering a limb will it start branching below the air layer? Does it depend on if you girdled the limb?
                        Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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                        • AscPete
                          AscPete commented
                          Editing a comment
                          As thick as the bottle opening or neck and as long as you like. A larger bottle will give you a larger root ball after separation. I've added photos of a 1 Liter soda bottle air layer in post #13...
                          Trimming should only be done just before removal to allow healing of the cuts. The leaves are needed initially for the air layer's root growth....
                          If its girdled it may start branching because the bud inhibiting auxins are not able to do their job.

                        • Darkman
                          Darkman commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks that echoes some other valued advice I received.

                      • #16
                        Started an air layer in a one gallon nursery pot. Hopefully in a month or so I'll have a second sweet George.
                        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                        • #17
                          No visible roots yet, but I'm seeing 80s in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. That should speed things up.
                          Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                          • #18
                            How long does it usually take Frank?
                            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                            • #19
                              Typically, 6-8 weeks. Sometimes sooner. I've never started them this early while it's still cool, so I'm expecting every bit of 8 weeks or more.
                              Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                              • #20
                                How long after that do you wait to cut them from the mother plant?
                                Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                                “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                                • #21
                                  Scott,

                                  I should have clarified. In 6-8 weeks, the bottle should be nearly root bound. This is when you separate from the mother tree. I'll keep it in the shade for a week or two, ensuring it has recovered and has stabilized before giving full sun again.
                                  Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                                  • #22
                                    Excellent, thank you Frank.
                                    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                                    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                                    • #23
                                      Frank,
                                      Any progress report on the 3 airlayers?

                                      I separated my air layers in early May, the attached photos are the of the mother tree and 4 of the airlayers. The 1 gallon trees are ready for up potting (to 5 gallon buckets) and the mother tree is almost 4 feet tall. All visible branches on the mother tree are new growth.
                                      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.
                                      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                                      • #24
                                        Wow, Pete! Those 3 air layers did NOTHING. The tree itself stopped growing after May. To this day, it hasn't put on anymore growth. It has leaves and figs though. Not sure if the figs will ripen.
                                        I have a couple other varieties doing the exact same thing. Gotta be something to do with 2nd year being in SIPs. I didn't think I had to root prune for at least 2 years, but maybe that's the issue.
                                        Having said that, my other Preto in a SIP is still bursting with growth. I've already removed 2 air layers from it. I have 5 more air layers going on the same tree that will be ready to remove in the upcoming weeks.
                                        Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                                        • AscPete
                                          AscPete commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Thanks for the reply and good luck with the other air layers.
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