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  • Airlayering Green Branches?

    Sometimes I start a tree and it starts branching out right away. Other times, I get one that grows to 4' tall without any branches and it's a nice fat stem, 5/8" in diameter, etc. at the 3' level. But it's still young tender green growth. I think if I girdled it the top would die (just guessing), but am wondering if it's practical to try airlayering it. Anyone have any personal experience doing this? I know some have airlayered without girdling but the method that's has worked best for me.
    My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

  • #2
    Harvey,

    No problem at all, do it all the time. I "think" if it is too green the rooting will be delayed a bit but when the stem is ready it will start. Would not want the mix in the airlayer too wet for risk of rot. Honestly though the best way is simply to pinch it when it hits 12" or 18" then you don't have that long whip. With you though I don't like those that grow straight up. I know the guys that grow in pots like that but not for me. This is airlayer time for me, have taken 50 or so airlayers off this week.
    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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    • #3
      I concur with what Wills said.... 50 air layers!?!? Wow nice....share some pictures I would like to see how some of your air layers turned out and how long you leave them on for.
      Randall - Gulf Breeze, FL. zone 8b. Wish list: Anything that "newnandawg" - Mike, ranks as an 8 out 10 or higher.

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      • #4
        Here are a few I took off today, think this set is Sultane. Yes I cut the tops off to 2-3 nodes, I have no choice. By the time they are rooted (4-6 weeks) and ready to be severed most times the top of the shoot is 3'-4' above the airlayer and it is just too much top for the bottom. I let them put out a new shoot then they are good to go.

        Click image for larger version

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        Not sure what variety this picture is of but shows the distance between the airlayer and top of the shoot.
        Click image for larger version

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        Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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        • #5
          Very nice! Thanks for sharing. What do you root in? Bottles, buckets, or just plastic?
          Randall - Gulf Breeze, FL. zone 8b. Wish list: Anything that "newnandawg" - Mike, ranks as an 8 out 10 or higher.

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          • #6
            Just plastic bags. Have tried many items but it is just the easiest.
            Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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            • #7
              At what point do you crop thr tops to two or three nodes?
              Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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              • #8
                Ideally a week or so before I sever them so they can start to bud out before they are severed but I had a poultry issue. This is the time of the year when I have a BUNCH of ducks running around, probably 130 or so out there currently. They range from almost newly hatched to just learning to fly. They get inquisitive at this age and were tearing all the foil off and breaking the bags open. It was just easier to remove them then try to wrap them in screen to protect them from beaks. The plants will mope for a few days then take off like nothing happened.
                Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                • #9
                  I am guessing you do the moist but not wet thing with the soil in the plastic bag. What kind of soil, please?
                  Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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                  • #10
                    Hershels favorite soil with pine bark and some peat and perlite added.
                    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                    • Hershell
                      Hershell commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Lol, I thought you would never say that in public! Your reputation just took a plunge.

                  • #11
                    Thanks for all the input. Do you think you could have made more than one airlayer at one time with that long shoot you showed in the last photo of post 4? I don't want to remove that much from the tree I have in mind at this time.
                    My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                    • #12
                      Oh, and like you, as far as not pinching earlier, I grow a lot of trees at one time and the one benefit of letting them stay straight is they are easier to grow among a crowd of other trees.
                      My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by HarveyC View Post
                        Thanks for all the input. Do you think you could have made more than one airlayer at one time with that long shoot you showed in the last photo of post 4? I don't want to remove that much from the tree I have in mind at this time.


                        Harvey,

                        I could have let it grow up to that height then put 3 airlayers on at the same time sure. It would have delayed putting the airlayers on for 6 weeks. What does not work well is putting one on then 4 weeks later add another as by the time the second one is ready the first one is suffering.

                        Yep I know the whips are easier to grow in a crowd but unless the greenhouse gets really crowded I just don't like doing that.
                        Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                        • #14
                          Here's an example of another I'd like to airlayer, if possible. It's about 28-30" tall from soil to growing tip. The wood at 12" below the growing tip is where I'm thinking would make a good spot for an airlayer height wise but the wood is very green and tender. Is that wood two immature for such an effort or should I go for it? Girdle it or not?
                          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                          My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                          • #15
                            Harvey I have been thinking about this. I have airlayered a lot of young trees so far this year without girdling. Most rooted but the wood was lignified a little typically just a little hint of brown in the stem. I have tried rooting your scenario but failed. They rooted easily if they were lignified a bit or had a bit of wood at the base of the cutting. So IMO i would not girdle it and probably go down 6 inches from the top. I would think that distance based on the quick growth that it looks like it is putting on. I would also make sure the rooting medium is really barely damp at all. Try it Im going to. Maybe try airlayerering it a few times since it tall and thin. Please post pics

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                            • HarveyC
                              HarveyC commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I probably won't try this right away since I'm going to be taking a couple of trips this month which is going to prevent me from monitoring moisture (because of being away and being extremely busy the rest of the time).

                          • #16
                            Originally posted by HarveyC View Post
                            Here's an example of another I'd like to airlayer, if possible. It's about 28-30" tall from soil to growing tip. The wood at 12" below the growing tip is where I'm thinking would make a good spot for an airlayer height wise but the wood is very green and tender. Is that wood two immature for such an effort or should I go for it? Girdle it or not?

                            Harvey,

                            Definitely no girdle. Just make sure you support the airlayer well but you knew that. Make sure the soil is not very wet, I would worry it would rot but I did a lot of them this year on the green wood and they all did fine. Some did take a lot longer than others. If you restrict the N you can keep the tip from growing too tall above the airlayer but it seems to also slow the rooting, so....
                            Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                            • #17
                              Any pictures of how you wrap and secure the plastic bag. I have been using plastic bottles for the few I have done.
                              Queens, NY. Zone 7B. Restarting my collection.

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                              • #18
                                I know Andreas recently did an airlayer using coir and really liked it because of its moisture holding capacity. One problem I have in my arid climate is not always being able to monitor moisture levels very often. Those of you in humid climates probably don't need to worry about that. When I tried a water bottle airlayer last year it dried out on me and I think I will go back to a thick plastic bag which I can seal up well and then cover with foil. Thoughts?
                                My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                                • #19
                                  Harvey,

                                  Instead of securing the bag tightly have you considered leaving the top and bottom just a bit loose? Your overhead watering would then run down the stem and should keep the layer moist. Granted that would not work for horizontal airlayers. You would have to see if the soil is too wet if it causes issues. Don't have trouble here until they get a lot of roots then they will dry out sometimes.
                                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                                  • HarveyC
                                    HarveyC commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    I use drip irrigation for all of my figs so no chance of water getting into the airlayer.

                                • #20
                                  Originally posted by Figinqueens View Post
                                  Any pictures of how you wrap and secure the plastic bag. I have been using plastic bottles for the few I have done.

                                  I'm done for my layers for the year but it is a simple process. Cut the bottom off the bag so it is now a sleeve, slide the bag over the limb. Tie the bag bottom to the stem. Fill with with soil. Gather at the top. Squeeze out the air to compact the soil. tie off and cover in foil. Really is that simple.
                                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                                  • jmaler
                                    jmaler commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Are the bags are like bread bags, walmart bags and/or ziploc bags? I have some heavy weight vacuum seal food bags that don't work in my sealer. I was thinking they would work. They can be cut to various lengths and when cut forn a cylinder. What do ya think?
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