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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #1 
Thought I would experiment, a little. I wasn't expecting such quick results, so didn't really record the time, but this is after about 4 weeks, maybe a little longer.











It is potted up and in the greenhouse. We'll see how t does from there. I have a few more still rooting that don't seem to be quite this far along. I think when I do this again, I will split the water bottle in half, rather than just slitting it down one side to the hole at the bottom. I didn't cover this with foil, to keep the sun off the new roots, though that was the intention - just didn't have time to get to it (that is the recommended method). Weather has been warm but not hot, and the roots were somewhat shaded by the leaves.


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Reply with quote  #2 

How much bark did you remove before attaching the bottle?


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About 3/4" all the way around.

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Reply with quote  #4 
Aka "girdling"?
As for me, I have done "zero" for young shoots and
"full"  (360* - all around) for mature twigs.


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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Jon ,
bottom of plastic bottle i can see im curious the other end (leaf end) did you tape it somewhat closed or leave it open its hard for me to tell.
Thanks .
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Reply with quote  #6 
I think there's a large enough root ball to handle the rest of the tree. Looks good.

I like to the suckers with cups over them. 100% success.

I will demonstrate as soon as I find a sucker. So to speak.
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Reply with quote  #7 
Normally when air-layering is done, you completely seal in the rooting medium, top and bottom. I did not seal the top. Just left it open, and added water when I watered the parent plant. This is usually down with sphagnum moss - I used my compost that I get from the green recycling portion of the local landfill.

Re: air-layering in general, many plants take a long time (several months) to root, so moisture control (by completely sealing the rooting medium) is important, and you might even need to add water over the course of time.

So, I want to make it clear, that this was NOT a good example of the way it is traditionally done. I cut some corners, and got away with it. Much like rooting cuttings, it is a matter of balancing the various factors. My point in doing it (besides making a new plant) was to experiment and gain some experience. My point in posting it was to show people that they can do it, too - it isn't voodoo propagation. Just go for it, and experiment a little.


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Reply with quote  #8 
Beautiful Jon !
I think the timing is everything. I waited 'til August last year & got zippo.

The year before, I got near 100% survival rate on potting the rooted cuttings:
http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=2942139

I have not found stripping the bark to be relevant, however. Maybe it depends on the variety? I think it is all in those magical nodes.

Thanks,



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Reply with quote  #9 
Very interesting and very helpful.  I am looking forward to trying this.

Thank you for posting this useful example.

Best wishes.

John
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Reply with quote  #10 
My experience came from other things, and for some things the girdling or bark removal is critical to forcing roots to form. So I started from that perspective. Most of us probably know that a fig branch that makes contact with the soil, or becomes even slightly buried, will send out roots, and many ficus other than F carica will do likewise and/or grow air roots. So, for F carica girdling may not be necessary - but this technique is good for other plants, which was why I stressed earlier that there are more accepted/better practices than the ones I used, so that we don't encourage failure when someone moves on to other plants.

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Reply with quote  #11 
24 hours later, still looking good.

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Reply with quote  #12 
Another one removed a week later (along with two others).
















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Reply with quote  #13 
What variety is it, in the last photos, that was splitting the bottle?

noss

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Reply with quote  #14 
Both of these were Vista AKA Violette de Bordeaux (UC Davis DNA test).

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Reply with quote  #15 
Thanks.



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Reply with quote  #16 

Jon
You said "Vista AKA Violette de Bordeaux ". Do you mean "Vista Mission"?

Also, what rooting medium did you use above for air-layering?


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Reply with quote  #17 

Very nice roots Jon is the secret in the soil to get roots like that? I too did some airlayers this march indoors and they both worked out well both girdled.


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Reply with quote  #18 
Technically Vista Black Mission.

100% compost from the landfill.


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Reply with quote  #19 
Fellows, I've air-layered hardened wood.  Someone please tell me about air-layering soft twigs.  Will they sprout roots without girdling, or with just nicks in the bark?

Chuck

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Reply with quote  #20 
I have seen some of my rooted cuttings, in a humid greenhouse, sprouting roots at the nodes of the new green growth, so air-layering should be doable.

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks, Jon;
I am traveling at the moment but will try a green twig air layer when I get  home.
Chuck

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Reply with quote  #22 
I did an airlayer last season on that current seasons growth (green) without any peeling or scratching using a plastic bag tied at the ends and it rooted fine.
Currently have a few going now using the plastic bottle idea from Jon and showed that in another thread using green current seasons growth.
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Reply with quote  #23 

I decided to try setting up an airlayer on an in-ground black mission Saturday, using a 3-liter soda bottle packed with wet sphagnum and potting soil. I melted a hole in the bottom of the bottle with a soldering iron, and left the neck in place (I just split the bottle from top to bottom along one side, and for a few inches on the opposite side at the neck and bottom hole, just so I could open the bottle enough to fit it onto the branch). I then sealed everything with tape, covered it with a piece of aluminum foil, and topped it off with an old rag to keep the sun from cooking it. It’s not sealed air-tight, but it’s pretty close.

Unfortunately, I was working from memory and should have looked up this post before getting started. I "remembered" reading that girdling was more-or-less optional, so I left the bark intact, but now that I re-read everything it sounds like girdling is recommended on older wood (this is last year’s growth, more than an inch in diameter). Should I go back and girdle it? If so, should the bark be removed near the top, middle, or bottom of the bottle? I also notice that Jon cut the top off his bottle so he could add water. Should I cut a hole in the top for the same purpose (or just stick a drip emitter through the side), and if so, do I need a drainage hole in the bottom as well? Any direction would be appreciated–thanks.


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Reply with quote  #24 

Hi Ken,
since reading this post i have done 8 so far on this years growth all were potted in about 4 weeks time no girlded on them. Recently have 2 going for friends .

Im thinking since scion which is usually last seasons wood roots in damp paper towel would do ok if not girdled but may take a little bit longer but still root.

I really like Jons simple method here is what i did . Trust me im no Einstein so anybody can do it !
I used the smaller type 10oz water bottles cut in half, i then cut the bottom in a small circular fashion and used duct tape so branch does not get cut by sharp plastic edges on bottom portion, i filled each half of bottle with damp potting mix nothing fancy . Now 3 hands here comes in handy but oh well, with duck tape already cut to measure i took each half and brought them together around the branch and taped each side. The top drinking hole i used a stick and its time comsuming but i wanted to pack the soil and then add more soil and pack add more and pack and used small water can and gave another drink course it runs out the bottom no big deal. It works great for me and theres nothing fancy about it.
When doing horizontal branch its best to have a branch near end of bottle for a stop as with weight it will want to slip on branch as it droops.
Here is example i leave top open as you can see.

All credit goes to Jon for showing a simple airlayer bottle method that cost nothing if you have bottle and tape handy.  ; )

Edit, on lower backside of that bottle there are some roots growing.

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Reply with quote  #25 
I found that after girdling, I can put a clothes pin on the part where the bark was removed, and it will not slide past the "lip" of the bark below it. The bottle can then sit on the clothes pin without sliding further down. That way I can put the bottle anywhere I want along the branch.


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Reply with quote  #26 
Clothes pin now thats another good one Jon. I sure did not think of that one.
Here is picture that i messed up when i did the Edit
Cannot see roots in front view but there are some on backside of bottle that have shown themselves.

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Reply with quote  #27 

Thanks for the clarification--I'll remove a ring of bark tomorrow. When you use the "clothespin method" do the roots form all down the length of the branch inside the bottle? I had gotten the idea that root formation would be concentrated very close to the girdled part.


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Reply with quote  #28 
They are expected to form at the bottom, just above the girdling point, which is the point of doing the girdle. They may well form above that point, as well. but I haven't washed the compost off to see where the roots actually formed. When air-layering other plants, the girdle is more important because many plants to not initiate roots as easily as figs - and need the extra "encouragement" that the girdle provides.

I should add, that 5 weeks later, these air layers have roots coming out of the drain holes of 5 gallon pots. Part of the benefit of the air-layer is the ability of the leaves to drive root formation because of their ability to photosynthesize. This is an energy source no available when rooting cuttings.

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hi,

I saw in another post where someone said something about scraping the bark to hasten rooting for air layering.  What does that mean and how is that done?  How much scraping should be done?

Thanks,

Vivian

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Reply with quote  #30 
Girdling is the "technical" term for removing the bark. You may a couple cuts through the bark, completely around the branch about 1" apart, and then remove the bark in between the two cuts. On some trees (not figs) you will need to scrape off the green cambium layer that is under the bark. That interrupts the flow of nutrients, which are the product of photosynthesis, from going to the roots of the tree, and helps direct them into making new roots at the point of the girdling.

Because figs will root just by being in contact with moist soil, (such as a low hanging branch touching the ground), the girdling may not be necessary, but probably still accelerates the rooting process, and made a convenient way for me to hold the air layer in place by using the clothes pin.

I guess I should take some pix, next time.


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Reply with quote  #31 
I'm trying my hand at air layering as of yesterday on this Atreano.  This is a green branch but I did girdle it, and wrap it with sphagnum moss in a zip lock bag.  We'll see what happens in 30 days.  I have another air layer going on a Marseilles Black VS.

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png SDC10949c.png (738.94 KB, 101 views)


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Reply with quote  #32 
Here are some ix I took today to better illustrate the "front end" of the process.

1.5 liter water bottle, clothes pin, duct tape and grafting knife (others will do).



Bottom of the bottle. Yes, there are drain holes, because of the rooting medium I am using: compost. Split down one side all the way to the middle of the bottom, and a hole for the branch in the bottom of the bottle. The top was cut off.



Plant to be air-layered.



Cut around the branch in two places about 1" apart.



Bad pix, but you can see the sap oozing from the cuts.



Starting to peel the bark off of the girdled section.



Bark completely removed.



Clothes pin added. The spring tension keeps it tight against the branch, and allows it to sit on the shoulder created by the girdling and bark removal.



Bottle resting on the clothes pin.



Bottle taped together.



Fill the bottle with rooting a medium (in my case, 100% compost) and soak it. Excess water will drain trough and water can be added at the top any time. If exposed to direct sun, you should consider covering it with aluminum foil or alternative to keep the rooting zone from overheating. In the shade, this was not necessary.



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Reply with quote  #33 

Thanks for the photos--they're very helpful. I think my first attempt was on too big of a branch, so I'll try again on something smaller.


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Reply with quote  #34 
Thanks so much for the great photo instructions.  I'm going to try it with a larger branch and see if it roots, or not.

Vivian

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Reply with quote  #35 
Great pix, thanks.  The original tree that you are grafting is a straight main trunk with no branching.  After you pot the newly rooted plant, would you then keep the original tree and get new branches from it? 



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Reply with quote  #36 

Girdling is totally not necessary.  I just 'scar' an inch-long section of the lower part of the branch with a sharp knife and then add the rooting medium and wrap in plastic.  I water rarely by using a 50 milliliter syringe, to make up for losses.  I started some air layers on June 6th and they are all filled with roots.  After I take off the fruit (which did not drop) in another few weeks, I will cut off that branch at the air layer and pot it.


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Reply with quote  #37 
You can use this method to propagate one limb off a larger tree. Or as I am doing, to make a second tree. The base of the tree will be allowed to regrow in a "bush" form. Usually the new branches are forming by the time I remove the air-layer.

Again, girdling is probably not necessary on figs, but this technique can be used for lots of trees, and some really do need to be girdled to initiate root formation. Also, in this case, the girdle gives a place for the  clothes pin, which helps locate the point to be air-layered. There are a lot of possible techniques.

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Reply with quote  #38 
Very nice way of explanation Jon
Thanks.  ; )
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Reply with quote  #39 
Thank you Jon.  I think I'll also try air-layering my elderberry shrubs.  I usually root green cuttings now, and hardwood cuttings in late winter, but just for giggles, I'll try this.

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Reply with quote  #40 
John,

What does scarring mean?  Do you hack at the branch you want to air layer, or scrape it with the knife?  How much scarring and scraping is needed?

The reason I want to know is that the part I want to air layer has a larger diameter and is actually the main part of the tree that somehow got bent to the side, or at least it looks like that's what happened because it's main girth is larger than what looks like what should be the main top (leader, I think it's called).  Very strange, but I have reason to want to root a larger girthed trunk so that someone might get figs sooner.  The person has a health problem and it may get worse before a baby tree would get large enough to put out figs.  :(

Thanks,

Vivian

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All together here.

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Reply with quote  #42 
Well, I finally got smart. I was cutting the top of the bottle, splitting the side, and cutting a hole to fit around the branch in the bottom. But the bottom of the water bottles was very hard and tough to cut towards the center. So, I finally realized that I could saw off the neck of the bottle, which left a hole of the right size, and then cut the bottom off where the plastic was thinner. Voila! Faster, easier.

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Reply with quote  #43 

No matter how well something works, it seems there's always some way to improve it! It does sound like an easier approach.


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Reply with quote  #44 
You can't ever assume that you have arrived. Something may be working well, but there is usually room for improvement, and laziness can be the mother invention.

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Reply with quote  #45 
It's been 23 days since I started an air-layer on an Atreano.  Today I peeked under the foil and I saw roots growing along the plastic bag.  I'll leave it alone for another week or two, and then pot it. 

Success.


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Reply with quote  #46 
The more roots it grows, before removing it from the parent tree, the better

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Reply with quote  #47 

After more than three months, it looks like my first attempt at an air-layer might work after all. The branch I chose was likely too big (44 inches from tip to bottle neck), but I'm guessing that if I wait till the leaves drop before cutting it from the parent plant, and then prune off the lowest branches to balance transpiration with uptake, it might be able to establish a strong enough root system to support next year's foliage. But--I'll definitely select a much smaller branch next time!

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jpeg blk_mis_airlayer_branch.jpg (125.77 KB, 123 views)


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Reply with quote  #48 
Tusc.

I have done a few branches in the 36-48" category. They do fine. It is important to wait as long as possible to get maximum root development before removing from the pareet tree. The more roots that you develop before removal, the better the air-layer does. Placing in a humid environment for 4-5 weeks really helps, also.


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Reply with quote  #49 

Jon--would you suggest leaving it on the tree, then, until the bottle is really packed with roots, even if it means waiting till mid-next season to remove it? Or would it be best to make the separation while the tree is dormant and the risk of water loss is reduced because there are no leaves? Will roots continue growing even during winter when the branches are bare?


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Reply with quote  #50 
Tusc,

Not sure as I haven't been there. I don't know how much root development a tree has during the winter. A dormant, in ground tree, might develop roots from the energy stored during the summer, don't know. The air-layer is driven differently. The root development is driven by the energy intake from the leaves above the point at which you are inducing roots in the air-layer. You have diverted that energy from going to the roots of the parent tree and redirected it to growing roots at you chosen location. So, when the leaves are gone there isn't much to drive root development. If it was me, and I would be going where I had never gone before, I would wait till the leaves were gone or very nearly so, to maximize roots, then remove it and put it in a green house or indoors, where it was warm enough to probably keep root growth going and maybe even encourage new leaf development, and maybe use a grow light, to get the plant well established. I would not worry about it not being dormant through the winter, since vegetative growth, not fruiting is the issue at this time.


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