Register  |   | 
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all ,

I have an opportunity to buy a 10 year old fig tree that is beautifully pruned and full of figs from a friend who doesn't know the variety but green outside and white inside and great taste.
My problem is that my garage is 7.5 feet tall and this tree is almost 9 feet . There is 1 main trunk about 2.5 to 3 inches diameter . And the branches start at the 5 foot level . It is in a 20 gallon pot .
I was wondering if I could air layer the main trunk with maybe a 10 - 15 gallon pot sitting on the main pot or a bit higher . This would decrease the height by apx 2 feet and not ruin the shape.
I did this with a 5 foot tree once but the trunk was only 3/4 inch . It worked great and gave me 2 trees.

Thanks .... John
northeastnewbie

Registered:
Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #2 
John I would just try and bring the top down by pruning it back to fit or build a bigger garage. HAHA the things we will do for our trees is amazing......

__________________
Al Richer
zone 7 nj
EBAY ID--06picl
member: back yard fruit growers association
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey northeastnewbie ,

I have had to trim the tops of a couple others to fit in the garage but that would basically destroy this tree due to the fact that almost all the branching would be cut away .
But the garage does have a bedroom above it . I don't think my daughter would mind a 4 foot diameter hole in the floor . Hmmm.

John
Chivas

Registered:
Posts: 1,675
Reply with quote  #4 
My neighbor pushed her tree over and it's growing sideways really so maybe you pot in on an angle and get it to fit in?

__________________
Canada Zone 6B
Ben_in_SoFla

Registered:
Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #5 
Air layering that tree would set it back several years. I agree with Northeastnewbie, why not just chop the top off and make it fit in the garage. You can also put in on a dolly and wheel it in at an angle. I have air layered crepe myrtles about 1 3/4 inches to two inches, it took a couple of years to get a solid rootmass.
I have air layered fig branches about 1 inch thick and it takes longer to get a rootball than a smaller branch.  I would not mess with air layering the trunk of this fig tree.
If it was my tree I would trim the top or bring it the garage at an angle without any trimming.
Or you can plan where to trim and air layer those branches that you'll be cutting off anyway and have some selling/trading material....






__________________
Ben, North Central Florida Zone 8B - 9
northeastnewbie

Registered:
Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #6 
I think ben hit it on the head when the tree is dormant just lie it on its side support the main trunk with a saw horse to prevent top damage and let it rest on its side., We dig our trees and knock them over cover them with dirt then dig them up and they are fine.. As long as the tree does not break any top branches let it sleep on its side.

__________________
Al Richer
zone 7 nj
EBAY ID--06picl
member: back yard fruit growers association
The_celt

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 872
Reply with quote  #7 
Cut the roots back and put less dirt in the pot for the winter. On a 20 gallon that's like 1-1.5 feet.
__________________
http://sumosteaks.com/
Ben_in_SoFla

Registered:
Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #8 
A 20 gallon pot is roughly 18 inches high, I don't see where you have the room to cutback the rootmass and gain any vertical space. Maybe 3-4 inches, I would not remove anymore than that.

Removing any substantial amount of rootmass (unless it's time root prune due to rootbound plant) is flirting with a long setback or worse. 

It all starts with the roots...


__________________
Ben, North Central Florida Zone 8B - 9
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for your input guys.

I can't pass up this tree , I will try to post a photo when I get it . The price is very reasonable .
The owner was going to sell it last year due to the height issue but changed his mind last minute and couldn't part with it.
I might be able to fit it in with my in ground tree in the figloo.

John
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #10 
Found a pic of exactly what I am talking about .



Link to website.

http://bonsaibark.com/2009/07/31/a-simple-air-layering-technique/

John
leon_edmond

Registered:
Posts: 1,006
Reply with quote  #11 
I think you're risking too much by trying to airlayer the tree to shorten the height. Absolutely does not make sense at all to do this. It will eventually put on growth at the top anyway, which will need to be pruned later on.
Just prune down the top as was suggested and go from there.
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #12 
These are the results of the 5 month air layer I made on the tree to reduce its height .

The tree planted in my yard in May 7 feet tall 2 inch trunk.


Place a pot upside down for airlayer pot to sit on


The airlayer bucket


Cut away about 60% of the way around trunk


Installed bucket and potting soil . put sphag moss around wounded area


Air layer raedy to go


5 months later removed bottom support bucket and ready to cut


Lots of roots


Final product


Thanks .. John
lukeott

Registered:
Posts: 644
Reply with quote  #13 

John,

You do great work. Looks good.

 

                                             luke

TucsonKen

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,306
Reply with quote  #14 
Very nice job! A big improvement.
__________________
Ken
Tucson, Arizona
Zone 8b
theman7676

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #15 
looks great john. 
what did you gain in terms of the new height?
what about the old roots / trunk? is that something worth keeping to form a 2nd tree down the road?

__________________
wish list:
Florea
Nordland
Tacoma Violet
LaRadek's English Brown Turkey
Ben_in_SoFla

Registered:
Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #16 
Am sure the stump, will explode with new growth in the spring, providing the cold doesn't kill it. Looks to be big enough that it will sprout from roots even is stump dies.

Excellent work, if the only goal was to shorten the tree, you also could have just topped it and forced it to branch in lower trunk. I guess one is as good as the other. Thanks for showing the re-attachment of the bucket around the tree, good to know.
Just goes to show that where there is a will there is a way...


__________________
Ben, North Central Florida Zone 8B - 9
Rob

Registered:
Posts: 548
Reply with quote  #17 
Very nice work.  I am new to figging and continue to be amazed at how versatile these plants are.  It is really nice to see follow ups to these posts months or years later, gives invaluable knowledge to those of us who don't have the guts to try it. 

I probably would have just placed it on an angle like another person suggested.  But I think you'll definitely get two nice trees from this endeavor and will be rewarded for your risk.

__________________
Rob
Maryland Zone 7
http://rbfigs.webs.com/




Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #18 
Luke , Ken thanks.
Eli , the air layer shortened the tree by at least 2 feet . Otherwise all the new growth over 7 feet would have to be trimmed back every year so it could fit in storage for the winter . This tree was 9 feet to start with . This way I managed to keep the shape and bring the branches lower , more of a bush shape.
Ben , I intend on protecting the stump over winter . When I planted it the tree was in a 20 gallon pot ,so there is a large root mass .
Rob , I already had 2 trees of this variety so it was a bit easier to take the risk . But experimenting is half the fun and when we share our experiences , good or bad that's how we all learn . Thats what I've gotten out of this forum.

Thanks ... John
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #19 
Hi all ,

Here is an update showing the tree ( and the original rootball ) made it through the winter and has about 60 figs on it . Gillette ( breba only tree ) .

HERE IS THE TREE JUNE 1 2012


BREBA


ON THE LEFT ORIGINAL POT ,  RIGHT ORIGINAL ROOTBALL PRUNED & POTTED


NEW GROWTH ON ORIGINAL ROOTBALL ( for Nelson if he still wants it )


John

Dieseler

Registered:
Posts: 8,235
Reply with quote  #20 
If it were mine i would wait till its dormant and cut to level were right above those branches and just above a node, next season will bring new shoots at that node and some lower as well.
Keep the scion you cut in dormant season for further winter fun.
Your not going to kill it.
Each season prune as desired .

BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #21 
John...

Thank-you so much for photo documenting this process, and posting all the photos for everyone to see.  It is really interesting to read all of the varying comments  - pro and con -  for the air-layering process, but even more interesting to see the final results.

I hope the tree brings you great figs.  Really a nice tree.  Good luck and a happy growing season.

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #22 
Hey Martin
I see what you mean . That would make a nice shape . At the height it is now (after the air layer of trunk was done ), and with all the branching I am happy with this tree . But if it gets too big again that would be a good way to go . Thanks for your input .

Hey Frank
I am glad you found this interesting . You're right , the pictures make all the difference , with before during and after the process. Sometimes little things you see in a photo answer questions you don't know you would even have .

John
hblta

Registered:
Posts: 708
Reply with quote  #23 
Beatiful tree, John.

the little black ones I got from you are doing well

Grant
z5b

__________________
*************
Grant
Kitchener Ontario Canada
Z5b
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #24 
Hey Grant ,

Thanks . Good to hear Grant . I am trying to propagate as many of those as I can . I want to get that variety out there to as many collectors as I can to ensure its survival . It is that good !!!

John
gorgi

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2,885
Reply with quote  #25 

Man, what a great job and to what an effort some people go through for figs?


__________________
George; Zone 7a, New Jersey USA.
Dave

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,622
Reply with quote  #26 
I also started a main trunk air layer I picked up the tree 2 weeks ago and it didn't look quite as tall at the nursery as when I got it home, the top of the tree has such nice shape I didn't want to start hacking it up if you notice in the picture I added a little window so I could take a peek every now and then to see if the roots have reached the outside of the pot I like the idea of the upside down pot to hold up the layering pot might have to steal that idea LOL 

__________________
Connecticut - Zone 6B - Come check us out on Facebook "What The Fig!!!"  https://www.facebook.com/groups/WhatTheFig/
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #27 
Hey Dave ,

Great idea about the window to view root formation . I think I'll be stealing that idea .
Thanks for posting pics .

John
Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #28 
Hey Noss,

I used a 2.5 inch hole saw on a drill . The wood is so pot wouldn't sink into the soil.

John
Dave

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,622
Reply with quote  #29 
same as Johnparav a hole saw the same size as the trunk and a bigger one for the window 

Attached Images
jpeg 9210477.jpg (3.07 KB, 11 views)


__________________
Connecticut - Zone 6B - Come check us out on Facebook "What The Fig!!!"  https://www.facebook.com/groups/WhatTheFig/

Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #30 
Noss,

You can find the metal plate at home depot . They are for securing 2x4's together , they come in all shapes and sizes for 90 degree joints 45 degree etc .

John
snaglpus

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 4,196
Reply with quote  #31 
Great thread John! I'm going to try this.
__________________
Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

Johnparav

Registered:
Posts: 482
Reply with quote  #32 
Thanks Dennis .

Just start it as early as possible if its a big tree and wait till fall to cut it . The roots will keep growing even if the tree drops its leaves as long as doesnt go below 43f or so . Then come spring you got yourself 2 trees .

John
Grasa

Registered:
Posts: 1,819
Reply with quote  #33 
these are amazing pictures of great job, guys!
__________________
Grasa
Seattle, WA
garden_whisperer

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,612
Reply with quote  #34 
Brovo. very nice. even insperatinal.
__________________
Dave Zone 6b Illinois

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
Jaycor

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #35 
Very nice job demonstrating the air layering technique for the main trunk.  I was wondering about the open pot that you use over the airlayered area.  Do you add water to the pot on a regular basis? Also - do you add any liquid fertilizer to the air layered section during the process or just to the main rootball?  I'm planning on giving this technique a try.

Thank you very much.

__________________
Harvey Silberstein
eithieus

Registered:
Posts: 334
Reply with quote  #36 
very helpful post. thank you very much.
__________________
Eithieus
americanfiglover

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 655
Reply with quote  #37 


Maybe I can do that to this tree to get the bottom growth to grow.

__________________
Jarrett
Spokane, WA ZONE 6A
Proudly Served in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
Everyone should have a green thumb
Figs: Nero600m, Panache

Wanted: Dark cold hardy figs. 
paully22

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #38 
Good thread. Thanks. Will try it on some tall trees growing in pots.
rcantor

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 5,851
Reply with quote  #39 
Bump for a great way to shorten a tree that's too tall.  Thanks to Pete (Bullet08) for finding it and Dennis (Snaglpus) for suggesting it.  I wish I'd known about it before I risked my Panache's crop this year.
__________________
Zone 6, MO

Wish list:
Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig
drphil69

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 804
Reply with quote  #40 
That is just incredible! THANKS! Great thread!
__________________
Phil - Zone 8B - Houston, TX area; Zone 8A - coastal NC.

twovkay

Registered:
Posts: 264
Reply with quote  #41 
Just did this to a tree i cant reach to the top. Thanks for all the helpfull pictures and do you separate the two during the fall? Or after it goes dormant?
__________________
Von Northern VA 7a
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.