Author Topic: The air layer that failed  (Read 2545 times)

LarryAldrich

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The air layer that failed
« on: September 08, 2014, 08:02 PM »
This is a second attempt there later that failed. Every thing calloused over and I got no roots. I will attempt again maybe next year. Any thoughts on the health of the tree? Now I just have that big exposed area.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 08:04 PM by LarryAldrich »
 

0soyoung

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Re: The air layer that failed
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 08:47 PM »
It shouldn't be an issue continuing the layer through the winter and into next year, but there are two things that can possibly go wrong.

First, hope that you get at least a new shoot and foiage below the girdle next spring. The fact there is none now suggests that the roots have not been fed photosynthates since the girdle was installed. In other words, the roots have and will continue to live off starch that had been stored before. My experience is that those stored starches will last until near the end of next season. But, again, it won't be a worry if you get some new growth below the girdle next spring - else the roots will die and so will the whole tree - quite abruptly.

Second, recall that the auxin flow from shoot tips, foliage, and buds is what signals there is life. Also recall that this signalling auxin flow goes from cell to cell in the cambium only toward the roots (PAT = polar auxin transport). If this signal ceases, the cambium will die after a time - how long varies with the cultivar. This seems innocuous, but the death of the cambium also triggers living cells in the xylem to clog up the xylem (seal it, just as though the stem had been pruned). If this happens the layer will die because it is no longer getting water - you will see leafs go brown progressively up the tree from the girdle and you will see dark-brown/black bark immediately below the girdle. My Acer P. 'Higasayama' has been particularly troublesome for me because this cambium death xylem clogging happens in one season. I've had other cultivars not do this, even after two seasons.

You're now at the threshold of learning interesting stuff about how trees work, if that interests you at all. Personally, I think it is really a bore when things routinely work out like described in the bonsai/garden book (I just want them to work out often enough that I can avoid concluding that I am an idiot).
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: The air layer that failed
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 09:11 PM »
This tree is backbiting all over the place with new leads coming out. I take that as a good sign. I'll try again next year.  Thanks for the reply and the information.
 

fredman

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Re: The air layer that failed
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 07:11 PM »
Put a wire (size the thickness of the bark) tourniquet at the top. That will help with the callousing and help the roots to grow out flat. Feed the sphagnum willow water. It helps the roots grow stronger..... :)