Author Topic: Winged Elm Airlayer  (Read 2412 times)

bwaynef

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Winged Elm Airlayer
« on: September 23, 2009, 09:11 AM »
The tree you see posted is what I saw above the ground when I collected it.  With shovel in hand, ...or nearby, I cleared the leaves around the base so I'd see what I had to work with.  To my dismay I saw it had a 10-12" straight section of trunk that followed the ground.  I nearly passed on it, then remembered I could probably airlayer the top off.

The initial attempt at airlayering this tree failed, but after a quick check showed there were no roots forming, a colony of ants, and that I'd used the wrong soil, I remedied each situation and started again.  6-7 weeks later, the tree had roots coming out the bottom of the airlayer pot.  I slipped it off and (thought I) saw plenty of roots.  After I separated the tree I saw that there were fewer roots than I'd thought.  (I'll be checking/removing airlayers before dusk from now on.)

Seeing there were fewer roots than expected, I found some 2-by and propped it up.  (This 2-by was actually propping the parent tree up in the pot but with the airlayer removed, the parent could support itself.)

I was nervous about this one but its had 3 flushes of strong growth since separation (about every 3 weeks or so).  I think it will make it now, so I'm going to start planning its future.

The first picture is from the day I collected it.  Excuse the sweetgum.  The elm is the cascade (180 degrees from how I'd found it, but the only way I could secure it in the pot).
2nd and 3rd pictures are after separation.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 09:20 AM by bwaynef »
 

bwaynef

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Re: Winged Elm Airlayer
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 12:17 PM »
The remaining stump languished for a while before surprising me by leafing back out.  For 5 or 6 weeks it did NOTHING.  I almost stopped watering it.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Winged Elm Airlayer
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 01:52 PM »
The woods behind my house are full of these, though none with any sizeable trunk (other than the huge ones).  From where did you collect this one?  Looks like it's doing well.  What was the "wrong soil" used, and what did you switch to?
 

bwaynef

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Re: Winged Elm Airlayer
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 02:21 PM »
This was collected on a piece of land a guy in our study group owned.  He'd used the land to field grow some trees, but along the perimeter there were tons of these winged elms.

As for the wrong soil, I used a spanish moss and turface.  I was amazed at the difference Sphagnum had on the layer. (Sphagnum, turface, pine bark, ...and possibly some small akadama was used for the soil).