Author Topic: Air layer dried out...  (Read 2511 times)

Treeman

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Air layer dried out...
« on: June 22, 2012, 04:41 PM »
So, I'm air layering 2 junipers & a honey locust which are on the grounds at my workplace in Albuquerque NM. The problem is that last week I was sick, the daytime temps were in the 90's and the airlayers dried out. Is there still hope or are they done for? I re-hydrated as soon as I came back to work & have been keeping them damp since then. There weren't any visible roots showing through the plastic yet before they dried out. Is there anything I can do or should I keep watering & hoping for growth?  ???

Something else ... there are Harvester ants which have found one of the air layers & seem to be stealing the moss from the hole I've been using to water. What the H***???  I sprayed some pesticide on the branch about 2 feet away from the site but they seem to be more concerned with getting moist sphagnum moss than living! Will this effect the health of the air layer if in fact they are still growing roots in there? Thanks in advance for any advice.   :)
 

0soyoung

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 06:06 PM »
If you have living foliage above the layers, you are still in business. The metabolates (sugars) and auxin drive the creation of roots. The woody xylem you've exposed but left in place is what keeps feeding and watering the foliage above the girdle - if it gets seriously damaged, your foliage (above the girdle) will quickly die and it is 'done for'. Else, just keep the sphagnum moist and be patient.
 

Treeman

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 01:33 PM »
Thanks, I'll definately keep it moist from here on out. What about those ants? My moss supply inside the plastic is getting depleted. I'm going to have to re-wrap with some more moss & try to hide the water hole somehow!
 

0soyoung

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 06:06 PM »
I've never had to deal with an ant problem even remotely like you describe. However, my first thought is to put something on the tree below the layer to deter them from going any further. Maybe you have to kill a few to get the message across.

Alternative: If you have the layer well sealed, it is not going dry out very quickly. Maybe just covering what you have with another sheet of plastic and sealing it with tape will keep the ants away well enough. Then you only will need to open the bag once a week or two to add some water - the sphagnum just needs to be damp, now sopping wet = then reseal it. IMHO, you should be able to go at least a week, and probably several, without needing to redampen the moss.
 

Treeman

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 03:30 PM »
OK, I put more plastic on like you advised & those ants are going nuts trying to figure out where their nice , moist moss went! Not that I'd advocate cruelty to Ant-imals  ::) but looks like it'll work!
 

Elliott

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 02:04 PM »
HI
 try putting a thick layer of Vaseline mixed with an insecticide above n below the airlayer. This should create a barrier for the ants. Use something mild that wont hurt the tree in case it seeps into the airlayer wound.
 

Treeman

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Re: Air layer dried out...
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 12:39 PM »
Well, it's been a couple of weeks & the ants seem to have lost interest in the area. Wrapping it without any access for the little buggers seems to have done the trick! ::) Thanks for the suggestions!