Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: jlushious on July 24, 2013, 01:08 PM

Title: Air Layer Questions
Post by: jlushious on July 24, 2013, 01:08 PM
Obviously it's not the right time for this but I have been reading up on air layers for the last while in preparation for some work I want to do on a few of my trees next Spring. There has been some really great and helpful information on this forum (and some bnlogs of members of this forum!), but I do have a few specific questions that haven't been asnwered (that I can find at least!).

1. Is there a certain volume of moss you should use? When is it too much? Can you put too little?
2. Opinions on using a pot with soil vs. dark plastic vs. clear plastic?
3. Watering: how often do you do this, how often should you check to see if it's dry or if roots are there? I worry about opening it and disturbing it too much.
4. How tight does the wrapping need to be? I read that there shouldn't be any big air pockets, but if it's too tight won't it restrict space for roots to grow?

Thanks for any advice, I just want as much info as i can get to make these as successful as possible.
Title: Re: Air Layer Questions
Post by: Yenling83 on July 24, 2013, 07:03 PM
I'm not expert at Air layering, but

1. Think about the volume of roots you will want to support the tree.  You can have too much and too little and think about how long it will take the moss to dry out.  Ideally I think having it dry out in 2 days is close to ideal.  Look at some old Bonsai today articles or posts on this forum to see the mass other people used in relationship to the trunk girth.

2. I generally use clear plastic, because it's easy to see how many roots the layer has grown.

3. Look at and feel the moss to determine watering.  I usually seem my air layers dry out between 1-3 days.  Look at the color of moss when you water and watch for color changes as time passes.  Feel the top layer to see if it's wet or dry, water when it's dry-but not bone dry.

4. I think too tight is not usually a problem because the roots will work them selves out.  You don't want it too lose, but you also don't want to use all your strenght to tighten the moss around the area.  
Title: Re: Air Layer Questions
Post by: Adair M on July 24, 2013, 08:17 PM
Graham Potter did a really nice video on youtube showing how to airlayer.
Title: Re: Air Layer Questions
Post by: Sorce on July 25, 2013, 06:32 AM
Some species can be started in summer.   I've had success with ficus. Great practice material. And elm.

Clear plastic to see roots, but wrap with foil shiny side out to keep temps regulated, leave a peice you can remove to check for roots.
Black plastic will likely build heat and rot something. It seems folks who use pots have their technique and timing down, so they don't need to check for roots. 

A syringe for watering, so it can stay tight and closed, is the best idea I've read.  Far as how often, like everything else In Bonsai, should be checked daily until you know for sure. Damp, but not wet. 

I would say have at least three successes with test material before cutting into anything you really want to suceed.
And long stranded sphagnum is definitely superior!

Some pics, cuz its easy, not cuz they're necessarily helpful. Five on a Ficus. An elm. Just for practice, all successful, until aftercare, lost 2.
Afterccare, to leave the moss or not? Thats the question. Leaving moss after potting makes it hard to correctly water. Removing it may damage roots.  Species will make a difference, but(http://) I reckon experience is key!

Title: Re: Air Layer Questions
Post by: jlushious on July 26, 2013, 08:17 PM
Thanks everyone for the info. I think that takes care of what I was looking for. I guess I just need to try a bunch this spring and see what happens! The best way to learn is by trying after all. Reading forums and watching videos won`t get me far if I don`t do some trial and error!

Title: Re: Air Layer Questions
Post by: Sorce on August 17, 2013, 07:58 AM
FYI... started an elm air layer after that last post 7-25-13.
It has already rooted. Less than a month!