Author Topic: Airlayering a Dawn Redwood - When's the best time of year?  (Read 1414 times)

JDNeessen

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I was wondering when is the best time of the year to air layer my dawn redwood?  One of the trees in my forest can be pruned back to introduce a better taper, but I'd like to try to keep its current leader if possible to grow as a separate tree.   

I currently live in Massachusetts and we've been getting some pretty warm weather, so I'm hesitant to do this now.  Is this something that should wait until next spring or is it something I can do now? 

Thanks for any advice.   :)
 

0soyoung

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Re: Airlayering a Dawn Redwood - When's the best time of year?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 12:48 PM »
Usually one starts air-layers in the spring so that the layer can be harvested, potted, and, the new roots lignified before winter. To the  best of my knowledge it will take at least 6 weeks to develop roots. However environmental conditions strongly influence this time.

Cuttings are often rooted with bottom heat and temperatures of 75F to 80F are reported to be most effective. From this it seems reasonable to conclude that, likewise, the most rapid root growth of roots in an air-layer will occur when the air-temperatures are in the same range. However, roots do not grow when the temperature is above 95F. The most rapid root development ought to occur when the highs during the day are not much above 80F and the lows at night are 70F-ish, for example. In other words, your impending hot weather could be advantageous.

If you are just chomping at the bit, you could go for it and make your layer now. Should it happen that you don't have anything significant in the way of roots before the fall, you can leave the layer in place - the worst that can happen over the winter is that your little bit of roots get killed by the cold. However, the rooting process will 'automatically' begin anew next spring.