Air layering

CrealCritter

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I've air layered rose bushes before with success. Using rooting hormone, peat moss and shrink wrap. I used a torch to heat up the shrink wrap quickly without harming the branch. This technique worked very well for me.

However this spring I'm going to go all out on our orchard. I ordered reusable rooting balls to make air layering easier.
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Our orchard needs some serious help. The apple trees are in bad shape. I want to see if I can clone them. One peach tree broke with the wind but even though, it's laying down on the ground, it still fruited. so I'm going to try and clone that also. Our pears are in great shape but I still would like to clone them to expand the orchard. I also have so other trees I would like to clone also. Hopefully these rooting balls will help.

Quick high-level how to on air layering.

Any experience with air layering? Or just feel free to chime in anyways.
 
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Lazy Gardener

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I've had good success with grafting. Have grafted pear, and apple. One apple was done on a seedling grown from a grocery store apple. I've also grafted some branches onto my existing apple trees. You can buy root stock from Fedco Trees, and other mail order nurseries. They sell common root stock varieties, as well as seedling stock, and scion wood. I f I had more room, I'd scour the countryside, looking for hardy wild trees, then take some seedlings from the base of them, and use them as my root stock. Grafting is super easy, and you will always find neighbors and friends who have a good tree that you can get some scion wood from. Needed tools: sharp knife or razor knife, electrical tape, and wax. I splurged and bought a new wax toilet ring. Nice soft wax, and that one ring will provide a life time of grafting for me.
 

CrealCritter

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So I took 20 air-layers all together from 4 different fruit trees, peach and apple. I went back and wrapped each root ball in kitchen plastic wrap (cling wrap), to keep the peat moss from drying out. I also removed all the fruit from the air-layered branch, so the tree will direct it's energy twords new growth instead of growing fruit.

I just checked and all of my air layers have new growth from the branch tips. Not one is showing signs of stress. This is a really good sign.

Downed peach tree 1week old air-layer with new tip growth, looks good and healthy. Only 5 to 7 weeks left and I'll crack a couple root balls open and see what's going on, hopefully there will be roots.
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Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 

CrealCritter

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I promised a mini air-laying how to. I could have picked a better day because my hands kept freezing up due to the cold and wind, but here goes...

How this peach tree is still alive and bearing peaches is beyond me, but it is. The main thing to remember most fruit trees have a weak center lead, this is why you cut them low to branch out. Obviously this one was not cut. It grew to tall and snapped in the wind. But there is still live branches to air-layer.
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The first thing to do is find a good live branch, that would make a good sapling and that the rooting ball will fit around. Then take a good sharp pocket knife and cut around the branch twice about an inch and half apart and peel the bark off in-between the two cuts.
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Take rooting hormone powder and coat the wound well.
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Then pack both half's of the rooting ball with damp peat moss. I used pond water to soak the peat moss in since I know it doesn't contain any chorine. Then close the root ball around the wound.
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Now hopefully in a 6 to 8 weeks, I'll have roots forming and I can cut the branch off and put it in a nursery pot to care for and plant next spring.
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I managed to get 6 air-layers off this fallen peach tree. I'm praying they all take root.
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Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 
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CrealCritter

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My neighbor came over today and asked if he could store 21 lbs of sausage in my freezer. Sure enough I said, I grabbed a handle of the cooler and we loaded the deep freezer. I showed him what I did with the old orchard and the air-layering. He said you mean grafting? I said no air-layering and told him how to do it. He's never seen anyone do anything like that before, something totally new to him. Then he offered.me some walnut seedlings. I said sure I'll come by after it rains and digs some up.

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Are you expecting tall elder bountiful elder but maybe you have dwarf elder?





Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
No, they should be the tall varieties. I bought 2 different varieties, planted them about 6 years ago. I think they just aren't happy where they are. The smaller one has some mouse damage but hasn't been completely girdled. I'm hoping that damage actually works to my advantage, and forces the shrub to go into survival mode, setting some new suckers. I've had wild ones pop up on the property in the past, but they were destroyed by land clearing efforts. If I ever see some wild ones OR someone's cultivated ones in my travels, I'd be sure to ask for some cuttings.
 

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