Hello! I wanted to pick some brains about air layering because my mother in law got me a nice weeping Japanese maple, and I would like to have both a full sized tree and a bonsai. Would I be able to air layer the main trunk above my planned chop? I’ve only air layered branches before, so I wasn’t sure if I’m being too ambitious or if what I’m wanting to do is possible to still end up with a tree to plant in the ground, or if I should just be thankful for the nice nursery stock and dive in and focus on developing a healthy specimen.
Here’s the tree in question, pardon my yard, it’s in rough shape right now.
Yes, you can airlayer the trunk. I did not see the proposed chop location in the picture. I would probably use the top as the bonsai and the lower portion as the yard tree since to roots of the airlayer will probably be better. As an aside, I like the weeping maples in the garden, but am not a fan of them as bonsai.
Whoops - I uploaded the wrong photo last night.
This was my initial thought for a chop so I could make pretty solid choices on what backbuds for me
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to use the top portion as the bonsai when mulling this over, so this is probably where I’d layer it to leave some branches on the tree itself, but perhaps I’ll even look longer term, and plant it for a year or two before I choose if I even want to layer it at that point. This point still gives me a decent taper and some solid choices without taking too much away from the one that will become a tree.
I feel I owe it to my MIL - she was so excited to give me my gifts this year - three nursery stock trees that she thought would look really amazing as Bonsai (she actually did more research than I ever expected her to, and proudly explained to me that all the trees she bought me back bud on old wood decently from what her research said She got me a touch me not mimosa because my childhood scout camp had an island (in a small creek/river) deep in the property that was covered in them, and a dogwood which my husband told her grew in my grandmother’s yard growing up. She even made me a set of soil ratio cards of what the nursery she bought these from recommended for them. We’ve not had the best relationship over the last 15 years (I “took away” her oldest) but this is part of a huge effort she’s been making to actually get to know me, so it’s definitely heartwarming and sentimental for me too.
As far as weeping trees go, I’ve only worked on weeping willows, which are fickle at best, so this might end up in the experiment greenhouse if I do layer it. The tree itself has a lot of potential for a gorgeous garden tree, with our landscaping plans, and I think MIL will still feel like it’s featured in the garden
Once you know where you want to plant it in the landscape, plant it. It will actually air layer a bit faster if growing in the ground.