Air laying 70+ year old, possible unhealthy apple trees

Hey Mirai,

Question and then a story if you are interested.

I have done some air laying on 1-2 inch maple branches last year with a 90% success rate. I did the strip a ring of bark with rooting hormone and sphagnum moss with a plastic bag technic. Should I use that same method with very old apple trees? I could get some serious nice material but the trees haven’t really been producing fruit the last 2-3 years. Anything I should change going into air laying these old apples?

I was walking my dog on one of our normal routes. I always like walking past this one property that has a bunch of old fruiting trees on it. Today was the first time in 2 years I have timed it so I saw the owner in the front of his large yard that was within yelling/talking distance. He was pruning bushes and trees of all things, and I approached him, a 70+ year old man. I am not joking on how our conversation started “Hey sir, are you the owner this is property?” He replies “Sure am, have been for 30+ years” I reply “random question, I practice bonsai and wanted to know if I could maybe cut off a couple apple tree branches and make some small trees out of them” He replied " You can do what ever the hell you want to do with those damn apple trees. I am done with those damn things." He then invited me to walk through his yard with him.
He told me about how he has been gardening for 30 years and what not. Wanted to know exactly what I would be doing, and was kind of thrilled to hear about air laying. In all the years he had been gardening, he had never heard of such a thing he said. He said to do as many air layers as I want. Just if any live, he wants to keep one of them.
These trees are wicked. They have been pruned for 30 plus years and you can tell with the crazy taper everywhere. He said they where there when he moved in and pruned them every year besides the last 2-3 years because the fruiting changed. He said that the trees always produced tasty apples, but the last 2-3 years, they have got some type for fungus and have been fruiting less and less. Anything I should be worried about?
Thanks All and Cheers,


That’s amazing! It never hurts to ask.


Sounds looks you will potentially obtain singe amazing material! I would treat the besides with topical fungicide during the wet acne reading season to percent 3 infestation by fungi pushup to adore occurring in late spring. I would then check the branches by late summer/early Autumn for for development. If they need to remain in three patent tree, I would use a fungoil or dormant spray of some kind through the winter. If by spring there are a enough roots that can sustain a heavy push of spring growth, then separate them. If not then wait till the spring flush hardens off and check again to see if they can be separated. I’ve had branches take up to 2 and sometimes 3 growing seasons to be strong enough to be separated.