Major cutting on Japanese maple?

I’ve never attempted this and would love some tips this lowest branch off the trunk I’d like to make a cutting , what would the best way to do this? This tree is 25 years old I’m planning on building my deck out around it and want to do some cuttings. And help would be great.

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Hi @Junebug
I would go for an air layer.
If you make the layer after leave have hardened, you could be harvesting the cutting by mid summer. If the tree needs to go now, you can cut twigs (last years growth) and place in sandy compost or water until roots grow. Some maples are easy, some not so. Finally, if you have some seedling you could try grafting twigs from your tree onto them.

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Thanks I been reading up on air layering. I’ve never tried but its worth a shot .

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Check out air layering stream here on Mirai - heaps of great info there and after seeing it I can’t wait to air layer a deciduous tree myself :slight_smile:

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Everyone should try air layering! It’s the most accessible method for producing quality bonsai material and its an invaluable technique for correcting faults in the trees you have. It’s also like Christmas morning when you open the wrapping and either get an amazing gift or piece of crap!

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I spent yesterday watching all the air layer content on here I’m definitely gonna give it a shot .

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So I’ve done my first air layer now I put some soaked spahgnum on the top layer and the very bottom of the pot and the pots filled with Akadama I’m wondering when I should water through or should I leave it for rain and let it callus? Any suggestions

Don’t let it get bone dry but also don’t keep it sopping wet. Once roots form, you’ll start to see the sphagnum dry out more often.

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here’s some more photos of the tree. I’m gonna build a low deck section around it and start trimming it for shape it will be what you walk past to get to my Bonsai garden


Back to the drawing board … 7 months no roots

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Any other tips ? I rewatched the air layer stream . All I can think is try again with the same technique

Maybe all sphagnum moss next time. I’m quite impressed with how your tree healed over. That wasn’t a small layer attempt.

One video I saw emphasized the importance of scraping off the cambium on the exposed segment between the cuts. They said if you did not do this, the layer would heal itself and no roots would form.

That would be the single cell layer left on the trunk once the bark is removed.

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After looking at your pic where you have first removed the bark, it doesn’t look like you removed all of the phloem and cambium layer down the to the sap wood, which is smooth and wet to the touch.
The cut lines should also be straight and clean, your cuts look like they are scraped away.
3 cuts through the bark, phloem and cambium, 2 around the trunk and 1 running vertical between the first 2. Then peel it away from the sapwood. You can remove it just like when you create deadwood, pliers or channel lock pliers with lager diameter trunks. Squeeze the bark with the plier jaws and twist around the trunk and the layers will slip off.
If you miss getting the cambium cell layer the air layer will fail and this is what you are seeing.
If you don’t succeed try again :+1:t2:

Maybe use a wire collar on the bottom cut like I did on the top