Tried my hand at air layering for the first time :)

Figured I’d give air layering a shot. I’ve watched Ryan do it enough times to feel pretty comfortable with it. I did the pond cypress first. My original plan was to use an empty butter container, but somehow that got thrown away. Used an empty nursery pot instead. I was surprised at how easily the bark peeled off.

Next up was a long branch on my Kotohime maple. This tree has a lot of long straight branches. Figured that if I’m going to remove them that I might as well get some trees out of it. It’ll be interesting to see how this one goes. If all goes well I’ll be doing the long and straight primary trunk next year. I almost left the top side of this layer completely open, but figured it may dry out too quickly if I did that. Cut some slits instead.


Oh man, I so want to do this. It’s on my list of to-do’s, I just need to find an appropriate tree.

Your execution looks really nice! Keep us updated!

The two I really want to air layer I’m waiting on since they were planted/repotted this year and both had significant root work done. I might practice on the holly and the big hawthorn at my place, or finally meet my neighbor and ask if I can airlayer this sucker on his big redwood.

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Good luck! Make sure that you’ve scraped off enough. My first few attempts, I accidentally left too much of the cambium on and they failed. Didn’t realize how much I needed to scrape off.

The maple was repotted this year, but the root work wasn’t too bad.

The pond cypress seemed to be good. With the maple I had to scrape it a bit.

How do you tell really if you’ve gone deep enough/too deep? Sometimes when I watch videos it looks like they’re taking it right down the the dead wood!

From what I’ve read, it’s hard to go too deep. You do want to get all the way down to the sapwood (xylem). You want to make sure to take off the cambium. Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes that’s not so easy. The cambium will be pale green and even when you think you’ve gone far enough, start scraping down the wood until all the green is off.