Bonsai Trees

From Air Layering

Air layering is an excellent way of increasing your bonsai collection and has many advantages. It is basically a very easy and successful method of taking giant cuttings and is best performed in late spring or early summer. The resulting trees will usually exhibit superb surface roots. You can be very selective with material and if multiple trunked bonsai are required, they can be rooted at the perfect point.

Although there are several procedures for carrying out air layering, my chosen method is to completely ring bark. Choose a suitable branch (large branches can often be air layered with success), remove approximately an inch of bark from around the branch and paint with hormone rooting liquid. Remember that the roots will appear at the top of the cut, so plan the layering accordingly.

Position a polythene bag around the cut and fill with sphagnum moss which has been previously soaked in water. Seal the top and bottom of the polythene tightly. This should stop the moss drying out. If however watering does become necessary, make a small hole at the top of the polythene to enable watering, but also make several holes at the bottom to allow drainage.

When the new white roots appear do not remove immediately, but wait until they begin to mature and darken. When this has happened, sever the branch and carefully pot up in peat. The roots should not be disturbed at this stage as they are very brittle. The whole process may take as little as four to six weeks and is very rewarding. Extra protection is advisable for trees propagated in this way during their first winter.

Air Layering
Bonsai Nurseries
Collecting from Gardens
Collecting from the Wild
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