Paul Nickerson

Easter Egg Air Layers

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

In the past I have posted about the method of air layering to propagate woody shrubs such as arborvitae. If you are interested in the details of that process, they can be found here. In this post I would like to show you all a new style of air layering that I recently used to propagate Golden Dwarf Arborvitae. The standard method of air layer involves plastic sheets, twist ties, and aluminum foil. While this method is effective when starting a small number of layers, it gets slightly over-whelming when doing mass propagation.

While sitting tucked between two tree with a roll of foil and squares cut from a garbage bag, I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a solid sphere that I could use to snap around the tree to remove the need for plastic sheets… Easter Eggs.

Using tin snips I cut two squares from the edges of one half of the egg. This would allow the egg to be snapped around the branch being layered. I prepared all of the eggs to fit a 1/4 inch branch. For larger branches I simply cut the holes larger as needed.

After making the necessary cuts and bark removal on the branched, the eggs are stuffed with moist sphagnum moss and snapped around the branch; no plastic squares, no twist ties. to ensure these eggs stayed in place, I continued to use the aluminum foil wrap around each egg.

When doing these layers, I did some of them with plastic and used the egg method for others. What was very interesting to note was that the majority of the standard layers, using plastic sheets, dried out and hindered development of roots. All of the plastic egg layers remained moist up until I removed them from the parent plant, aiding in root development.

 

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