The Hornbeam is Air Layered.........

Todays picture is of a Hornbeam tree.  Right in the middle you see a round ball (aluminum Foil) that is full of sphagnum moss wrapped around the prepped trunk.
   So let me start at the beginning....   I chose  this tree because of the wonderful trunk, with funky roots,  twisting in the air.  At the bottom there is nice, developing nabari.  However in the middle, there was a very long, straight trunk, all the same width.  It wasn't attractive, at all.  So....  I bought the tree, then studied the trunk hard, decided where I would split the  tree, and began to prep for an air layer.  Step 1. decide where to cut...  I took a knife and girdled the trunk where I wanted a new base.  One inch lower I girdled the tree agin. 
Step 2.   Then I carefully stripped, or pared, all of the bark off at the level.  I removed the cambium and the xylene... the life giving physiological structures in all plants. 
Step 3.   I painted the upper area with rooting hormone, lavishly.
Step 4 .  I carefully and completely wrapped the cut area with soaked and drippy sphagnum, very tightly to preserve all the wet.
Now, the tree is outside, in the sunshine.  Goal:  to grow a whole new set of roots on the top half of the tree.  It will take 6-8 weeks to accomplish.  In the meantime after 3 or 4 weeks, I will periodically check the top to make sure it is still wet.  At the same time I will be able to see the progress of the root development.  
       When all of this is done I will have 2 independent trees. The original trunk I love will have to have a new apex grown.....    the new top tree will have to grow nabari and a new trunk.  It is quite a challenge, one I have done before with great success.  It is very exciting to watch this happen, grow and nurture a tree to something really beautiful! 
     More to come as it happens and grows.

Sign in or get an account to comment.