Apple tree, Howgate Wonder.

Apple tree, Howgate Wonder

A guest submission here from Mr Ivan Oxford, who has had good success with air layering and wants to explain the procedure;

Tools required;

  1. Sharp knife
  2. Pruning shears
  3. Clear plastic
  4. Cling film (4″ roll ideally)
  5. Cable ties
  6. Sphagnum moss
  7. Syringe for watering later

The process started early in April 2013, the buds just starting to open – not quite enough to see the blossom buds on an Apple tree in the garden.

Using the tried and tested method of a 1″ ring cut, the bark was removed and wood scraped to show the white wood.

A good hand full of wet sphagnum moss was then applied to the ring-barked cut, then covered with plastic and cling film, using cable ties both ends to secure it all to the tree.

Best left in a sheltered place plenty of light and kept moist via the use of a syringe throughout the time period it was applied.

The air layer was checked regularly for signs of roots and by August roots were visible and the air layer was separated by cutting it off from the original Apple tree in September below the lower cable tie.

The plastic was removed and the air layer with the moss and newly formed roots was placed in a pot and tied into the pot securely to avoid damaging the new fragile roots of the air layer.

The newly created air layered Apple tree was checked mid January and it had rooted strongly so the guy ropes were removed.

Air Layer to Pot about 5 months for the initial process and a further 4 months to ensure root stability.

Job done!