Bonsai Air Layering Technique
In Bonsai Air Layering is a technique used to create a new tree out of a branch or piece of a larger mother tree. All artists have a slightly different method that they have grown comfortable with. This is just my method. Has worked well for me, I have made little adjustments throughout the 15 years in my practice of bonsai.
Air Layering a branch from a desirable tree or bonsai requires the removal of the bark from about an inch. This prevents carbohydrates from flowing down past the removal site, but still allows water and mineral nutrients to flow upward to the leaves through the xylem. Thus, the tree will still get the nutrients it needs. The tree will create a new root system where the bark was removed. Root hormone can be used but is not necessary since hormones are stored at the removal site where roots will grow out. However root hormone can speed up the process.
Air layering allows us to create multiple bonsai from one mother plant. Air laying saves allot of time creating new bonsai which already have a complete root system and a strong trunk. Using this technique one can avoid waiting 2 years for the bonsai to develop a prominent trunk.
After removing the bark and reaching the cambium of the tree apply hormone if desired. Next secure the bottom with a plastic bag to hold in the growing medium. I typically use sphagnum moss. Let the new root system develop and you can remove by cutting it at the base of the new root system.
It usually takes the new tree six to nine weeks to develop a complete root system.
For Advise on Air Layering visit our forum Bonsai Artists of South Florida.