Last May I started an air layer on an old Japanese maple (see “Air layering a Japanese maple“). Curious if there was any root growth, I opened up the bag in February. There was callus, but no new roots.
Good callus, no roots
To stimulate the production of new roots, I opened up the callus and applied root hormone. I then replaced the moss and waited for spring.
After removing a strip of callus
The maple leafed out as it always does, but a few weeks ago I noticed that the leaves above the layer line began to turn pale. This is a good sign as discoloration is common when new roots start to develop.
Pale foliage at the apex
To satisfy my curiosity, I opened up the bag and looked inside. A few new roots were just getting started.
I replaced the moss again and closed up the bag. I’ll watch the bag carefully this summer to make sure it doesn’t dry out and will see about adding soil around the moss if it starts to dry out too quickly. I’ll peek inside again this fall.
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