Sixteen months into a layering project for a large cryptomeria, it was time to separate the layer (see “Large cryptomeria air layer – part 1“).
September 2012 – time to make the cut
Over the previous nine months, roots had grown to fill the makeshift pot, pushing the soil almost half of an inch above the edge.
Full of roots
Roots growing on the surface of the soil
Below, the original cut was plainly visible. This is where I’ll make the cut.
View from below
I didn’t worry about cutting too close to the base of the new roots as leaving a stub allows me to rest the trunk on the bottom of the new pot, relieving pressure from the new roots and adding stability.
Look ma – a new tree!
With a little cajoling, I popped off the old pot. Here’s the view from underneath.
I lightly combed out the new roots growing on the surface of the soil and around the edges so the roots could find purchase in new soil. I didn’t remove additional soil as there was nothing but good soil and root-mass within.
After combing out the roots
From here, I treated the layer like a normal rootball and tied it into the new pot with wire.
Securing the rootball
For further stability, I fixed two wires to a high branch.
Separation/repotting complete – 34″
It felt great to finally place the tree on a bench. In another year or so, I can actually start the bonsai work. This too will be an adventure as I have much to learn about actually working with cryptomeria!
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i have always wondered what air-layering was. thanks! what happens to the mother tree?
Jonas Dupuich says
If there is foliage below, the mother tree is fine. In this case, I tossed out the base of the trunk.
Well done! Can’t wait to see the future progression of this tree. 🙂
Bruce Winter says
Excellent work Jonas! Tsugi root so easily and swell naturally at the base. They love living in a rain forrest so that’s a clue about creating a micro climate for them.
Gene Martin says
Jonas – have you ever air layered a landscape cryptomeria? Would you expect any major differences from the process you documented?
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Gene – I haven’t, but I’d expect the results to be the same. The cryptomeria I bought was made from a landscape tree.