Sorry for the delay with this post, I just noticed it in my "draft" folder, better late than never!
At the May meeting, Aron showed us how to Air Layer a Japanese Maple.
Air Layering is a great way to create bonsai from established trees. A healthy tree with interesting branch structure and a boring trunk makes a perfect candidate.
Layering can be done when the tree is growing, early Spring is a good time for Japanese Maples.
Multiple air layers can be done at the same time on the same tree. When selecting branches, start at the top and work your way down.
After selecting the target branch, Aron removes a 3cm long section of the cambium layer (about 1.5 times the thickness of the branch).
The next step is to secure a container around the exposed trunk. Some people like to apply rooting hormone at this point, but Aron has plenty of success without it.
The container used for this demo was a small, plastic cup with holes to allow for drainage and a slit down the side which allows the cup to be wrapped around the branch.
Before attaching the container, wire is placed just below the cut.
This wire is used to secure the cup in place and Aron threads the wire through holes on the side of the cup.
The final step is to fill the cup with soil and for this demo Aron uses Boon mix. There was a discussion about the various other mediums, like sphagnum moss, Aron's had better success with the Boon mix, so he's sticking with it.