Sunday, 14 December 2014

Post 186 Ficus air layer separation

In October I posted a story about the air layering of a previously trunk chopped ficus.

In Post 175 I showed setting up an air layering using the drilled hole and toothpick process. This failed to show any sign of producing roots and so I reverted to the removal of a full ring of bark. After doing that, a little over two months later I noticed a few roots sticking out under the edge of the temporary dam  I had placed around the layering site and decided it was time to investigate further.

This was what it looked like after setting up the layering October and wrapped the dam around the tree. The 'top' had been previously grafted on because it refused to shoot.

After removing the dam, a little light scratching around the surface showed good root development in most places around the circumference. The top of the tree has developed nicely in the last couple of months. It looked like there were plenty of roots to support the tree on separation and with months of growing season left the time was right.

 After cutting off the trunk and major roots to the old structure this is the point of separation.

 Leaving a very nicely rooted little flared trunk. In this photo you can see the roots coming from the line of the removed ring of bark. Above that line there are the previously drilled holes which have shown no root development activity.

Finally repotted in a temporary plastic pot to get it stabilised and recover from surgery. I expect that after a little extra moisture and shade for a week it will be ready to go back out to the open nursery. This concludes a process that has been ongoing for a while to 'harvest' a short section of trunk by getting leaves attached on one end and roots on the other; just think of the possibilities to turn the 'never going to get quite there trees' in your collection into something with promise.
What about a nice handmade bonsai pot for it is the next question? Ahhh well perhaps in the next batch.I want to be able to display this one at a club show next September and at this rate I'm confident of getting there: Ficus benjamina 'shorty'.

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