Monday, 15 August 2016

Post 218 Big air layer separation

Three years ago I harvested a number of mature Celtis from a local site. Most had big lumpy bases and in the just past growing season I put air layers in place to make the final separation from those bases. This is the largest of those trees.
The photo series was taken on the root-pruning afternoon session of the Foundations Development program in the local club. This was the last of 8 afternoon sessions for a group of 17 participants.

 By mid way through August after such a mild winter and no leaf drop it was time to prepare for spring. This is how the tree looked before the work started. The shade cloth on the surface is to keep the potting medium around the layer site.

 First task was a defoliation to rationalize the branch structure and get it set for spring. The poly box was about the only thing that would hold the base when I collected it.

 This is the view from the rear.

 This is the front view after branch pruning. It has been cut back hard to promote good close new branch development. Here the root mass is being reduced by machete with cuts all around the sides and across the bottom. Under the trunk is a piece of old trunk material like a wooden shoe box.

 This is the tree upended after removing all the medium and a lot of roots. The upper structure of the tree is hanging over the bench to the left. This is just to get int in position to cut off the old now redundant base.

 A chain saw is used to cut just under the new set of roots that have been produced at the layer site.

 Cut in progress.

 Separation! The tree is being held upside down for inspection and the old base on the bench. That was quite a cut.

 Here are both parts again. In this shot you can see the annular fan of new roots around the base of the trunk. There are not many roots there but quite enough for the tree to get started and knowing the species it will not hesitate to run quickly.

 It just needed one final adjustment.

 Finally potted up for the next season.

Not such a good picture from the front but there will be more in time. The tree will shortly spring into life and the pot will be full of roots by this time next year. Thanks Mal for the photos.

You can see the stump when first collected here in July 2013.
Or in August 2014 here
And also in November 2014 here.

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