Ask a Question forum: Air-layering a Fig Tree and a Pomegranate Tree

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Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
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patmorris1
Jul 22, 2017 11:28 AM CST
I am so pleased with myself. The pictures are of limbs I am air-layering from my Pomegranate and Fig trees. I had never air-layered anything other than a Meyer Lemon tree. I first air-layered a Meyer Lemon when I lived in Florida years ago; but until this year I hadn’t air-layered anything else.

I hadn’t been able to find any articles on air-layering a Pomegranate Tree; but decided to give it a try. I am so happy that I did. Please look at the pictures of the rooting limbs of both my Fig tree and Pomegranate tree that I started the air-layering on May 2nd; and checked the progress today, July 22nd. It has been almost 3 months since I started the process. In the pictures you can see some roots have developed from both air-layered projects. Can anyone tell me about how much longer (and/or how large the roots need to get) it needs to grow and stay on the tree before I remove them from its mother and plant in a container.

Thank you!!

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jul 22, 2017 1:02 PM CST
Hi Pat,

By now you have probably figured out that the air-layering technique is pretty much the same for any woody-stemmed shrub or tree. Congratulations on your success!

My eyes aren't good enough to distinguish between the sphagnum moss fibers and the new roots in your photos, so I cannot say if it is ready to be severed and potted up. In general, you should see a substantial mass of roots that cover most of the outside of the sphagnum moss before proceeding. Then move it into a small pot that is just large enough to hold the rootball and enough soil to cover it all around.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
Image
patmorris1
Jul 22, 2017 1:11 PM CST
Thank you! I will be patient and leave it alone longer. I don't think that I better sever it yet as I don't see a substantial mass of roots that cover most of the outside of the sphagnum moss yet. I will let it continue to grow roots and check it in another month -then it will rooting about 4 months.

Thanks again for your feedback. Thank You! Smiling
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Daylilies
Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America Composter
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 22, 2017 8:49 PM CST
Nice job Pat Hurray! When you do remove your fig airlayer you will need to cut the top growth off to just a few buds or it will die from transpiration. The small roots just can't supply the water needed for all that growth and I would wait until dormant to do so. Since the branch you layered is so large it also wouldn't hurt to cover all your cuts both on the layer and mother plant in some type of tree wound sealer. the pomegranate should be fine if it's as small as the pic makes it look but that fig branch looks to be pretty thick.
If you are interested I'll try to show you an easier method of air-layering that will give you a larger plant with a healthier root system. it's a little trick a fig friend showed me and I'll never go back to the bag method. I just need to find the time to take some photos and I'll try to make you a step by step guide. I rarely layer anymore, I mainly root cuttings and graft plants now days but on hard to root plants I always go back to this method.
Have you ever gotten any pomegranates from your tree?
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
Image
patmorris1
Jul 23, 2017 6:52 AM CST
What great information -thank you!!! If and when you have the time to take pictures, I would appreciate it very much if you can share with me the easier method of air-layering -that will give me a larger plant with a healthier root system. I love to learn new things/methods and give them a try. After I "perfect" this, I will try to be brave and learn -and try grafting.

Yes I have gotten Pomegranates. Last year I got 6 good size Pomegranates from my tree. This year a squirrel didn't realize he wouldn't like the small, hard green ones; so he ate into 2 of them and then dropped them on the ground. I have had the Pomegranate tree in a large container -but I think that I need to put it in the ground because I feel certain that I will have more fruit and maybe larger Poms. When I bought the tree I was thinking that I may move (and I still might) and didn't want to leave it behind -it would be too large to dig up and move if in the ground. It is absolutely beautiful when the flowers are blooming.

Again thank you -I appreciate your kindness in helping out a novice -and hopefully I will turn into a knowledgeable and better grower. Crossing Fingers! Thank You!
Bringing more beauty to the landscape.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Daylilies
Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America Composter
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 23, 2017 7:53 AM CST
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
[Last edited by ediblelandscapingsc - Jul 30, 2017 1:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Daylilies
Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America Composter
Image
ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 24, 2017 4:57 AM CST

🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
[Last edited by ediblelandscapingsc - Jul 30, 2017 1:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
Image
patmorris1
Jul 30, 2017 5:32 PM CST
Daniel Erdy

Daniel, first of all, I want to reiterate how much I appreciate your help with the rust on my fig tree leaves, and also feedback on air layering. I do have a couple of questions that I don’t quite understand. One of my good friend’s husband died unexpectedly last Monday and the memorial service was yesterday –so I haven’t been “playing” in the yard recently.
Your directions are so clear –I just don’t completely understand.
A. On your easier method of layering that you showed me, you instructed that you cut one of the drainage holes large enough to stuff your limb through, and guided me to notice that you use 1 slit on each side of the hole:

(1) Is the limb that you are layering and stuffing through the hole in the bucket still attached to the tree, or is it severed when you do the layering? Also in the picture, is the gold that I see on the pot part of the pot or is it where it is cut? Sorry, I can’t tell.
(2) In the second picture is the limb that will be stuffed through the drainage hole in the pot attached to anything –or has it been severed and the bottom of the limb pushed down the hole?

B. Concerning the air-layering that I am doing on my fig tree. Since the limb is large, you suggested that when I remove the fig air-layer that I will need to cut the top growth off to just a few buds or it will die from transpiration.
(1) Do I need to cut off the top at the second of third node above the top of the air-layered stem/limb when I am ready to sever it from the tree? And are the nodes the same as the buds? This will make it short. And it probably will cut off all of the leaves on the air-layered limb. Also, if there are some side shoots above the top of the layered stem; do I need to cut them off also?

This has been such a great learning project for me. Thanks a million!
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[Last edited by patmorris1 - Jul 31, 2017 4:38 PM (+)]
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