Air Layering a Hanoki Cypress

I would like to air layer the Hanoki Cypress pictured below just below the trunk division. The tree is now in an energy positive state. However, I understand that Hanoki takes a long time to produce roots so a branch is needed below the layer to sustain the existing roots.
As there will be no branch below the air layer is this Hanoki a suitable candidate for the process?

Thank you.


I have had no difficulty air layering tskumo cypress in similar circumstances. But i have not done so on a Hinoki cypress.

How long did the roots take to generate?

I usually start air layers in the beginning of June and separate them by the end of September. I live in Zone 8b. I like to wait until the new spring growth is well underway before air layering.

I haven’t had good luck with hinoki air-layers but I know it’s possible. For the best success, the tree needs to be growing vigorously (the faster it’s growing, the faster new roots can appear). I usually start layers in May but it’s likely still early enough in the growing season to work. If you don’t get all of the roots you want this year, a second year might be required before the layer can be separated.

I have read that for trees that air layer slowly, sometimes it is better to use the tourniquet method, attaching a thick wire tightly where you would otherwise girdle the tree. This way the roots can form at their own pace without overly stressing the tree by girdling. Then proceed as with the other method with the sphagnum moss and a pot or plastic wrap/aluminum foil.

Do you all agree with this?

I have read this also, but i have not tried it so cannot verify. It sounds reasonable. I have stuck with the one method for airlayering. Most of the time it works well but there are times when there are fewer roots and it takes longer. I have even had a couple of occasions where it did not work at all. Just calloused over and then eventually i gave up.

“It is important for plants that take a long time to root to use black plastic rather than clear plastic, as light can encourage the growth of algae in the damp conditions inside the sleeve. Clear plastic is acceptable for speedy rooters such as Ficus.”

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Whenever I air-layer, I put a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic to reflect the sunlight. Otherwise, you will ‘cook’ the new tender roots that emerge, if using only plastic whether clear or black. That will also take care of the algae problem. I always use clear plastic so that I can check periodically to see if and when there are enough roots.

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I have used foil over clear plastic, but i have also used just the clear plastic with good results. Here is an example of a quadruple air layer on a shimpaku that had grown out to far.

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That is a great air-layer, Frank! If the plant is shaded I suppose that you can get a way without the aluminum foil without the plastic overheating, but I thought that roots grow better in darkness and cooler, so I always use the foil wrap over the plastic to be on the safe side. some people I know have had great success ONLY using aluminum foil, with no plastic!

Thank you. Probably a function of climate as well. The island has good humidity most of the year. I do not keep air layers in full sun. The practice of putting tin foil, or shade tape is a good one. I believe avoiding extremes works well. I do the same for grafting scions, healing scars, protecting approach grafts by positional placement of the tree.