Air Layering Larch

I’m wondering if it is possible to air-layer a Japanese Larch ? If so when is the best time to do so.
Any suggestions that would help would be appreciated.

I’d guess it would work, and I’d expect now is a good time to start it, but I have no experience layering larch. If it’s a nice tree you’re working with, I’d want to find some evidence of it working before getting started!

I have never air layered a Japanese larch. When you posed the question, I checked my written resources and conducted an internet search. The best I could find was the comment that it was possible but difficult. No actual accounts of success or photos showing a preferred process!
Based on that I would only attempt it on younger, less valuable material. Also I would choose a slower approach to give the tree more of an opportunity for a successful outcome. Thus I would use the traditional tourniquet method that allows the tree to slowly swell and cut off the cambium rather than ring bark the tree! I would expect the best results to be over a period of two growing seasons if it works!
And out of an abundance of caution I would protect the tree over winter to avoid damage to new roots if any occur during the first growing season.
Just thoughts from previous attempts on difficult material.

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Thank you Gentlemen, I appreciate your input.

Yes it does work and we tried this as a bonsai demo at our local club and the tree rooted well within 10 weeks! We removed a 1inch strip of bark/cambium, with a stanley knife, dusted the upper cut edge with hormone rooting powder then wrapped in damp sphagnum moss and covvered in cling film , followed by an outer cover of black polythene.
Hope it works for you- sorry no photos !


Thanks Alex, I’ll give it a go.

Congratulations! That’s very good news! Eastern larch is popular here in Vermont. Easy to work with and very hardy. I’m planning an air layer in the spring. I’m guessing yours will be wintered over (above freezing) and then separated in the spring?

I will air layering a larch this spring also.
There seem to be two theories regarding the need to protect any newly layered roots in the winter.

One is that the new roots take in an abundance of sugar and starches over the fall and develop good winter tolerance. I imagine this might be affected by the number of leaves on the branch above the new roots and branch thickness. Always wise to take the safer approach.

I also think it is wise to remember that advice gained from research in horticulture and agriculture typically applies to tree or plants in the ground. Bonsai in pots are a different scenario altogether.
Roots newly formed in air layers above ground another situation.
I prefer to provide extra protection for young cuttings, newly air layered sections and or freshly repotted plants that have not had time to recover fully.

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