Taking the top off   1 comment

The pyracantha noted as Steve DaSilva Pyracantha in the pyracantha section was due for its top layer. Doing this will in my opinion give me two trees that have much more potential as two then it ever had as one tree. The semi cascade is probably my favorite form in bonsai and I wish I had more. I am developing more as the years move on and this tree will be one more that I add.

Layering has been covered on the net for many years and there is no reason to go into a million details since I do nothing different than a half a million other people. One thing I do recommend on pyracanthas is to make sure you prepare the cutting tools before starting work. Since they are a member of the rose family they are suseptable to many pathogens. They are carried by birds, pests and tools. Fireblight will wipe out pyracanthas and so all tools must be cleaned before starting. Wash them with alcohol, lighter fluid or hexol. I also use a good long fibered moss. This moss is not like the regular green moss but is white and really furry and fuzzy and will retain lots of moisture and keep it for long periods of time. I sharpen my knife on a whet stone and oil until razor sharp. When I do anything on a tree needing a clean cut, be it layering, recutting cuttings or grafting. Sharp tools are less dangerous because they cut and sharp tools are required when making clean cuts to get roots to issue. Roots will only issue after the top cut calluses and that is speeded up with a very clean cut.

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The layer is going to be done at the stove pipe section in the mid trunk area. It is straight there and offers no solution for improvement other than chopping it back and starting over at that point, which is doable on these plants since they thicken up pretty fast.

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The usual top and bottom cut is made and the bark peeled away. I really use the knife here and take away a good 1/16″ of wood. There can be absolutely no cambium on the trunk left at all.

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This view shows exactly on the trunk I made the layer.

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On this one I used a small plastic pot and cut the sides down, then enlarged a hole in the bottom to fit the trunk and affixed it to the tree holding it together with a few staples.

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This is a good view of the long fibered moss. Pack the cup tight with moss. The roots will grow into it and when it is taken off in fall the moss can stay right on the root mass to be planted for that first year.

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Cup affixed and full of moss and watered in. Nothing to do now but sit back and shoot some tequila.

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One response to “Taking the top off

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  1. you always amaze me !

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