Each gardener will probably find an old favorite apple tree, which for many years pleases its owners with fragrant and tasty fruits. And not always even remember the variety of this fruit tree. And I want to keep this apple tree for my children and grandchildren. You can, of course, take advantage of grafting on the stock, but this is a very troublesome thing and not everyone succeeds.
This problem can be solved in the old proven way, which for some reason is not very popular these days. This method of propagation of apple trees is simple and accessible to all gardeners. You can get your own sapling using air layouts.
What is air cuts?
Each summer resident knows how the gooseberry, currant or viburnum bushes reproduce with layering. The twig bends down and pinned to the ground and covered with soil. In this state, it will take root until the next season and will be ready for independent development. The principle of growing apple seedlings is almost the same. Only a branch of a tree is difficult to tilt to the ground for rooting, therefore the ground needs to be “lifted” to the branch.
It is only necessary to choose a fruiting branch and surround it with a part of it with a moist ground. A branch located in a humid environment in the soil, in just 2-3 months, will be able to form its root system. Such a seedling is ready for planting and will be able to bear fruit in three years.
How to select and prepare a branch
The quality of the future seedling depends on the correct choice of the branch, so it is necessary to approach this issue seriously. Branch need to choose a smooth and healthy fruit. It should be on the well-lit side of the tree. It is better to select for breeding a branch of two or three years of age approximately one to one and a half centimeters thick with a young growth.
In early spring, as soon as the snow melts, a sleeve of a dense polyethylene translucent film about forty centimeters long should be worn on the selected part of the branch. With the help of electrical tape, the edges of the sleeves should be tightly tied to the branch. The sleeve remains on the branch until the end of May - the beginning of June, until stable warm weather sets in. All this time, the branch will be in greenhouse conditions and its bark should soften slightly.
The next step is cuts on the branch. It is necessary to remove the film and find the boundary between the adult branch and the young growth. From this point, you need to retreat about ten centimeters (toward the trunk of the tree) and make the first incision (ring) about one centimeter wide. Then, retreating left and right, make two more cuts in each side. These cuts will contribute to the rapid formation of roots. Be sure to remove all the above-cut fruit buds. In this form, the branch may be an air lay-up.
Rooting air slips
For rooting cutting, a container with soil is necessary. You can use the usual one and a half liter plastic bottle, after cutting the bottom of it.
First you need to put a film sleeve on the branch and wind its bottom edge to the branch using electrical tape. Then a cut bottle of plastic is put on the branch (down the neck) so that the area of banding of the branch is almost at the very bottom of the bottle, and the young trunk is approximately in the middle. The top of the sleeves is also tightly wound with tape. The entire structure must be upright. To do this, you can pull it to a tree trunk or a special support.
In a plastic container you need to pour the solution to stimulate root growth and leave for two or three days. Then, puncture small holes, let the liquid drain, and fill the container with two glasses of prepared soil. It consists of rotten sawdust and leaves, moss, garden soil and compost. The soil mixture should be wet.
The design of the film sleeve and the plastic bottle with the primer should be under shading conditions. They can be created using ordinary old newspapers. Several newspaper layers will easily create such conditions. True, they will sometimes have to clean up to check the soil moisture.
Watering should be carried out once a week, and on dry days - every other day.
In general, fruit trees and shrubs take root very quickly, but there are exceptions for apple trees. These roots can not appear even until the end of the summer season. But even if instead of roots on the layering appeared the beginnings, then this is enough to plant the plant on a permanent plot.
Approximately in the middle or at the end of August it is necessary to shorten cuttings by fifty percent, and another week to cut it off from the lower side of the sleeve with the help of a garden pruner. The whole structure for germinating the roots of a seedling is removed only just before planting. The pit for planting seedlings must be prepared in advance and shed abundantly.
Planting a young apple tree seedling
Gardeners can choose their own time for planting a seedling from aerial layouts, given the climatic conditions of the place of residence. The tree can be left until the next spring (prikopat) or plant it this year.
In the warm southern climate, young apple trees will also take root well in the new place in the fall. Spring planting is recommended for those who live in cold regions. In such a climate, it is desirable to place the seedling in a large container in a special soil mixture. It should consist of equal parts of peat, sand and garden soil. In winter, the tree in the tank should be in cool and humid conditions (for example, in the cellar or basement). Watering the plants is not abundant, but regular. With the arrival of spring, the sapling can be planted to a permanent place in the usual way.
Saplings grown from the air layers, it is recommended to plant at a slight slope. The root neck of these layers is absent, so the plant will need a lot of space to build a good root system. Planting under the slope will help in the short term to grow fruit-bearing apples.