I am so excited to begin Air Layering more trees around the island! Here, Jayanti and I begin the step by step process of putting Air Layers onto trees.
First, our locally gathered variety of Sphagnum moss is soaked in water.
Second, the moss is squeezed tightly to remove excess moisture.
In this photo, two circular cuts are made on the tree branch where the Air Layer will be wrapped. The tree that we are Air Layering here is a non native male Kiawe, Prosopis pallida. The male trees do not have thorns like the females do, which makes working with it a lot easier and safe. This species of Mesquite makes excellent timber, being such a dense hardwood tree. It has naturalized really well on the Leeward side of the island, where it barely rains at all, proving to be an amazing drought tolerant timber crop for Hawai’i, and one of my favorites for sure.
A wrench is used to scrape the bark off of the wood underneath.
Here you can see what the branch looks like before it is wrapped with moss and tin foil.
The Sphagnum moss works great!
The moss is wrapped with tin foil around the cut on the branch. This is where the roots will emerge and hopefully grow around the substrate.
The air layer will stay on the tree for about 3 months before being cut off and potted up as a new young tree.