Air Layering

By: Zahra Hameed


Hand pruners • 2. Girdling scissors (optional) • 3. A knife (A linoleum “hook” knife is preferred, but any knife will work.) • 4. Pliers, Channel locks, or Vise grips • 5. Rooting hormone • 6. An applicator for the rooting hormone • 7. Prepared air-layering bags • 8. Heavy duty aluminum foil • 9. Permanent marking pen

Preparation of Air layering bags

1) Add water to the roots but make it moist not soggy

2) Fill bags 3/4

3) Tie the bags closed using the twine. Leave a 6" “tail” at the short end of the twine. Coil the twine around each bag

4) Add a root hormone

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Applying the Air layers

1) Select a branch to be air layered

2) Remove all leaves and branches for approximately a length of 1 foot

3) Girdle the branch twice using the girdling scissors or knife. Girdling cuts should be approximately 1 ½" to 2" apart

Girdling Cuts

1) The girdling cuts are made through the bark and stop when the inner wood is contacted (at the cambium)

2) Using the knife, scrape the branch lightly in the area where the bark has been removed, be careful in order to prevent bridging

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Applying the bag to the branch

Wrap the prepared air-layering bag around the girdled branch.

The bottom of the bag should begin at the bottom of the girdled area and extend completely over the area of the branch where the rooting hormone was applied.

2) Close the air-layering bag by overlapping the cut sides of the plastic bag and wrapping the twine around the bag in a spiral.

3) Tie the bag closed using the end of the twine and the “tail” of twine at the top of the bag

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Applying foil

1) Cover the bag completely to block the sunlight it also helps with overheating and loss of moisture

2) Face shiny side in warm/hot temperatures and dull side in cold/freezing temperatures

3) Place date on the foil

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