Air layering

In all the time I’ve been on this site, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any discussion at all of air layering. There is quite a bit of literature on it, lots of you tube videos, but little if any mention of it here by the folks here that I trust and admire. I find the technique very interesting and appealing for some reasons. So I’d like to hear if any of you have any experience with it and what it is? I am guessing it isn’t more popular because it doesn’t work well? Or perhaps its because the new tree won’t be on a root stock designed as root stock, but rather on its own roots. But for someone like me who isn’t very successful at grafting peach trees and some other difficult ones, it seems like a neat alternative. Also, even if I can get a graft to work, if I want it on a quality root stock I have to somehow aquire that rootstock. At the least I’d need to plant some peach seed or dig up suckers, and in either of those cases the root stock wouldn’t neccesarily be ant better than what I’d get from air layering a new tree.

I think I’m going to try a few this summer just for fun- especially on one super early but very good peach trees I have but don’t know the variety. If I could air layer a new tree off of it I’d have a good copy. Also, it seems like an air layered tree would be quite a bit ahead of a grafted tree on a very small root stock.

SO lets here it…what do you all think of Air Layering? What are your experiences with it (if any)?

If anyone doesn’t know what it is, here is a video of it- not necessarily the best, but it shows the technique.:


I’m familiar with air layering but we don’t use it a lot It’s very useful for figs, tropical fruits and things like that.

I’ve air layered figs, super easy.

@bleedingdirt has a nice, concise air layering step by step on his blog.


Thanks Chris!

Over the years I had many experiences with air layering, I want to show some of my results.

First pictures are comice pear graft on a unusual roostock: Sorbus aucuparia, in US more commonly called rowan and mountain-ash. Correct me if I’m got wrong.please.

This project was an experiment just want discover if there is any tolerance between these two different types of species, now 2leaf separate plant grows well.

as described previously in an earlier topic peach propagation by cuttings, I tried also with air layering, water sprouts they are excellent to use, root grow appeared in two weeks.
Peach water sprouts rooting by airlayer:


Facinating photos- both those above and on @bleedingdirt 's blog. I didn’t know you had a blog, Vin. I enjoyed perusing it. Also found your “battle” with your Blenheim Apricot a little funny-at least in how you described it. Sounded more like an out-of-control kudzu vine than a fruit tree! :slight_smile:

Its nice to see that several of you have used air layering and that it really does work. I’m going to give it a try this summer. Thanks

Thanks for the kind words!

Very nice work by Alcedo and Bleedingdirt. Means I’m going to have to try it!

I’ve air layered grapes on the vine using a Dr Pepper plastic bottle and it was quite easy. I’m doing a fig right now by laying a lower branch down and covering it with soil. It’s still growing from the mother tree. I’ll remove it this winter during dormancy and put in ground. It should work, fingers crossed.


I’m not real sure if this is air layering, but my wife does this cloning technique a lot in her flower beds with excellent success.


John, I often take the extra lazy man’s way of layering woody plants like azaleas, tea olives, and lavender. I just position a very low branch so that part touches the soil, set a rock on it, and leave it alone until the following spring.


Your method is the easiest. Works great on muscadines. Last year I ran a vine through the bottom of a container and then upward. By late summer I had a good looking vine that I was able to easily transplant late in the same season.

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Just John and Muddy,
I have done the bending and putting rocks on with hydrengeas often. They have long bending canes so it is easy to do.

Never thought about doing it with figs. Now, you gave me an idea. Will keep that in mind when my fig trees are big enough. Thank you.

Figs are probably the easiest to air layer

Around here, figs are in pots so I have not thought of bending branches to the ground.

I did see some other type of air layering figs.

On figs I just cut off about 1" of bark all around a limb and then take a plastic bag with some potting soil and wrap it around the cut. Get it damp and just wait until you see the entire bag full of roots. It has worked every time I’ve tried them.

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Thanks. I have seen that done in a few creative including using clear, empty plastic bottle.

It looks like as long as bark is stripped to expose cambium, there is media for root to grow intto and a way to keep the media on the exposed area, it should root.

Air layering fig tutorial I thought was quite clever, reusing deli containers-


Does anyone know if it is too late to air layer for the year? I’m in Zone 5.We would have all of August and September before we have a first frost (about Oct 5). And probably until Oct 15 before we have a hard freeze.