Tree layering

Tree layering is a widely used method for obtaining and propagating trees and plants, it is also used to improve the appearance and design of certain trees and bonsai, and all this consists of the ability of trees and plants to generate or produce roots in trunk areas or branches that have been buried. Basically it consists of peeling a bark ring to the wood, rooting hormones are placed around that ring and covered with earth, then fastened or closed with cloth, plastic or a hairnet. After a few months, depending on the species we will have enough roots to cut and plant the new tree or plant.


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  • 1 Realization
  • 2 basic ways to layer
  • 3 Issues to consider when layering
  • 4 Other general factors
  • 5 When sowing the layer
  • 6 adjustable tropical fruit trees
    • 1 Group A
    • 2 Group B
    • 3 Group C
    • 4 Group D
  • 7 Source


In order to perform a layering, in principle what is done is to surround a portion of the stem of a branch with moist soil without separating it from the support plant, and keep it so until enough roots have been produced in the terrified area to support the seedling by themselves. At that time it is separated from the support and planted independently so that it grows as a new individual.

Basic ways to layer

Ground layer : Burying an area of ​​the curved stem of a low-lying branch that reaches the ground .

Layering by hilling : Hilling until burying areas of branches close to the ground.

Air Layer : Making an envelope filled with soil to an area of ​​a branch.

Issues to consider when layering

Although each variety of plant has its own particularities and preferences regarding the details of the layering, there are some general questions that are convenient when preparing it, these are:

Air layering

  • In most layers, in the area that will later be buried, it is advisable to cut and remove a ring from the bark of about 15-20 mm in length so that the cambium is exposed, which is the area where the roots are produced.
  • In aerial layers, the soil to be used to fill the bag should preferably be a light and porous substrate, but with good moisture retention. The use of heavy and compact soil can cause wetting to produce sludge that can generate rot in the layering area. A good substrate must let the layer “breathe”.
  • The envelope of the air layer that forms the bag must be made of waterproof plastic to prevent moisture from quickly being lost from the interior substrate. The use of transparent plastic allows to see if roots have formed from time to time.

Ground layering

  • When using clear plastic it may be helpful to cover the bag with an opaque material to prevent light from entering . Aluminum foil is a good option because it also reflects light, avoiding excessive heating of the layer by the sun.
  • The previous etiolation of the area to layer or the complete plant, greatly improves the future possibility of rooting in addition to reducing the waiting time for it.
  • In many cases, the use of rooting hormones (auxins) increases the success rate in layers, however, this element must be treated promptly, since in some plants, it either has no proven useful effect, or may even be harmful .
  • Some people recommend using vitamin B1 to encourage root growth, but we have not been able to find any serious study of its benefits for tree layering. It seems to be useful in its rooting action of orchids and bonsai.

Other general factors

  • The youth of the tree . Generally the branches of young trees take root better than of old trees.
  • The youth of the branch. In general terms, young branches with wood that is not yet mature and in full growth generate roots more easily.
  • It is very common that suckers born from the main trunk (suckers or thieves), when they are still young, take better root than those from the branches.
  • The layering should be done in general in the period of vegetative growth of the tree and not when it is “dormant” or in full production.
  • Water stress (drought) is a negative factor in the generation of roots in tree branches.

When sowing the layer

It should be borne in mind that although the branch already has abundant roots, substances are still exchanged with the supporting tree, for this reason when the layer is cut to sow it independently, certain precautions must be taken to avoid its death. These can be:

  • Sow it in a pot in a shady place until growth is observed.
  • Remove up to three quarters of the foliage if it is intended to sow directly to the destination, and keep the soil moist until growth is observed.

Layered tropical fruit trees

With more or less difficulty, probably all tropical fruit trees can reproduce by layering. Trees have been classified into three groups according to their ease of producing roots in layers.

Group A

It includes those that produce roots very easily and can be successfully reproduced by direct planting of cuttings . Example: Plum .

B Group

Here are those that can produce roots in layers without great difficulties if the general rules of layering are observed.Examples: Caimito , Citrus, Soursop , Guayabo , Mamoncillo Chino .

Group C

In this group are those who can produce the roots with some difficulty without the use of special techniques. Examples: Cañandonga , Chirimoya , Níspero , Mango , Marañón , Tamarindo .

Group d

Those fruit trees with difficult rooting. Examples: Avocado , Sapote


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