Tree Stump Tales
Sharing the knowledge
I called this tree stump tale ‘sharing the knowledge’ as I believe strongly in sharing what we do in the garden and passing the knowledge down to future generations, as it was so generously given to us.
I once shared my method of marcotting (air layering) with a friend who had made many attempts at making a cutting and various different other techniques with little or no results. I made the usual bags that I use and set him up with everything he needed, went over the information again and away he went. Imagine my surprise when he came running up my driveway with a beaming smile, jumping and spinning around. “I did it”, he shouted. In his hand was what looked like a healthy branch of a lime tree with my little bag at the bottom. After some good old chit chat and what I consider too many high 5’s I decided to take a closer look and calm the mood a little. He was so excited at the sight of the first root that he basically snapped it off the tree and drove straight over to show me.
After cutting away nearly 90 % of the branches and leaves so that the plant could take the shock, I finally got it into a pot and some nice soil that I had been cooking for months . The poor thing looked like it had seen the wrong side of a Canadian winter and was almost ready to star in the next post apocalyptic movie, nevertheless I took him to his new home in a shaded area of the garden. I came to moisten the soil with rainwater that I had been collecting, once every 2 days. For months there was no life, no growth and no hope for the little twiglet that once stood so proud.
One morning I decided to make a very tough decision and send what was basically a twig to compost heaven. I started to break the soil away, getting closer and closer to the base with no hope that it had survived its recent onslaught. Just when I thought that all was lost I saw the tip of a single root. I rushed to the tap and rinsed off what was left of the soil. To my amazement there were three good strong yellow roots about an inch long. I repotted the cutting in a bigger pot and left it in the shade for a few months.
If you would like to learn the basics of marcotting (air layering) try our guide here.