I had no idea how long that'd take, and didn't know how long to wait before I could peek, but it got taken out of my hands.
Yesterday we had rain and wind, and apparently that made the top of the shoot too heavy, and it broke. Now, it broke where I'd cut into the wood and would have cut the top part off - after there'd been enough roots to plant it somewhere.
So, well, time to check how it's doing.
That's some callus there, and one little white root poking to the right. Though there were the beginnings of a few more just visible. (That's my thumbnail at the bottom, for scale.)
So I cut it back a good deal so there aren't so many leaves from which water evaporates, stuck it into a pot with more of the seed and cutting soil (the end is a way under the surface, so the poor little stick won't fall over), and wait.
I put a freezer bag over the whole thing to keep the air around it humid, and put it in a place without direct sun so in its mini greenhouse it won't burn up. I figure the chances are better than with a plain cutting, since there are already roots starting to grow, whose tips presumably can absorb water and nutrients as they should, but we'll see.
Anyway, the principle works, so one of those days I'll start on one of the dissectum varieties. (wikipedia photo, for the curious.)
I've been meaning to try air layering - a method to propagate plants that seems to me less risky than cuttings - and now that circumstances suggested to me it would be a good time, I thought I'd document my attempt, so it might serve as a sort of how-to.
First, let me introduce you properly to one of my Japanese maples.
This is the one that went feral. It was a grafted one with leaves that had white edges, but that graft died either last summer, or the summer before that, presumably because I too often neglected to water it.
On the left is a pair of buds at the end of a twig of my green feathered Japanese maple.
On the right is what it's grown into a bit over amonth later. I put my index finger where the buds from the picture on the left were. (Both images link to bigger versions.)