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I have the choice between buying a Kohala Longan tree that was either propagated by cutting or by air layer. They are both successfully rooted, but I would like to know the advantages of each technique that affect the later life of the tree. For instance, would one method cause the tree to fruit earlier or make it stronger?

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Nope, won't make a difference - roots are roots, however they're encouraged to form.

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    Yup difference is in how the roots were encouraged to form.
    – nportelli
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 17:24
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    Stronger roots can also mean stronger tree. Is one method better at the other in rooting?
    – JoJo
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 22:33
  • @JoJo - that's a separate question really, and the answer isn't a blank yes or no, it depends on the plant - some plants can be rooted either way, some only by layering, some only by cutting. Usually, layering to get rooted plants takes longer, but the resulting plant is still a new plant like the parent, in the same way as one rooted from a cutting is. Any attempt to reproduce a plant, whichever way it's done, may produce a weakly rooted plant, or a strongly rooted one, its not down to the method of propagation.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 12:13
  • @JoJo The air layers have the parent plant feeding the root growth, so they tend to be more robust, but cuttings are generally faster (because otherwise they will die).
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 3:44

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