How do you take cuttings from trees?

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Offline VTChris

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How do you take cuttings from trees?
« on: 21/07/2009 08:59:46 »
Hello
I wondered if someone could help me in taking a tree cutting (I tried cutting an off-shoot and removing some bark, placing in water, but the leaves dried up within hours) and allowing it to root so that I can plant new saplings?
here's hoping!
thanks
Chris
« Last Edit: 24/07/2009 18:07:21 by chris »

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Offline Don_1

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Re: How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #1 on: 21/07/2009 10:23:36 »
You will need to take a cutting from a young upright growth, not from a side shoot. It should be about 30cms long. Best time to do this is late autumn (fall) after the leaves have fallen, or very early spring, long before new leaf growth is due to start. If there are any leaves on your cutting, they will drain the cutting of the vital energy it needs for root growth.

Remove only the very outermost bark on the lower 10cms of your cutting. Alternatively, you can just cut away this outermost bark on three/four sides of the cutting. Leave the cutting in water for around half an hour.

Prepare a deep pot. Line the bottom with gravel or similar drainage. Fill with a cutting compost. This should be well draining, so add some grit or Vermiculite. Also mix in some Growmore and/or bonemeal. You do not need a nitrogenous fertiliser at this stage, it is root growth you need, not top growth. Dampen the pot and make a hole in the middle with a dibber or piece of cane, 10cms deep and wide enough to insert your cutting without touching the sides.

Remove the cutting from the water and shake off any excess water. Dip the bottom 2cms in a rooting hormone (powder is best). Shake off excess powder and carefully put into your prepared pot, being careful not to knock off the rooting hormone. Gently firm the compost around the cutting and water.

Push 4 canes, longer than the cutting, into the edges of the pot and put the whole pot into a white plastic bag. Close the top. The canes will keep the bag from touching the cutting. Put this into a bright, frost free position, but out of direct sunlight. Open the bag and mist every other day, then re-close the bag. Do not over water, but if the compost shows signs of drying, mist daily.

You should take around 6 cuttings and either put them in separate pots, or one large pot.

As soon as there are signs of budding, remove the plastic bag and move the pot to a position where it will get some sun during the day (not early morning).

The cuttings can be planted out once the first leaves have grown, but protect from frost. Use horticultural fleece overnight if frost is likely.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: 21/07/2009 10:26:22 by Don_1 »
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Offline Karen W.

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Re: How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #2 on: 21/07/2009 13:05:03 »
Great information DON... I always wondered why my cuttings failed on tree starts...!

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Offline Karen W.

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Re: How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #3 on: 21/07/2009 13:07:39 »
Hello
I wondered if someone could help me in taking a tree cutting (I tried cutting an off-shoot and removing some bark, placing in water, but the leaves dried up within hours) and allowing it to root so that I can plant new saplings?
here's hoping!
thanks
Chris

Welcome to the forum VT Chris!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline chris

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Re: How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #4 on: 23/07/2009 19:33:42 »
Shouldn't this be in plant sciences?
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Offline Don_1

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Re: How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #5 on: 24/07/2009 15:52:17 »
Horticultural forum stuff really, but I suppose plant science is the nearest on this forum.
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lyner

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How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #6 on: 24/07/2009 20:44:31 »
I understand that some plants propagate better from woody cuttings and others do better from 'green' cuttings. You need to look up the particular plant you want to propagate to find out the better way.

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Offline Mazurka

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How do you take cuttings from trees?
« Reply #7 on: 27/07/2009 16:20:32 »
I understand that some plants propagate better from woody cuttings and others do better from 'green' cuttings. You need to look up the particular plant you want to propagate to find out the better way.
^^this

An alternative to root hormone is custard powder - my green fingered neighbour insists that it is equally effective!

With valuable/ difficult plants "layering" is also worth a go. (Google - Air layering)  This is a technique to develop roots on a branch which can eventually be removed as a seperate specimen.  Quite a common technique amongst Bonsai enthusiasts and suprisingly easy!