How to grow tree cuttings

How to Grow a New Tree From a Branch | Home Guides

By Kit Arbuckle Updated December 15, 2018

Rooting a branch to grow a new tree costs little time or money but does require patience. This simple method of propagation works for deciduous and evergreen varieties of trees. Branch cuttings become a complete, new plant identical to the parent plant. Branches less than one year old work the best for growing trees. Cuttings can have a greater rate of success than growing some species of trees from seed. The tree will mature much quicker than one grown from a seed and usually develops roots in a few months.

Preparing the Planter

Prepare a planter for growing the cuttings by filling it with a sterile, soil-less potting medium. Water the medium just until it feels moist all the way through and settles. Make holes approximately 1 inch in diameter through the top of the medium for each cutting.

Selecting a Branch

Select a 10-inch-long, healthy looking branch tip that includes leaves. Take softwood cuttings in spring, semi-hardwood in the fall and hardwood cuttings in winter. A softwood cutting comes from a new stem, semi-hardwood from current-season stems in the summer and hardwood from the previous year's growth. Cut it at a 45-degree angle with clean pruning shears.

Preparing the Cutting

Remove leaves or needles in the bottom 2 or 3 inches of the cutting. Wound hardwood cuttings on the bottom 1 to 2 inches by making vertical cuts on each side with a sharp knife. Stay in the surface wood. Wounding allows more rooting hormone and water to absorb into the cutting while increasing cell division.

Help from Hormones

Pour about 1 teaspoon of rooting hormone into a clean saucer. Dip the wounded end of the branch into the hormone. Roll the bottom 2 inches in the hormone, coating the branch. Gently shake off excess. Discard any hormone left on the saucer. Place the hormone-covered part of the branch in the hole in the potting medium. Build the mix around the branch to hold it in place. Mist the soil and the leaves.

Finishing the Project

Push two to four sticks into the potting mix around the edges of the planter. Cover the planter with plastic film or a lightweight greenhouse plastic to trap the humidity. Put the planter in a location that receives indirect light and temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a heat mat set to 70 degrees under the planter to keep the soil temperature consistent.

Check the cutting daily for soil moisture and root development. Mist the leaves with room-temperature water when you check on the cutting. Keep the soil moist all the way through. A slight tug on the branch indicates that roots have developed.

After Rooting

Transplant each rooted cutting into a 4-inch planter with a sterile potting soil. Continue to keep the soil moist and the plant in indirect sunlight. Slowly harden off to outdoor conditions after about one year of growth before transplanting into the ground.

Things You Will Need

Dip pruning shears in a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water to prevent the spread of disease.

Water the tree deeply the day before you take your cutting to ensure plenty of water reaches the branches.

Choose a healthy branch from a tree free of disease for the best results.

You can root several cuttings in a large pot, such as a 1 gallon.


Process the cutting as soon as you take it off of the tree for the best success, or it can dry out and die.

Sometimes branches don't develop roots. Take a cutting of several branches to increase the chances of successful root development.

Cuttings may take up to three months to develop roots.


  • University of California, Davis: Propagation
  • North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • Planet Natural Research Center: Plant Propagation 101


  • University of California Master Gardener Program: Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

Writer Bio

Kit Arbuckle is a freelance writer specializing in topics such as health, alternative medicine, beauty, senior care, pets and landscaping. She has training in landscaping and a certification in medicinal herbs from a botanical sanctuary.

Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings


Skip to Introduction

Propagation by stem cuttings is the most commonly used method to propagate many woody ornamental plants. Stem cuttings of many favorite shrubs are quite easy to root. Typically, stem cuttings of tree species are more difficult to root. However, cuttings from trees such as crape myrtles, some elms, and birches can be rooted.

A greenhouse is not necessary for successful propagation by stem cuttings; however, maintaining high humidity around the cutting is critical. If rooting only a few cuttings, you can use a flower pot (Figure 1). Maintain high humidity by covering the pot with a bottomless milk jug or by placing the pot into a clear plastic bag. Cuttings can also be placed in plastic trays covered with clear plastic stretched over a wire frame (Figure 2). Trays must have holes in the bottoms for drainage. The plastic will help keep the humidity high and reduce water loss from the cuttings.

If you need more elaborate facilities, you can construct a small hoop frame and/or use an intermittent mist system. HIL-404, Low Investment Propagation / Winter Protection Structure, and HIL-405, A Simple Intermittent Mist System For Propagation, describe how this can be accomplished. Another publication that may be helpful is AG-426, A Small Backyard Greenhouse for the Home Gardener.

Figure 1. Flowering pot.

Print Image

Figure 2. Plastic trays covered with clear plastic stretched over a wire frame.

Print Image

Types of Stem Cuttings

Skip to Types of Stem Cuttings

The four main types of stem cuttings are herbaceous, softwood, semi-hardwood, and hardwood. These terms reflect the growth stage of the stock plant, which is one of the most important factors influencing whether or not cuttings will root. Calendar dates are useful only as guidelines. Refer to Table 1 for more information on the best time to root stem cuttings of particular ornamental plants.

Table 1. Optimum stage of tissue (wood) maturity for rooting stem cuttings of selected woody ornamentals.
Common Name Scientific Name Type of Cutting (SW = softwood, SH = semi-hardwood, HW = hardwood)
Evergreen Plants
Abelia Abelia spp. SH, HW
Arborvitae, American Thuja occidentalis SH, HW
Arborvitae, Oriental Platycladus orientalis SW
Azalea (evergreen & semi-evergreen) Rhododendron spp. SH
Barberry, Mentor Berberis x mentorensis SH
Barberry, Japanese Berberis thunbergii SH, HW
Barberry, wintergreen Berberis julianae SH
Boxwood, littleleaf Buxus microphylla SH, HW
Boxwood, common Buxus sempervirens SH, HW
Camelia Camelia spp. SW, SH, HW
Ceanothus Ceanothus spp. SW, SH, HW
Cedar Cedrus spp. SH, HW
Chamaecyparis; False cypress Chamaecyparis spp. SH, HW
Cotoneaster Cotoneaster spp. SW, SH
Cryptomeria, Japanese Cryptomeria japonica SH
Daphne Daphne spp. SH
Elaeagnus, thorny Elaeagnus pungens SH
English ivy Hedera helix SH, HW
Euonymus Euonymus spp. SH
Fir Abies spp. SW, HW
Gardenia; Cape jasmine Gardenia jasminoides SW, SH
Heath Erica spp. SW, SH
Hemlock Tsuga spp. SW, SH, HW
Holly, Chinese Ilex cornuta SH, HW
Holly, Foster's Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri' SH
Holly, American Ilex opaca SH
Holly, Yaupon Ilex vomitoria SH, HW
Holly, English Ilex aquifolium SH
Holly, Japanese Ilex crenata SH, HW
Jasmine Jasminum spp. SH
Juniper, creeping Juniperus horizontalis SH, HW
Juniper, Chinese Juniperus Chinensis SH, HW
Juniper, shore Juniperus conferta SH, HW
Leyland cypress x Cupressocyparis leylandii SH, HW
Magnolia Mahonia spp. SH
Oleander Nerium oleander SH
Osmanthus, holly Osmanthus heterophyllus Sh, HW
Photinia Photinia spp. SH, HW
Pine, Mugo Pinus mugo SH
Pine, Eastern white Pinus strobus HW
Pittosporum Pittosporum spp. SH
Podocarpus Podocarpus spp. SH
Privet Ligustrunum spp. SW, SH, HW
Pyracantha; Firethorn Pyracantha spp. SH
Rhododendron Rhododendron spp. SH, HW
Spruce Picea spp. SW, HW
Viburnum Viburnum spp. SW, HW
Yew Taxus spp. SH, HW
Common Name Scientific Name Type of Cutting (SW = softwood, SH = semi-hardwood, HW = hardwood)
Deciduous Trees
Azalea (deciduous) Rhododendron spp. SW
Basswood; American linden Tilia americana SW
Birch Betula spp. SW
Bittersweet Celastrus spp. SW, SH, HW
Blueberry Vaccinium spp. SW, HW
Broom Cytisus spp. SW, HW
Callery pear Pyrus calleryana SH
Catalpa Catalpa spp. SW
Clematis Clematis spp. SW, SH
Crabapple Malus app. SW, SH
Crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica SH
Cherry, flowering Prunus spp. SW, SH
Dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides SW, SH
Deutzia Deutzia spp. SW, HW
Dogwood Cornus spp. SW, SH
Elderberry Sambucus spp. SW
Elm Ulmus spp. SW
Euonymus Euonymus spp. HW
Forsythia Forsythia spp. SW, SH, HW
Fringe tree Chioanthus spp. SW
Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree Ginkgo biloba SW
Goldenrain tree Koelreuteria spp. SW
Hibiscus, Chinese Hibiscus rosa-sinensis SW, SH
Honey locust Gleditsia triacanthos HW
Honeysuckle Lonicera spp. SW, HW
Hydrangea Hydrangea spp. SW, HW
Ivy, Boston Parthenocussus tricuspidata SW, HW
Larch Larix spp. SW
Lilac Syringa spp. SW
Maple Acer spp. SW, SH
Mock orange Philadelphus spp. SW, HW
Mulberry Morus spp. SW
Poplar; Aspen; Cottonwood Populus spp. SW, HW
Poplar, Yellow; Tulip tree; Tulip poplar Liriodendron tulipfera SH
Quince, flowering Chaenomeles spp. SH
Redbud Cercis spp. SW
Rose of Sharon; Shrub-althea Hibiscus syriacus SW, HW
Rose Rosa spp. SW, SH, HW
Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia HW
Serviceberry Amelanchier spp. SW
Smoke tree Cotinus coggygria SW
Spirea Spiraea spp. SW
St. Johnswort Hypericum spp. SW
Sumac Rhus spp. SW
Sweet gum Liquidambar styraciflua SW
Trumpet creeper Campsis spp. SW, SH, HW
Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia SW, HW
Weigela Weigela spp. SW, HW
Willow Salix app. SW, SH, HW
Wisteria Wisteria spp. SW

Herbaceous cuttings are made from non-woody, herbaceous plants such as coleus, chrysanthemums, and dahlia. A 3- to 5-inch piece of stem is cut from the parent plant. The leaves on the lower one-third to one-half of the stem are removed. A high percentage of the cuttings root, and they do so quickly.

Softwood cuttings are prepared from soft, succulent, new growth of woody plants, just as it begins to harden (mature). Shoots are suitable for making softwood cuttings when they can be snapped easily when bent and when they still have a gradation of leaf size (oldest leaves are mature while newest leaves are still small). For most woody plants, this stage occurs in May, June, or July. The soft shoots are quite tender, and extra care must be taken to keep them from drying out. The extra effort pays off, because they root quickly.

Semi-hardwood cuttings are usually prepared from partially mature wood of the current season’s growth, just after a flush of growth. This type of cutting normally is made from mid-July to early fall. The wood is reasonably firm and the leaves of mature size. Many broadleaf evergreen shrubs and some conifers are propagated by this method.

Hardwood cuttings are taken from dormant, mature stems in late fall, winter, or early spring. Plants generally are fully dormant with no obvious signs of active growth. The wood is firm and does not bend easily. Hardwood cuttings are used most often for deciduous shrubs but can be used for many evergreens. Examples of plants propagated at the hardwood stage include forsythia, privet, fig, grape, and spirea.

The three types of hardwood cuttings are straight, mallet, and heel (Figure 3). A straight cutting is the most commonly used stem cutting. Mallet and heel cuttings are used for plants that might otherwise be more difficult to root. For the heel cutting, a small section of older wood is included at the base of the cutting. For the mallet cutting, an entire section of older stem wood is included.

Figure 3. The three types of hardwood cuttings are straight, mallet, and heel.

Print Image

Procedures for Rooting Stem Cuttings

Skip to Procedures for Rooting Stem Cuttings

Cuttings should generally consist of the current or past season’s growth. Avoid material with flower buds if possible. Remove any flowers and flower buds when preparing cuttings so the cutting’s energy can be used in producing new roots rather than flowers. Take cuttings from healthy, disease-free plants, preferably from the upper part of the plant.

The fertility status of the stock (parent) plant can influence rooting. Avoid taking cuttings from plants that show symptoms of mineral nutrient deficiency. Conversely, plants that have been fertilized heavily, particularly with nitrogen, may not root well. The stock plant should not be under moisture stress. In general, cuttings taken from young plants root in higher percentages than cuttings taken from older, more mature plants. Cuttings from lateral shoots often root better than cuttings from terminal shoots.

Early morning is the best time to take cuttings, because the plant is fully turgid. It is important to keep the cuttings cool and moist until they are stuck. An ice chest or dark plastic bag with wet paper towels may be used to store cuttings. If there will be a delay in sticking cuttings, store them in a plastic bag in a refrigerator.

While terminal parts of the stem are best, a long shoot can be divided into several cuttings. Cuttings are generally 4 to 6 inches long. Use a sharp, thin-bladed pocket knife or sharp pruning shears. If necessary, dip the cutting tool in rubbing alcohol or a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to prevent transmitting diseases from infected plant parts to healthy ones.

Remove the leaves from the lower one-third to one-half of the cutting (Figure 4). On large-leafed plants, the remaining leaves may be cut in half to reduce water loss and conserve space. Species difficult to root should be wounded.

Treating cuttings with root-promoting compounds can be a valuable tool in stimulating rooting of some plants that might otherwise be difficult to root. Prevent possible contamination of the entire supply of rooting hormone by putting some in a separate container before treating cuttings. Any material that remains after treatment should be discarded and not returned to the original container. Be sure to tap the cuttings to remove excess hormone when using a powder formulation.

The rooting medium should be sterile, low in fertility, and well-drained to provide sufficient aeration. It should also retain enough moisture so that watering does not have to be done too frequently. Materials commonly used are coarse sand, a mixture of one part peat and one part perlite (by volume), or one part peat and one part sand (by volume). Vermiculite by itself is not recommended, because it compacts and tends to hold too much moisture. Media should be watered while being used.

Insert the cuttings one-third to one-half their length into the medium. Maintain the vertical orientation of the stem (do not insert the cuttings upside down). Make sure the buds are pointed up. Space cuttings just far enough apart to allow all leaves to receive sunlight. Water again after inserting the cuttings if the containers or frames are 3 or more inches in depth. Cover the cuttings with plastic and place in indirect light. Avoid direct sun. Keep the medium moist until the cuttings have rooted. Rooting will be improved if the cuttings are misted on a regular basis.

Rooting time varies with the type of cutting, the species being rooted, and environmental conditions. Conifers require more time than broadleaf plants. Late fall or early winter is a good time to root conifers. Once rooted, they may be left in the rooting structure until spring.

Newly rooted cuttings should not be transplanted directly into the landscape. Instead, transplant them into containers or into a bed. Growing them to a larger size before transplanting to a permanent location will increase the chances for survival.

Figure 4. Remove the leaves from the lower one-third to one-half of the cutting.

Print Image

For Further Reading

Skip to For Further Reading

  • Bryant, G. 1995. Propagation Handbook. Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Dirr, M. A. and C. W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture. Varsity Press: Athens, Georgia.
  • Hartmann, H. T., D. E. Kester, F. T. Davies and R. L. Geneve. 1996. Plant Propagation, Principles and Practices. 6th ed. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • McMillan Browse, P. D. A. 1978. Plant Propagation. Simon and Schuster: New York.
  • Toogood, A. 1993. Plant Propagation Made Easy. Timber Press: Portland, Oregon.
Ervin Evans
Extension Associate (Consumer Horticulture)
Horticultural Science
Frank Blazich
Horticultural Science
  • Keywords:
  • Gardening
  • Plant Propagation

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Community Gardens Extension Gardener Gardening Horticulture

Publication date: Jan. 31, 1999

N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.

Summer cuttings of trees and shrubs - myths and real experience. General principles, mistakes. Photo - Botanichka

As a child, I was delighted with a fairy tale where the main character cleverly hid from the chase - he stuck branches from a bush into the ground, and a dense impenetrable green forest immediately grew behind him. I have been experimenting with twigs since I was four years old (and still do). So, summer cuttings are a great opportunity to get a young seedling of the desired variety. The procedure is simple, fast and almost always it is possible even for beginners. Unsuccessful cuttings are associated with an obvious neglect of its basic principles. More on this later.

Summer cuttings of trees and shrubs - myths and real experience

General principles of summer cuttings


There is a time for everything

The cutting needs time to "ripen" before cuttings. After cuttings, the twig needs time to take root, adapt and prepare for winter.

MYTH 1: It is best to take young green branches for cuttings.

How do you know if a cutting can be cut and rooted? Just. He is still young, but already has a hard bark. It can be matured shoots of this year or last year. It is necessary to start grafting when the sap flow has already been completed, and berry bushes are grafted after the fruit appears. Ornamental shrubs are ready for cuttings one to two weeks after flowering.

The easiest way to determine if a rose is ready for cuttings: if the thorn breaks off easily when pressed to the side, feel free to cut the cuttings!

Although the terms are conditional, and for each type of plant they are selected individually. For example, I cut gooseberries from mid-June to early August. I can also propagate currants before flowering in June with last year's shoots. Coniferous - before the third decade of June, it is already necessary to cut. Hazel, lilac and hydrangea will be ready to give good cuttings at the end of June. If you plant them in August, then the new plants will not have time to get stronger for the winter and will not endure it in the open field.

If the rose thorn breaks off easily when pressed to the side, feel free to cut the cuttings! © Ekaterina Danilova

2. The right environment is necessary for the formation of roots

In water, the cuttings of most bushes and trees give roots reluctantly, they rot.

MYTH 2: cuttings need nutrient soil, humus, fertilizer.

Under no circumstances should cuttings be planted in fertilized and rich in organic matter. Such a trick will take place only in the south, there - wherever you stick a stick, it will sprout anyway.

In the open field or at home, cuttings take root in light and poor soil.

Based on my experience, high-moor peat with sand in a ratio of 1:1 works best. Sand can be replaced with perlite or vermiculite. Conifers, such as juniper, take root well in sphagnum (this is moss).

3. Preparing the cutting

Oblique cuts, straight cuts, above the bud, under the bud, cut with a knife, cut only with a pruner - what you can not read from advisers on the Internet.

MYTH 3: the cutting must be cut obliquely at the bottom and horizontally at the top.

I'll tell you a secret: the difference in which cut and where is not so significant. What matters is that there should be a few buds on top that are potentially ready to sprout, and enough space on the bottom for roots to form, but not too much so that the excess does not rot.

The optimal length of the cutting is from 5 cm to 10 cm. We dig it into the ground by 1.5-3 cm, depending on the thickness of the twig (the thicker, the deeper).

MYTH 4: cuttings must be stuck into the ground at an angle.

My practice shows that there is no difference: the stalk is stuck into the ground obliquely or evenly. Perhaps this matters with large volumes of plantings and a limited area, when it is better for plants to grow closely from an inclined cutting. My amateur landings are not crowded.

I almost always cut the leaves. A piece of petiole or even a petiole with part of a leaf can be left at a rose, currant, lilac, mock orange and other bushes. They make it easier to track how rooting occurs, and the process of photosynthesis for a plant is important.

Tip! Before cutting the cuttings, the mother bush (or tree) must be well watered in advance, but it is not necessary to feed.

Cuttings can be stored for a very long time in a damp cloth in a cool place: a couple of weeks, even months.

On the lower part of the cutting, where the roots are planned, it is advisable to make a couple of scratches on the bark. If the bark is too thick, you can even cut off a small strip of a few millimeters around the entire circumference. I always cover thick cuttings on top with wax so that they do not dry out too much.

MYTH 5: Cutting pruners should be cleaned with alcohol.

Alcohol for cuttings is completely unnecessary. A tool that makes an even cut (secateurs or a knife - it doesn’t matter) should be washed with soap and rinsed in a strong solution of potassium permanganate before work. In general, my experience shows that holding the cuttings themselves in potassium permanganate for a couple of minutes is not a sin. This is especially true for gooseberry, currant and rose branches.

On the lower part of the cutting, where the roots are planned, it is advisable to make a couple of scratches on the bark. © Ekaterina Danilova

4. Cuttings need greenhouse conditions

You can object, they say, there was a case, without any shelter, a cutting was taken and grew perfectly. Agree. It happens.

Attention! Willow, hazel, lilac, mock orange, and acacia take root wonderfully without any hotbeds in the middle lane.

Most plants need a greenhouse, a shelter that protects from temperature fluctuations and moisture loss in the soil, protecting from the scorching sun.

It is very convenient to cover the stem with a cut plastic bottle. Just make sure that he has enough space there, and he does not touch the walls.

For a large number of cuttings, a mini-greenhouse is made on arcs, close enough to the ground (30-40 cm) with a film. You can make a box for cuttings and cover it with glass.

We ventilate the mini-greenhouse in good weather by slightly lifting the edges of the film or glass. It will be possible to remove the film only when the cuttings take root and confidently start growing. We gradually accustom them during the day to the sun, and at night to a cold snap.

Conifer cuttings in the open field will be grateful if you first cover them with damp white paper bags and only then stretch the film or cover with glass.

The soil must always be moderately moist during rooting.

It is very convenient to cover the stem with a cut plastic bottle. © Ekaterina Danilova

5. Rooting stimulants are not required

All living things want to live!

MYTH 6: cuttings will not be accepted without root stimulator.

The natural stimulus for the formation of roots is already the fact that the branch is separated from the mother bush and placed in the soil. Therefore, roots are formed even without external stimulation.

As for "Kornevin", "Heteroauxin" and similar preparations, I will say: the thing is good, if not overdo it. With stimulants, the percentage of plants that have taken root is, of course, higher.

The results of cuttings can only be assessed after a couple of weeks. In some cases, you will have to wait a month or even a month and a half until shoots appear on the new plant - a symbol of success.

In short, these are all the basic principles of summer cuttings.

This is how fruit and ornamental shrubs, including roses, reproduce.

Attention! The cuttings of some trees and coniferous plants in summer have specifics.

Gooseberry three weeks after cuttings. © Ekaterina Danilova

Specifics of summer cuttings of some trees and conifers

Some trees and conifers are more difficult to cut than bushes.

Due to my inexperience, I tried several times to "plant" branches of apple and pear trees, taken from a chic neighbor's garden. Alas and ah ... they do not take root. These trees can be propagated by layering. Branches are rooted without cutting them off from the parent tree. Only after the roots appear, the cutting can be separated.

Trees and conifers are cut from cuttings as soon as active sap flow has ended (end of May-first half of June). The stalk is cut off green on top and already having a bark on the bottom. The growth point (the very top of the cutting) is cut off.

In order for cuttings to develop roots actively, the tip of a coniferous cutting needs to be slightly split, because the resin clogs the cut, preventing any interaction with the environment.

MYTH 7: Coniferous plants should only be cut in winter.

It is possible that coniferous plants are cut in nurseries all year round. The material would be suitable. But I believe that only young branches are suitable for cuttings, such as we have in the middle lane only in May-June.

Cuttings of juniper "in the snail"

Of all my experiments with conifers, the most successful is cuttings of juniper "in the snail". I'll tell you if you're not in a hurry.

Preparation took half an hour:

  • I cut a strip of 15 cm from the substrate for the laminate (such a thin porous polyethylene film).
  • Spread moss on this strip (the roots of seedlings are often wrapped with this moss during shipment).
  • On May 25, having cut young twigs from a neighbor's chic twenty-year-old juniper, I laid them with stems on a prepared base and turned into a snail.
  • Before laying the base of the branches, I slightly split (about 5-7 mm). 2-3 cm from each cutting got into the moss, the rest was located on top. Growth points, of course, I pinched off, cut off part of the needles.
  • I put a folded snail, which easily fit in my hand, for a while into a glass with a warm solution of potassium permanganate.
  • I placed the whole structure in a transparent bag, which I tied on top.
  • I made a few holes in the top of the bag for ventilation.

In the future, it was necessary to rinse the glass every two or three days, pour fresh water into it.

On June 23, the cuttings showed fresh green, barely visible shoots. I started a gentle airing. I added Kornevin to the glass.

On July 25, I already completely removed the package.

Unwound the snail on August 15th. The roots were pretty decent, the longest - 5-7 centimeters.

The plants were transplanted into the open ground on August 16th.

Spudded for the winter, sheltered under a dry air shelter.

Total: cut 15 cuttings. They gave roots to 11. After transplanting in the open field, 8 began. Overwintered and survived 4 plants. I think this is a good result for a beginner amateur.

Cuttings of conifers "in the snail". © Lomakina Tatyana

Causes of unsuccessful cuttings of plants in summer

Even if you did everything right, in your opinion, but the result is not pleasing - do not be upset. As the classic said, experience is the son of difficult mistakes.

Analyzing my own and other people's experience, I can single out the following possible mistakes in summer cuttings of trees and shrubs.

1. Cutting something that cannot be propagated by cuttings

Before experimenting, find out at least fundamentally: do these plants grow from cuttings? Do not even try to propagate cherry, apricot, spruce, larch or fir cuttings. They don't breed like that.

2. In a hurry, or we are late

It is very difficult at first to choose the time of grafting, the moment of removing the shelter and transplanting to a permanent place. Check with someone knowledgeable if you're not sure. And if you are sure - also listen to what the “experienced” will say. You will then know how competent they are.

3. We take the cuttings that are not right and wrong

So we want to take a strong, straight cutting, striving upwards, the one that is thicker and stronger than all its brothers. Do not take! Such cuttings take root with difficulty. The branch that grew sideways, leaned towards the ground, and was shaded by neighboring branches, will take root faster. Nature itself intended it for the cutting!

I also noticed that if the plant is well-groomed, it has been heavily overfed with manure, it has many new shoots, it grows in a sunny place and feels great - the cuttings from it take root poorly, many rot.

If you decide to bring a grape stem from Moldova and plant it in the Leningrad region…. Well, it is quite possible to root it in greenhouse conditions or at home, but this seedling is not destined to grow and bear fruit in the open field. Take cuttings from plants in your region - the likelihood of success will increase significantly.

When cutting, the branch that grew sideways, leaned towards the ground, and became shaded, will take root faster. © Ekaterina Danilova

4. Forget about care

Like small children, cuttings need daily care: airing, watering, if necessary - treatment from diseases and pests.

Many times it happened to me: I started to actively engage in cuttings. Then they started to grow, I was delighted, relaxed, and the cuttings die from excessive heat in the greenhouse or from a night draft under the film, from insufficient watering or excessive waterlogging as a result of a July downpour. And how many plants died after an improperly prepared wintering .... Don't count on chance. Don't repeat my mistakes.

The first year after grafting, you can't relax your attention!

Finally, I will say: miracles happen. The tale is a lie, but there is a hint in it. It happens that the most nondescript four-centimeter piece of currant rod, stuck in the sand, in three years on the fourth, will give a full bucket of selected large fragrant berries.

Don't believe me? I got them today!

Propagation of fruit trees by cuttings. Has the method stood the test of time? | Garden | Dacha

Vladimir Veselov,

Elena Popleva

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


AiF at Dacha No. 5. Fragrant Rainbow 07/03/2014

In 1887, the newspaper "Russian Gardening" published an article "The simplest Russian method of propagating fruit trees with cuttings." Its author A. Grell suggested not to graft the cuttings, but simply to root them.

“Our scientists (and pretending to be scientists) gardeners racked their brains thinking up propagation by cuttings; they wrote dozens of columns, discussing the benefits of own-rooted trees, while the Russian, unlearned peasant knew a long time ago the simplest and most convenient method of propagation by cuttings . .. "

Comments candidate agricultural. Sciences Sergey Dzhura :

When propagated by cuttings, fruit trees will be obtained on their roots, and this idea remains controversial. The data published in the scientific literature, and my own observations, indicate that own-rooted apple and pear trees are inferior to grafted ones both in terms of yield and fruiting stability. Recently, in my summer cottage, I myself was forced to get rid of an adult own-rooted pear tree of the Naryadnaya Efimova variety due to a meager harvest and periodicity of fruiting, which was not observed in neighboring grafted trees of the same pear. Moreover (according to my observations), the old varieties of folk selection feel more or less decent, but trees of modern varieties are best grown grafted.


“Now, March 21, it is already the latest time for cutting cuttings of apple, pear and other fruit trees, because at the end of March a rather noticeable spring movement of juices begins . ..
I intend to cut cuttings these days and will plant them no later than mid-April. If planted earlier, then you need to keep them in a warm room, which, it seems to me, will cause too much movement and failure ... I will cut cuttings eight inches long (35.6 cm - Hereinafter ed. note) - longer hard to find in the garden."


Spring cuttings are not the best option, because the annual shoots used for this often freeze in winter. In most cases, this can spoil the whole idea. Nowadays, cuttings are harvested at the very beginning of winter and stored, for example, in the snow until use.

Yes, and spring is not the best moment for rooting. The plant, referring to its internal "biological clock", in the spring is more focused on bud break and shoot growth than on the formation and development of roots.

In a container

“I will put the cuttings in a half-bottle of seltzer or half-pound medicine bottles (vessels of water with a capacity of not more than 200 ml). I will plug the neck with cold garden pitch, so that the earth does not go into the bottle at all. I will put the bottle on the bottom of a garden tub seven or eight inches high (31–35 cm) and fill them with loose soddy soil, so much so that no more than two or three buds covered with earth remain above the ground. This will make a layer of earth with a thickness of two to three inches (8.9-13.3 cm) above the bottle. On top of this layer, I will put another layer of moss half an inch (2.2 cm) in order to maintain uniform humidity around the covered buds, near which the future roots of the tree should develop. If I manage to get several of these cuttings with roots, even if they are weak, then I will submit the tubs to the Kharkov All-Russian Exhibition.


This method of obtaining seedlings is complex and laborious. Moreover, the appearance of roots remains in question - after all, even “legs” submerged in water poorly protect the cuttings from drying out.

In the open field

“Experiments in the ridges are incomparably easier to do, and they will probably be more successful ... I order the bed, illuminated from the east, to dig 10, 12 inches deep (44.5–53.4 cm), I will break everything clods and place in it my bottles with cuttings placed in them. During an air landing, I will lower the bottles so much that the layer of earth covering the cuttings is no less than three inches (13.3 cm), and that there are at least three buds in the ground, and only one or two above the ground, if used top of the run.

In addition to a thick layer of earth that does not dry out easily, I will try to keep the moisture in my garden bed with a layer of dung humus or moss half an inch thick; I will water daily in the evenings if there was no rain...

Here I must also dwell on one important circumstance - the length of the planted cutting. If the upper part is longer than one and a half inches (6.7 cm), then it will certainly wind up, that is, it will wither, perhaps, prematurely; the real measure for her is an inch or an inch with a small one (about 5 cm), because otherwise, during the warming of the sun, a flower pot will have to be overturned over her, because a layer of moss or humus will not shade her enough.


By and large, this method has lost its relevance. Over the past 126 years since the publication of this article, a lot has changed: modern covering and mulching materials have appeared, means of combating fungi - one of the main enemies of cuttings during rooting, growth regulators - rooting stimulants. Knowledge in the field of physiology of fruit plants has also expanded.

But nevertheless, in case of urgent need, we can recall the idea of ​​rooting cuttings. But it is better to apply a more modern modification of the method (from A. D. Burmistrov and V. I. Stepanychev) - use potato tubers instead of vessels with water.

Alas, the “hands-on way of growing fruit trees” has not stood the test of time. The whole methodology is presented in the form of intentions (the text is replete with the words “I will”, “I will try”, etc.), but what A. Grell grew up with in the end and whether he managed to make the expected sensation at the Kharkov All-Russian Exhibition - history is silent.

Learn more