How to root a tree cutting

Rooting Softwood And Hardwood Cuttings

General Tree Care

By: Heather Rhoades

Image by Lex20

Many people say that shrubs, bushes and trees are the backbone of garden design. Many times, these plants provide structure and architecture around which the rest of the garden is created. Unfortunately, shrubs, bushes and trees tend to be the most expensive plants to purchase for your garden.

However, there is one way to save money on these higher ticket items. This is to start your own from cuttings.

There are two types of cuttings to start shrubs, bushes and trees — hardwood cuttings and softwood cuttings. These phrases refer to the state the wood of the plant is in. New growth that is still pliable and has not yet developed a bark exterior is called softwood. Older growth, which has developed a bark exterior, is called hardwood.

How to Root Hardwood Cuttings

Hardwood cuttings are typically taken in early spring or early winter when the plant is not actively growing. But, in a pinch, hardwood cuttings can be taken anytime of the year. The point of taking hardwood cuttings in non-growth periods is more to do with doing as little harm to the parent plant as possible.

Hardwood cuttings are also only taken from deciduous shrubs, bushes and trees that lose their leaves every year. This method will not work with evergreen plants.

  1. Cut off a hardwood cutting that is 12 to 48 (30-122 cm.) inches long.
  2. Trim the end of the cutting to be planted just below where a leafbud grows on the branch.
  3. Cut off the top of the branch so that there are at least two additional leafbuds above the bottom leafbud. Also, make sure that the area left is at least 6 inches (15 cm.) long. Additional buds can be left on the branch if necessary to make sure the branch is 6 inches (15 cm.).
  4. Strip the bottom-most leafbuds and the topmost layer of bark 2 inches (5 cm.)  above this. Do not cut too deeply into the branch. You only need to take off the top layer and you don’t need to be thorough about it.
  5. Place the stripped area in rooting hormone, then put the stripped end into a small pot of damp soilless mix.
  6. Wrap the whole pot and cutting in a plastic bag. Tie off the top but make sure the plastic is not touching the cutting at all.
  7. Place the pot in a warm spot that gets indirect light. Do not put in full sunlight.
  8. Check the plant every two weeks or so to see if roots have developed.
  9. Once roots have developed, remove the plastic covering. The plant will be ready to grow outdoors when the weather is suitable.

How to Root Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings are normally taken when the plant is in active growth, which is normally in the spring. This will be the only time you will be able to find softwood on a shrub, bush or tree. This method can be used with all types of shrubs, bushes and trees.

  1. Cut a piece of softwood off the plant that is at least 6 inches (15 cm.) long, but no longer than 12 inches (30 cm. ). Make sure that there is at least three leaves on the cutting.
  2. Remove any flowers or fruit on the cutting.
  3. Trim the stem to just below where the bottom most leaf meets the stem.
  4. On each of the leaves on the stem, cut off half of the leaf.
  5. Dip the end of the cutting to be rooted in rooting hormone
  6. Put the end to be rooted into a small pot of damp soiless mix.
  7. Wrap the whole pot and cutting in a plastic bag. Tie off the top but make sure the plastic is not touching the cutting at all.
  8. Place the pot in a warm spot that gets indirect light. Do not put in full sunlight.
  9. Check the plant every two weeks or so to see if roots have developed.
  10. Once roots have developed, remove the plastic covering. The plant will be ready to grow outdoors when the weather is suitable.

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How To Successfully Root a Tree Branch

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Trees are gorgeous, and sometimes you have a favorite. However, if you plant seeds from your beloved tree, they might not grow up to be what you hoped, as the seeds are the result of two trees coming together through pollination.

Duplicating your favorite tree means rooting a tree branch. But how?

Rooting a tree branch requires that the cutting is under a year old. The branch must start in water or sandy soil. Dipping the cut end in hormone powder is believed to raise the odds of success. The cutting will take anywhere from a few weeks to months before being ready for transplanting.

Rooting a tree branch is often preferred to air layering or growing from seed because it is faster. However, not all trees will grow from cuttings.

Deciduous trees are usually the easiest to grow from a cutting, while evergreens are often considered the hardest.

How To Root A Tree Branch In Water Or Soil

Rooting a tree branch is pretty straightforward. However, you do need to ensure it isn’t a grafted tree. Rooting a grafted tree branch will not result in a duplicate but a tree of the scion (the non-root stock tree used during grafting).

Be sure to research what type of season your tree of choice does best with rooting. For example, softwood trees root best if the cutting is taken in spring or early summer. Hardwood trees, however, tend to root best at the end of autumn or early winter.

  1. You need to cut a branch from the tree that is less than a year old. Preferably use a sterile pruner or knife. The branch should be between 6-10 in (15 – 25 cm) long.
  2. Remove leaves and buds from the lower part of the branch that will be submerged.
  3. If using rooting hormone (advised for tree cuttings), dip the cut part into it, or apply gently.
  4. If using water: place it in a container with around 7.5 cm. Do add water regularly and change once a week. If using soil: place it in a pot with soil that drains well, such as sandy soil or potting soil. Keep the contents moist. Using cling film or a plastic bag with holes can help ensure the soil doesn’t dry out between watering.
  5. The branch will take at least a few weeks, if not months before its new roots are thick and long. Once the roots are looking hearty, you can transplant the new tree.

The advantage of rooting the branch in water is that you can easily see when the new roots are ready to be transplanted. However, if your pot is clear (such as the sawed-off bottom of an old soda bottle), you watch for the roots to form in the soil.

The transfer from water to soil can be hard on a plant. David Clark, a horticulturist, advises slowly adding a bit of soil over the course of a few weeks to help your plant transition.

If you want to see someone rooting tree branches with soil, Veronica Flores has a YouTube video that will walk you through it:

How To Root A Tree Branch With Air Layering

Air Layering is propagating a new tree without taking a cutting. Instead, you select a branch from the tree and leave it on the tree while it makes new roots.

Some people find this method more successful than rooting a branch from a cutting. However, air layering usually takes longer than typical rooting methods.

  1. Prepare your sphagnum peat moss. Place it in a plastic bag with added water and seal it. Leave it for at least an hour. If you don’t have sphagnum peat moss, you can try potting soil. It isn’t ideal but will be better than other options.
  2. Locate a healthy branch that’s as fat as a pencil. Find a node (leaf bud) that should be a foot (30.5 cm) from the branch’s tip.
  3. Cut a ring on the branch .25 in (.6 cm) below the node using a sterile implement. You want to go deep enough that you are past the bark but not cutting the wood. Alternatively, you can wrap copper wire at the same spot you would typically cut. The wire needs to gouge halfway through the bark.
  4. Coat your “wound” (the ring) with rooting hormone.
  5. Pack your sphagnum peat moss around the “wound,” then wrap it with cling film. Then secure it with twine, tape (electrical is good), or zip ties.
  6. Check your branch every week or two to ensure it has plenty of moisture.
  7. Once the peat moss is clearly filled with roots (typically takes an entire season), you can detach the branch from the tree.

Some people are now using air layering pods rather than traditional air layering methods. They claim to be safer for the tree while being more secure than your twine and cling film method. They come in three sizes and cost around ten dollars for a pack of ten.

Want to see a demonstration of air layering? Watch this YouTube video:

Popular Trees To Root From A Branch

Fruit trees are one of the most common to root. An apple is a wonderful option to try if you have never rooted a branch before.

14 Popular Fruit Trees To Root From A Branch

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Cherry
  • Fig
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Olive
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Papaya
  • Pomegranate
  • Pomelo
14 Non-Fruit Trees To Root From A Branch
  • Arborvitae
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Cypress
  • Fir
  • Elm
  • Hemlock
  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Tsuga
  • Willow

When rooting a non-fruit tree, it will be easier to do it from a deciduous than an evergreen. This is because evergreen branches are often brittle. But if you like a challenge, give them a go.

Using Natural Rooting Hormones

There is growing popularity of trying to use natural rooting hormones. Two common choices are honey and cinnamon.

Honey is not actually a rooting hormone. However, honey does have antibacterial properties, which makes it worthwhile when using it for other cuttings.

Cinnamon is trickier because in much of North America, cinnamon isn’t even cinnamon. However, there is evidence that oil from real cinnamon does have anti-fungus properties. This can be useful when propagating some plants, especially roses.

When it comes to rooting tree branches, using honey or cinnamon isn’t going to hurt the tree branch. It may even eliminate some bacteria or fungus that may have transferred to the branch when being cut. But it isn’t going to give you the benefits of a rooting hormone.

Final Thoughts

Whether you root a tree branch using water, soil, or air layering, moisture and patience are key to success. Don’t let your branch dry out, and remember that some tree varieties can up to an entire season to produce enough healthy roots.

However, no matter how you decide to root a tree branch, it is still faster than growing from seed.


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Propagation by cuttings of rootstocks of fruit trees

Propagation by cuttings of rootstocks of fruit trees

For the production of great interest is the propagation of rootstocks by cuttings from fruit trees: green, lignified and rooted. After sufficient improvement of these methods, it would be possible to additionally obtain a significant number of clonal rootstocks, and in the future it is possible to make cuttings propagation the leading one in the propagation of clonal rootstocks. However, at the present level of knowledge and organization of production, these methods can only be of an auxiliary nature.

Propagation by green cuttings. Cuttings are prepared from special mother plants. Shoots from juvenile forms or from adventitious buds take root better. You can use the cuttings after removing (breaking out) the shoots from low-growing rootstocks in the second field of the nursery. Usually, young shoots with the apical point of growth are harvested when they are still in a herbaceous state. If the shoot is long, it can be cut into two parts. Landing 4X5 cm, the lower part is deepened by 1-1.5 cm to give the cuttings a vertical position.

Root cuttings under conditions of artificial intermittent fog under the film. Film greenhouses are considered the most convenient for this purpose, in which the best conditions for care are created and there is an opportunity for extensive mechanization.

Rooting of green cuttings in conditions of overheating is unacceptable. Temperature control in film greenhouses is carried out using electrothermometers, which automatically turn on the water supply to the sprayers.

N.I. Turovskaya (1972) notes that green cuttings of individual clonal rootstocks were 100% rooted. Unfortunately, after a good formation of roots in the first year, the cuttings almost did not give a normal increase in the aerial part, or it was insignificant. Such rootstocks cannot be used for laying the first field of the nursery. In the second year, these plants need to be grown in a school, which complicates the production process and increases the cost of stock material. However, we believe that the propagation of rootstocks by green cuttings is a promising business and it is necessary to work in this direction.

Propagation by lignified cuttings. Lignified annual growths can be harvested in large quantities. Every year in nurseries, thousands of these cuttings are thrown away during the separation of layers from the mother bushes. The desire to use this material for growing rootstocks is quite understandable. However, in practice, nurserymen often do not get satisfactory results: lignified cuttings of clonal rootstocks, as a rule, take root poorly. The use of growth stimulants (β-indolylacetic acid, β-indolylbutyric acid and α-naphthylacetic acid) slightly increases the percentage of rooted plants.

Only those cuttings that were harvested from the lower part of the layers that did not form roots take root quite satisfactorily. Such cuttings usually have well developed root primordia and are able to form roots easily. Cuttings from the middle part of the shoots take root poorly, and from the top they practically do not take root.

In the experiments of Yu.L. Kudasova, the cuttings of the red-leaved paradisiac, harvested from the lower part of the unrooted layers, formed good roots .. It turned out that rooting is more successful if the cuttings are soaked in water for one day before planting.

Better than clonal apple rootstocks, many forms of southern quince propagate by cuttings. Quince A takes root quite satisfactorily, quince C is somewhat worse. Quince northern Michurin takes root poorly with cuttings. Good results with this method, as A.N. Veniaminov, K.F. Kostina, G.V. Eremin (1963) and others give selected hybrid forms of cherry plum.

Lignified cuttings should be harvested in autumn from the root zone of the mother plant. It is better to take the lower part of the shoot. They are cut into lengths of 20-25 cm, tied into bundles of 50 pieces. and stored in a basement with a temperature of -2 to +2-3 0 C. If there are a large number of cuttings, they are stacked, layering each row of bunches with wet, but not wet sawdust, moss, peat. Cuttings in bunches can be snowed.

It is desirable to test the pretreatment of cuttings by kilching, which has become widespread in viticulture.

For planting cuttings need nutritious, loose, better sandy soil. They are planted in grooves at a distance of 8-10 cm from one another at an angle of 45 0 . The upper part of the cuttings is sprinkled with earth by 1-2 cm. It is advisable to mulch the rows with humus. After planting, good watering is necessary, then the soil is moistened systematically during the summer. Caring for a site with cuttings is common: weed control, loosening the soil after watering or heavy rain, pest control, especially aphids.

Recently, the East Malling Experimental Station has paid much attention to the propagation of clonal rootstocks by lignified cuttings (Garner, 1969). The station recommends creating special plantings for harvesting cuttings. In them, mother plants of rootstocks are placed densely (approximately 1-1.2X0.3-0.4 m) and formed in the form of bushes. This type of planting is called a hedge, as the plants form a solid green wall. Good growth and strong thickening contributes to the formation of a large number of long, unbranched shoots. They are harvested from autumn and cut into pieces of 20-25 cm, and when planted directly in the first field of the nursery - by 30-40 cm. The lower ends of the cuttings are quickly dipped in a concentrated solution of growth substances. For this purpose, β-indolylbutyric or α-naphthylacetic acid is usually used (1 g of the growth substance is dissolved in 500 cm 3 95% alcohol and then add 0.5 l of water).

You can also use weaker solutions of growth substances, but the cuttings must be kept in them longer (1 g of the growth substance is dissolved in 50 ml of 3 95% alcohol, then 10 cm 3 of this solution is diluted in 5 l of water and the cuttings kept in solution for 12 to 24 hours).

The cuttings prepared in this way are placed in a special bunker, where, with the help of electric heating, the temperature at the base of the cuttings is maintained at a level of about 7 0 C. Gravel is poured into the bottom of the hopper, providing the necessary drainage and good aeration. From above, the cuttings are covered with a mixture consisting of equal parts of coarse sand and peat, with a layer of 15-20 cm. From 2.5 thousand to 3 thousand cuttings are placed per 1 m 2 . The temperature at the end of winter from the upper part of the cuttings should be about 0 0 C, but not higher than 2-3 0 C, so that the buds on them do not start growing.

The storage of cuttings must be supervised. As soon as weak roots begin to form on the lower part of them, the heating is stopped so that long roots do not grow, which break during planting. The cuttings prepared in this way are planted as early as possible in the spring at the breeding site or directly in the nursery. Rooting cuttings 70-90% of the number of landed.

The described method is of great interest, and it should be tested and refined in relation to our conditions.

Propagation by root cuttings. In addition to the methods described, sometimes they resort to the propagation of fruit species by root cuttings. In this direction, a lot of work has been done by I.E. Kocherzhenko (1936). He recommends that in adult plants of quince, paradiska and dusen or trees grafted onto them, cut off part of the roots (5-10 mm thick) in an amount that would not affect the growth of trees in the future. Harvested roots are cut into pieces 8-9 longcm and planted in nutritious, well-moistened soil to a depth of 2-2.5 cm.

B.P. Florov (1965) received 62.5% of rooted plants of dusen III with a thickness of root cuttings of 4-5 mm. According to his observations, thinner cuttings give worse results. 83.7% of root cuttings were rooted in Paradiska redleaf, and roots even 2-3.5 mm thick gave good results.

Study by E.S. Chernenko (1966), carried out since 1948, showed that root cuttings taken from young plants and in autumn take root better. The optimal dimensions of the cuttings are: length 10-15 cm, thickness 5-10 mm. Similar results were obtained by N.I. Turovskaya (1973).

Based on our observations, cuttings 12-15 cm long and 6 to 12 mm thick can be recommended. Harvest and cut them better in the fall. In order not to violate the polarity, the upper end of the cutting must be cut straight, and the lower end obliquely (upside down, the cuttings do not take root well). Then the root cuttings are tied into bundles of 25-50, depending on the diameter of the cuttings, and laid in the basement, layered with wet sawdust, peat or moss. Storage temperature from 0 to +1 0 C. Root cuttings can be successfully stored in apple boxes. They are laid horizontally in rows and layered with a moistened substrate. If there are many cuttings, the boxes are stacked. So that the cuttings do not dry out, each box should be covered from above with wet sawdust or moss with a layer of 4-5 cm. The storage temperature is the same. Storage of cuttings is also possible outdoors in trenches 25-30 cm deep in the southern regions and 40-50 cm deep in the middle zone. During severe frosts and snowlessness, they are covered with some kind of warming material: sawdust, shavings, leaves, moss.

In the spring, 2-3 weeks before planting, in the room where the cuttings are stored, it is advisable to raise the temperature to 15-18 0 C or transfer the cuttings to a room where such a temperature can be maintained. This will promote the appearance of adventitious buds, from which shoots will later grow. But their premature growth should be prevented, as they will break off during planting.

Spring cuttings, cutting them short, storing them at high temperatures give worse results. Root cuttings, like stem cuttings, are planted on nutritious, light, moist, but not wet soils at a distance of 5-8 cm from one another. It is better to give them an inclined position at 30-40 0 , closing the upper cut by 2-3 cm. During planting, you must strictly monitor so as not to disturb the polarity of the cutting.

Root cuttings, as well as stem cuttings, must be carefully cared for, especially the humidity regime must be monitored. Root cuttings often produce several shoots. Of these, one is left, the most powerful. Usually the shoots begin to grow, and new roots on the cuttings are formed only after 15-20 days. To stimulate root formation, it is good to treat the cuttings before planting with β-indolylbutyric acid at a concentration of 5-10 mg / l.

Noteworthy are the proposals for the propagation of clonal rootstocks by root cuttings, developed by the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing. It is proposed to store cuttings harvested in autumn in bunches, which are installed vertically in trenches with their morphologically lower ends up (upside down). In early spring, as soon as the cuttings can be removed from the trench, they are prepared for planting in the ground - they are “stratified”. For this purpose, the bundles are placed in boxes vertically in one row with the upper parts up. The cuttings are carefully layered with wet sawdust, covering the top with a layer of 4-5 cm. The boxes with the cuttings are placed in a utility (preferably warm) room. It is necessary to systematically carry out moistening (2-3 times a week), but do not allow sawdust to be oversaturated with water. After about 8-10 days, callus and primary roots appear on the lower ends of the cuttings, and the beginnings of juvenile shoots appear on the upper ends. During this period, the cuttings should be planted in the ground. "Stratification" contributes to the preparation for quick and good rooting of cuttings.

Cuttings are planted in well-seasoned soil in nurseries on ridges 150 cm wide, 20-30 cm high and 20 m long. Planting pattern 5x10 cm, cuttings are placed vertically. Landing is carried out under a picking peg. The upper end of the cutting should rise 0.5-1 cm above the soil. Then mulching is carried out with small sawdust in a layer of 1 cm.

Sprinkler irrigation desirable. For this purpose, a water pipe with a diameter of 1-1.5 inches with nozzles 50 cm long is installed above each ridge at a height of 30-40 cm. Sprayers (nozzles) are mounted on them at a distance of 1.5 m from one another. Water is supplied under pressure of 2-3.5 atm.

After planting for two weeks, the cuttings should be watered 1-2 times a day, then once and then 2-3 times a week. Care comes down to weeding and leaving only one shoot. They can be used for green cuttings. If all the above methods are observed, the survival rate of cuttings reaches 97.5%, the yield of standard rootstocks is 88.4%.

✅ Cut trees on the site: prices for work

Cut trees

Cut trees

Tree cutting

Zemlechist company cuts trees at sites in Moscow and the Moscow region. We provide services to individuals, commercial organizations - land owners. In some cases, it is possible to cut down a tree on your site without obtaining an administrative permit, the work is done quickly, with a guarantee of quality.

Professional chainsaws with a chain mechanism are used for felling. The work is carried out by an experienced team consisting of a feller and an assistant.

Customers are guaranteed:

  • the choice of the best way to cut trees;
  • safety compliance;
  • cutting wood into firewood;
  • cleaning of the territory and removal of garbage upon completion of work.

How much does it cost to cut down a tree?

Prices for cutting trees are indicated in the price list posted on the page. They depend on the method of felling, the number of plantations and the diameter of the trunk, and the subsequent processing of wood. For a preliminary calculation of the total cost of services, a calculator program is used.

If you find it difficult to determine how to cut down trees, contact a specialist for advice. He will make a calculation and fill out an application for a convenient day.

Tree removal Barrel diameter, cm
Ways to 30 to 40 to 50 to 60 from 60
Guy cut, tree felling in desired direction 3,200 4,400 5,000 6,300 7 500
Cut trees piece by piece, free discharge 6,300 8 800 10,000 12 500 15,000
Prices for additional work when cutting down trees
Cutting the trunk for firewood 400 700 1,000 1900 2,500

Minimum order value 45,000

When should trees be cut down?

In most cases, clients want to cut down a tree in their dacha or garden plot due to changes in landscape design or planning of new buildings. Selective or complete felling is carried out in new areas located in the forest zone. In old summer cottages, apple trees often need to be cut down. The life span of a fruit tree is 50–60 years, so periodic replacement of plantings is inevitable. Apple, pear and other trees are also cut down due to freezing in cold winters or insufficient fruiting. Another reason is the shading of lawns and violation of the light regime in the house due to overgrown crowns. Cases when trees need to be cut down urgently include emergencies caused by fire or hurricane. Damaged plantings can fall on a house, car, people at any moment, and it is dangerous to delay their removal.

Stages of cutting trees

Felling is done manually with Stihl chainsaws for working from the ground and at height. Sequence of sawing a tree:

  • determination of the direction and method of felling, taking into account the development of the site, the size of the trunk;
  • preparation of the working space;
  • cut wood;
  • barrel collision;
  • cutting wood into fragments and garbage disposal.

If work is carried out far from buildings or on an undeveloped site, then the tree falls entirely. First, the arborist determines the direction of the fall of the trunk, taking into account its inclination, the shape of the crown. In preparation for work, the shoots around the tree and foreign objects are removed within a radius of 60 cm. In winter, snow is cleared. After that, a cut is made from the side of the roll. Its depth depends on the strength and direction of the wind, the magnitude of the slope. The shape of the notch is selected taking into account the diameter of the trunk: up to 18 cm - one cut, 18-50 cm - two horizontal cuts, over 50 cm - a rectangular cut. The saw cut of a tree is made from the side opposite to the saw cut at the level of its upper edge with a cut of 1–5 cm or more, depending on the diameter. After that, a collision is performed. The height of the stump is no more than 10 cm or 1/3 of the cut diameter. In the absence of a natural slope, a swath with a guy is used. To do this, a rope is tied at an accessible height and the fall path is set by an arborist's assistant or with the help of a winch if the trunk diameter is large. In conditions of dense development, the method of sawing a tree in parts is used. Work is done at a height with a guy line. With its help, the trajectory of the fall of the parts of the trunk is set, from which the branches are preliminarily cut. At the final stage of work, the trunk is freed from branches, sawn into circles for loading or cutting firewood. Garbage is removed from the site. The customer can additionally agree on the execution of stump uprooting.

Deadlines for felling trees.


1) What are the terms of the work?

Felling time depends on the number and size of trees. For sawing and cutting up to 5 trees, a working shift is enough. The felling of one whole trunk is carried out within an hour.

2) What is the seasonality of work?

The service is available all year round.

3) Does the tree splitting service include stump removal?

This is a separate type of work that requires the use of other equipment - pneumatic crushers. Upon agreement with the customer, crushing of stumps can be carried out immediately after felling.

4) What are the performance guarantees?

Works are carried out under a contract with the signing of an acceptance certificate after they are completed. The material guarantee is limited to the total value of the contract. How is the payment done? Before the start of work, an advance payment of 50% is paid, and the final payment is made after acceptance.

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