How to root pine tree cuttings

Garden Guides | How to Grow Pine Trees from Cuttings

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By: Bridget Kelly

21 September, 2017

pine tree image by pershing from

There are 35 species of pine trees in the United States, most of them located in the northern regions. Most pine trees range in height from 9 to 150 feet and can live from 100 to 1,000 years. This information is useful in helping you determine a good site in which to plant your pine tree. Fir and pine trees are notoriously difficult to root from cuttings. The Norfolk Island pine is somewhat easier to root than others. Take your cutting in the winter, while the tree is dormant.

Fill the planting pot to within 3/4 inch of the rim with potting soil. Water the soil well and allow it to drain completely.

  • There are 35 species of pine trees in the United States, most of them located in the northern regions.
  • Fill the planting pot to within 3/4 inch of the rim with potting soil.

Cut a 6-inch-long branch from the tree. Cut a branch near the base of the tree, from the current year’s growth that appears strong and healthy. Make the cut 6 inches from the tip of the branch, not from the trunk of the tree. Remove all needles from the lower half of the cutting.

Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, and tap the cutting lightly on the edge of the jar to release any excess hormone.

Poke a hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil, and push the hormone-tipped end of the cutting 2 inches into the soil.

Cut small holes or slits in a plastic bag, and place the potted cutting into the bag.

  • Cut a 6-inch-long branch from the tree.
  • Poke a hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil, and push the hormone-tipped end of the cutting 2 inches into the soil.

Place the potted cutting in a cool, well-lighted area, out of direct sun.

little pine tree image by timur1970 from

Check the soil daily to make sure it remains moist. The cutting will probably take over one year to root. When you see new growth, you will know that rooting has occurred.

Pine trees are cone-bearing evergreens that can range in height from 25 to 150 feet. There are more than 100 species of pine trees, which grow all over the United States. If you do not succeed the first time, do not be disappointed and do not hesitate to try again. The cutting must be from a branch that is healthy and disease free. Strip about a third to half of the cutting’s needles from the bottom of the stem. Fill a pot with half perlite and half peat. Remove any needles that touch the soil. Keep the rooting medium and cutting moist but not soaked until the cutting takes root. Keep it out of direct sunlight. Rooting can take more than a year for pine trees, so be patient and keep your cutting moist. When it begins to sprout new growth on its own it is ready to be transplanted to a new pot for growing.

  • Place the potted cutting in a cool, well-lighted area, out of direct sun.
  • When you see new growth, you will know that rooting has occurred.
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  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions

Writer Bio

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at,,, RE/,,, and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.

How to Grow a Pine Tree by Propagation | Home Guides

By Chris Miksen Updated July 27, 2022

When propagating a pine tree, it's usually wise to follow water and take the path of least resistance, which is via seed propagation. Propagating the tree from cuttings is incredibly difficult. Seeds have a better chance of germinating, and collecting them from pine cones just requires you to gather a few cones and allow them to open. Growing the seedlings in pots for the first year prevents pests and rodents from making quick work of the tiny plants.

How to Propagate Pine Trees From Seed

  1. 1. Gather Your Pine Cones

    Gather pine cones between late summer and fall, before the cones release their seeds. Lay the cones outside in full sun to dry out. Once dried, they will open up for easier retrieval of the seeds. According to PennState University, this can take up to a week.

  2. 2. Collect the Seeds

    Place the cones over a mesh screen or a paper towel and roll them gently so the seeds fall out. Seeds are typically small – at around 1/8 or 1/4 inch – and have a pair of tiny wings you may pull or blow off.

  3. 3. Set the Seeds in Water

    Place the seeds in a container with room temperature water for two days. Replace the water each day. Add the seeds to a bag with peat moss or sand. Moisten the mixture so that it's damp but not wet. Place the bag in your refrigerator. Keep the bag in your refrigerator for 60 to 90 days.

  4. 4. Add Soil to Your Growing Tray

    Fill a growing tray with about 2 parts potting soil, 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. Dig a hole no larger than the width and depth of the seed. You can typically achieve that by inserting the tip of your finger into the soil. Sow seeds within about 1 inch of each other.

  5. 5. Cover the Seeds With Soil

    Cover the seed lightly with soil. Water so the soil is slightly moist but not wet. Keep the soil at that moisture to promote germination. Place your finger into the soil every 5 or 6 days to ensure it's moist. Keep the tray in light sun.

  6. 6. Transfer the Seedlings

    Pull seedlings that sprout within 3 inches of each other. Once seedlings reach 2 to 3 inches, place each one into its own pot with the same type of soil mixture. Cover only the roots with soil. Keep the seedlings in a location that receives regular sun. Pine seedlings tend to grow toward the light. Rotate the pot every few days to ensure each side receives adequate amounts of sun so the plant will grow straight.

  7. 7. Till the Soil

    Prepare the seedling's permanent growing location by tilling the soil and pulling out all weeds. Weeds inhibit seed germination and may bring about pests. If your soil is comprised of clay, add about 2 inches of compost. The compost helps lessen soil compaction, allowing water to better flow through the soil. You may also add perlite, vermiculite and other soil conditioners. The location you choose must match the needs of the tree you're attempting to grow. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), for example, tolerates alkaline soils, while shore pine (Pinus contorta) prefers acidic soil. Choose an area where the sun shines 6 to 8 hours a day, as most pines thrive best in full sun.

  8. 8. Plant the Seedling

    Gently lift the seedling from its pot in spring, once it reaches 6 to 12 inches in height. Dig a hole in its permanent growing location slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling but no deeper, instructs the Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation. Place the seedling in its new home and cover the roots with soil. Water the seedling so the soil compacts around the roots. Keep the soil moist but not wet.

    Things You Will Need

    Placing a 2-by-3 piece of plywood on the western side of the small pine tree helps prevent sun damage, according to the Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation. Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree when winter arrives to protect the roots from cold damage.


  • Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation: Tips on Planting and Maintenance of Pine Trees
  • PennState University: Seed Propagation of Eastern White Pine


  • Placing a 2-by-3 piece of plywood on the western side of the small pine tree helps prevent sun damage, according to the Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation.
  • Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree when winter arrives to protect the roots from cold damage.

Writer Bio

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.

90,000 cuttings, from branches, layouts, video


  • 1 Features of the reproduction of different types of pine
  • 2 Is it possible to grow a pine tree from a branch of
  • 3 How to grow a pine tree from a branch of
      9000 3.1 Suitable branch 9000 3.2 Preparation for planting
    • 3.3 Rooting a cutting
    • 3.4 How to plant a pine from a branch in open ground
  • 0006
  • 6 How to grow pine from a cone
  • 7 Conclusion

Many gardeners are convinced that pine propagation at home is possible only by seeds. However, this is absolutely not the case, the tree can also be propagated by cuttings or grafting. The article provides detailed instructions for propagating this amazing coniferous plant in all possible ways.

Features of reproduction of different types of pine

First of all, it is necessary to determine the type of pine that is planned to be grown. Different species have their own characteristics of reproduction. So, for example, when propagated by branches, the European pine takes root best of all. However, in the climate of central Russia, Scotch pine and Siberian cedar pine are most common.

When propagating by seeds, it should be taken into account that the seeds of different pine species differ in their appearance. Scotch pine seeds have small wings that allow them to move in the air. Siberian pine seeds do not have wings. They consist of a core covered with a dense woody shell.

Is it possible to grow a pine tree from a branch

Reproduction of many coniferous plants is possible with the help of a small branch. Pine can also be grown at home from cuttings. This process is not fast and rather laborious, but the final result cannot but please conifer lovers.

Pine reproduction in this way is considered asexual. This means that in the process of reproduction, new gene variations are not formed. As a result, the grown plant is completely identical to the parent plant in terms of genetic material.

How to grow a pine from a branch

The most favorable time for propagation of pine branches is the summer period, from mid-June to July. By this time, the branches are already sufficiently formed, but are still in the phase of active growth. Thanks to the long daylight hours during the summer season, the cuttings will have time to take root. In warm regions, pine propagation by cuttings is possible in spring.

Propagation by branches in autumn or winter is not effective, because the cuttings simply do not have time to get enough daylight during a short daylight hours. They will take root more slowly, but artificial lighting will help speed up the process.

Selecting the right twig

Growing pine from a twig is considered a great method for beginning gardeners. To propagate a tree in this way, it is necessary to find a wild-growing pine tree and cut off a young branch from it that appeared this year. The stem of the selected branch should be covered with lignified or semi-lignified bark. The younger the cut branch, the faster the process of formation of the first roots will occur.

The branch must be carefully cut with a pruner so that its size does not exceed 10 cm. The branches located on its lower part are removed to free this area for future roots.

Preparing for planting

When propagating pine cuttings at home, the rate of rooting of branches largely depends on the composition of the soil. The more fertile it is, the faster the root system will form. The ideal soil is a mixture of peat and river sand, in a 1: 1 ratio. As a drainage, semi-rotted pine bark or coarse-fiber peat is added to the soil.

Tip! To ensure good access of oxygen to the roots, adding a small amount of perlite to the soil mixture, which improves the aeration process, will help.

Since peat contains a huge number of microorganisms, some of which can be detrimental to the health of the tree, the soil mixture must be decontaminated. This can be done by watering it with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

Shortly before rooting, the branches are treated with a rooting stimulator. At the same time, the more lignified the branch is, the more concentrated stimulating solution is needed.

An ordinary small wooden frame can be used as a planting container. Cuttings are also sometimes planted in a greenhouse. Both the frame and the greenhouse, at the same time, after planting, are covered with a film.

Rooting cuttings

When growing pine by cuttings, do not immerse the branch immediately into the soil during planting, this negatively affects the survival of the plant and root formation.

Algorithm for planting a pine cutting:

  • fill the container with prepared and moistened soil mixture;
  • using any hard object, make a small depression in the soil;
  • place a branch in the recess;
  • press and compact the soil layer;
  • spray with fungicide solution for prevention;
  • cover plantings with foil to speed up the rooting process.

Light penumbra will be comfortable for sprouting branches, so it is advisable to cover them from direct sun. Watering should be moderate, as needed. Pine cuttings should receive enough moisture, but if it is more than required, the root system will gradually begin to rot.

Important! The film should be removed regularly, airing sprouting pine branches.

Closer to August, pine branches planted in frames form roots. The complete rooting process takes from 1.5 to 4 months.

How to plant a pine from a branch in open ground

When growing a pine from a branch, a year after planting, the cuttings are ready for transplanting into open ground. The more powerful and strong the roots are, the more likely and faster they will take root in the new soil and begin active growth. To check the readiness of the root system of a pine branch for transplantation, the topsoil is slightly dug up.

The planting site for the rooted cutting should be half shaded. Planting work is carried out in the spring on a cloudy, non-hot day. Sandy soil with low acidity is optimal for pine.

Algorithm for transplanting a pine branch into open ground:

  1. Prepare a pit for planting 1 m deep. The width and length of the pit should exceed the dimensions of the earthen clod by several centimeters.
  2. Line the bottom of the pit with a drainage layer of gravel or expanded clay about 20 cm thick.
  3. Fill the hole with soil mixture of 1/3 river sand and 2/3 soddy soil.
  4. Place the seedling in the hole, cover with the remaining soil substrate, tamp down and water.
  5. It is mandatory to mulch the area around the trunk immediately after transplanting.

As can be seen from the description, planting pine cuttings at home is not difficult.

Propagation of pine by layering

Propagation of pine by layering is not performed. This method is used, as a rule, for the propagation of multi-stem, bush plants. Reproduction by layering is suitable for coniferous crops from the cypress or yew family.

Pine propagation by grafting

Pine propagation by grafting is preferred mainly by experienced gardeners, but beginners can also try their luck.

Important! Plants aged 4-5 years are suitable for rootstock. The graft is taken from growth at the age of 1 - 3 years.

Plants are grafted during spring sap flow or in the middle of summer. Spring vaccination is carried out on last year's shoots, summer - on young branches of the current year. Pine grafting is carried out in two ways: in the butt of the core and cambium on the cambium.

Algorithm for propagating pine using the butt method with a core on the cambium:

  1. Cut off all the needles and side buds from the rootstock. The length of the cleaned part of the pine branch should be 2-3 cm longer than the length of the grafted cutting.
  2. A cutting 8-10 cm long is also freed from needles, leaving only 8-12 bunches near the upper bud.
  3. Once the stock and graft have been prepared, the grafting of the pine tree can begin. To do this, using a sharp blade on the handle, you need to make an incision passing through the middle of the core. It should start at the top, just below the bunch of needles, and end at the bottom of the pine branch.
  4. Next, using a blade, in the place of the rootstock, it is necessary to separate a strip of bark of a longitudinal shape, equal in size to the cut on the prepared cutting. It is important that the cut passes through the cambial layer.
  5. As a final step, the cutting is joined to the exposed cambium of the rootstock and then tied tightly.

When propagated by the butt method with cambium on cambium, the survival rate of plants reaches almost 100%. Reproduction algorithm:

  1. Release the axial one-year-old shoot of the rootstock, which has reached the age of 4-5 years, from needles, in a section 5-10 cm long.
  2. Taking care not to damage the cambium, cut the bark on the rootstock and scion into strips 4-6 cm long. It is important that the cuts on the rootstock and scion are of the same length and width.
  3. Bring the cuts together, then tie tightly. The healing process usually takes 4 to 5 weeks.
  4. Once the cuttings have taken root and begin to grow, the tie is removed.
  5. Using a secateurs, simultaneously cut the top of the axial shoot on the rootstock, as well as the ends of the shoots on the first whorl. Due to this, the growth of the scion is greatly enhanced.
  6. Over the next 2-3 years, all whorls should be gradually removed from the rootstock.

How to grow a pine cone

Pine cones open closer to the second year after they appear on the branches. By this time they can be used for propagation by seeds.

Pine seeds are usually collected in autumn. Until the end of winter, they are stored at temperatures from 0 to +5 o C. With the advent of early spring, the seeds are ready for planting in planting containers at home. After the snow thaws on the bayonet of a shovel, they can be immediately sown in open ground.


Pine propagation is a process that every gardener can do. The main thing is to follow the rules of this or that method exactly. Beginning gardeners can start their practice by propagating from seeds or cuttings. Experienced gardeners can bring out decorative forms with the help of grafting.

Pine propagation by cuttings, growing conditions, planting, care

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 04:03 PM | Comments: 0 | Author: OLCHUKS

To decorate the territory, landscape designers often use coniferous trees in their compositions. They look great both in individual plantings and in complex plantings. Due to the fact that conifers are evergreens, the decorative effect of the site remains all year round.


  • Pine general information
  • Pine varieties
  • Maintenance
  • Reproduction
  • Diseases and pests
  • Application

General information about pine

Pine is a perennial woody plant that belongs to the coniferous family. It has a powerful root system, the main root has the form of a rod and goes deep into the soil for several meters, long lateral growths depart from it. In height, some varieties of pines can reach 75 meters. The trunk is thick, strong, covered with bark, its color can be from gray to yellow-red, sometimes flaky. Branches grow from the main trunk and become woody as they grow.

Needle needles grow in bunches from 2 to 5 in young areas. Every year, the tree forms many cones that mature in a year and throw out a large number of seeds.

Pines are long-lived trees and can grow for more than 350 years.

Thanks to the main root, which goes deep into the ground and can get nutrients for the tree there, the green beauty grows both on fertile lands and on sandy and rocky areas. Only a few species take root in the city, since the main part of the pine varieties has an increased sensitivity to air pollution.

Pine varieties

Popular pine varieties:

  • Aristata pine. This is a perennial evergreen tree with a bushy upper part, which reaches a height of no more than 15 meters. It is rarely used for decorative purposes to decorate the site, as it requires regular removal of dead needles from the branches. But it looks great in the form of bonsai. It has beautiful small buds.
  • White pine is mainly found in Japan. This is a perennial evergreen tree with a straight and graceful trunk and a few branches densely covered with long needles. In height, it can reach 20 meters. This variety is distinguished by the fact that the lower part of the needles is painted in a silvery tone. Cones are medium in size, ovoid.
  • White pine. This variety is widely distributed throughout almost the entire territory of Eurasia. Whitebark pine forms a low perennial tree up to 10 meters with a wide, dense and spreading crown up to 7 meters in diameter. It is unpretentious to the place of growth and soil and responds well to smoke and air pollution. Therefore, it can often be found in parks and city gardens.
  • Mountain pine grows in the form of a tree; in cultural and decorative plantations, it is used to form a multi-stemmed bush. It is unpretentious to the soil, grows well on the Crimean slopes, keeping them from collapses. Often used in ornamental plantings. On an industrial scale, it is used in the woodworking industry.


There are a few things to consider when choosing where to plant your pine tree. This tree is drought-resistant and does not tolerate waterlogging of the soil. Therefore, it is necessary to plant it on well-lit lands with a good drainage system without groundwater.

Pine is not demanding on the soil composition, but it is desirable that there is a sufficient amount of sand or clay. Before planting, it is recommended to check the ground and, if necessary, add the required amount when digging.

When preparing a hole, you can lay drainage in the form of pebbles or expanded clay on the bottom, and mix soddy soil with clay or sand in proportions of 2: 1.

In general, all mature pines tolerate winter and frost well. But young trees with delicate needles are recommended to be insulated for the cold season. To do this, you can use spruce branches or other convenient materials. To prevent diseases in the soil and on trees, it is recommended to regularly remove fallen needles under the trees. This process can be carried out 2 times a year or as needed.


Pine is propagated by seeds, grafting and cuttings. For the first method, you need to take a mature cone and get the grains out of it. This can be done by placing it in a paper bag, which in turn is placed in a warm place. Shake the container with the contents periodically. When heated, all the petals of the cone open, and the seeds easily come out of the sinuses.

Before planting, the seeds are treated with stimulants to increase the percentage of germination. The process is carried out in the autumn. They are sown in wet sand to a shallow depth, the container is taken out to a cool room. The air temperature is maintained within 1-5 degrees of heat. It can be a basement or any other cool room.

In spring, the containers are brought into a warm room, and the soil is sifted, taking out the seeds.

They are sown again in prepared loose and light soil, deepening each seed by 2 cm. A greenhouse is made above the crops using glass or film, and the entire container is placed in a bright and warm room. The substrate must be constantly wet, for this it is necessary to periodically water it with a spray bottle with soft water at ambient temperature. When shoots appear, the greenhouse can be removed. So that the sprouts do not get sick, it is recommended to treat them with a fungicide solution. Throughout the season, sprouts are being taken care of, young growth can be planted only by autumn, and for the winter they can be insulated with spruce branches.

When cuttings, all the characteristics of the mother plant are preserved.

This is one of the most convenient ways to propagate conifers, in which a large amount of source material can be taken from one tree. But propagation of pine by cuttings is difficult, a small percentage takes root, and with improper care, you can lose all the seedlings.

Pine cuttings:

  • Cuttings are carried out in the spring and a young tree not grown in the wild is selected to obtain the source material. Young annual branches are selected that grow upwards. The cutting is taken along with the part of the tree to which it is attached, the so-called heel.
  • In order for all the resins to come out of the wood, it is recommended to hold the cuttings for about 3 hours in water, and then treat them with disinfectants. To enhance root growth, it is necessary to hold the branches in a stimulating solution for about 12 hours.
  • Pre-prepared container with pre-prepared substrate and drainage at the bottom. The soil should be light and loose; for this, peat is mixed with sand and soddy soil in equal proportions.
  • Cuttings are deepened by 4-5 cm, placing them at a distance of 10 cm from each other.
  • After planting, it is necessary to organize a greenhouse and add bottom heating. And if there are basically no problems with the first, then it is quite difficult to organize proper heating at home.
  • Gardeners recommend placing containers in boxes of semi-rotted compost, manure, or regular autumn leaves. The decomposition process releases enough heat to keep the cuttings warm.
  • Place the cuttings in a lighted place, you can root on the street in specially prepared beds, for this the compost is laid out under the drainage.
  • After planting, a greenhouse is built.

Pine has a long rooting period, so do not touch the seedlings in the first year after planting. A good root system will grow only by the end of next autumn, provided that the cuttings were planted in the spring.

Diseases and pests

Of the pine diseases in decorative plantings, blister rust or seryanka is most common. This can be seen by the yellow coating at the ends of the needles. Such trees are not treated, they are removed from the site and destroyed.

To prevent the disease, it is necessary to regularly treat trees with preparations containing copper as a preventive measure.

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