The Q&A Archives: How To Grow Tree Cuttings

Question: We would like to plant many trees on our barren 5 acres. Our budget is limited (non-existant), so we would like to grow trees from cuttings of Poplar, Cottonwood, Pepper, and Pines that our neighbors will provide. Please tell us how to cut, what to cut, how to plant, and where to plant. We are completely inexperienced and need every detail.

Answer: To propagate trees, take softwood cuttings in early summer, or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. (Softwood cuttings are new growth that is still pliable; semi-ripe are those same stems, but by the end of summer are developing bark at the base where they meet the limb.) Cut a stem that's about 12" long, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place it in the ground or in a pot filled with moistened growing medium. All the trees you mention should root readily and you'll know roots have developed when new leaves appear along the stem or at the top of the cutting.

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