The Q&A Archives: Propagating Japanese Maple Trees

Question: What is the best way to propagate a Japanese Maple Tree for the Upstate New York area? I have one large (15 foot) tree that seems to grow nicely, but never multiplies in any way. How can we help it along?

Answer: These trees are hardy into zone 5 but more reliably a bit further south, so it may simply be that your growing season is too short for the tree to set viable seed or any seedlings may be killed back by late frosts; it is also possible that annual mulch applications are preventing any seeds from germinating. Probably the best way to propagate your tree is to root tip cuttings from it. This can be done in mid summer using rooting hormone, but it may take a full year before the resulting plant is large and vigorous enough to be safely set into a nursery bed in the garden.

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