Ask a Question forum→Is my tulip poplar cutting doing okay based on a bud?

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Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 8, 2020 9:35 AM CST
I have had 4 tulip poplar cuttings that I started on September 23rd, so they've been going for 46 days. Two I have confirmed to have failed, as one rotted and is clearly dead, and the other one I pulled out and didn't form any roots.

I haven't checked the 3rd and 4th one yet, but the 4th one has a bud on it that is still green and seems alive. Can I base the health of this cutting on the health of this bud?

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After taking the pictures, I see that the stem before the bud is splitting, similarly to how the rotting cutting did. A couple weeks ago, the bud also shed a layer, but I'm not sure what that means if it means anything. All the cuttings dropped their leaves, which I read is normal, but none has shown signs of new growth.

Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Nov 8, 2020 11:32 AM CST
I am not familiar with that type plant, but generally it is easiest to root cuttings in the spring and early summer when the growing season is in full swing.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 8, 2020 11:41 AM CST
According to "The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation:"

"Difficult from mature plants. One report noted that July cuttings, made with basal cut 1/2" below node, rooted 52%. Juvenility is probably an important factor if this species is to be rooted in high percentages".

Sometimes cuttings do bud, even though they don't have roots, with their last ounce of energy before dying.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 8, 2020 6:34 PM CST
WAMcCormick said:I am not familiar with that type plant, but generally it is easiest to root cuttings in the spring and early summer when the growing season is in full swing.

The book I use says mid summer for this species, so I felt okay trying a late cutting but also just wanted to see what would happen.

Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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ViburnumValley
Nov 8, 2020 8:12 PM CST
Agree that cutting imbibed some moisture, and tried to push dormant bud in last ditch effort to live. Also agree that rooting this species from cuttings is an iffy endeavor.

Plant seeds! They germinate like crabgrass. You will have as many plants as you could ever want to try to grow.

John
Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 9, 2020 8:59 AM CST
DaisyI said:According to "The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation:"

"Difficult from mature plants. One report noted that July cuttings, made with basal cut 1/2" below node, rooted 52%. Juvenility is probably an important factor if this species is to be rooted in high percentages".

Sometimes cuttings do bud, even though they don't have roots, with their last ounce of energy before dying.


That's interesting, I didn't know that. My situation and question is kind of the inverse, this bud was there when I took the cutting, and all these days later it's still alive. Could the cutting use its last bit of energy from the bud to form roots?
[Last edited by RookiePresent - Nov 9, 2020 9:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 9, 2020 9:01 AM CST
ViburnumValley said:Agree that cutting imbibed some moisture, and tried to push dormant bud in last ditch effort to live. Also agree that rooting this species from cuttings is an iffy endeavor.

Plant seeds! They germinate like crabgrass. You will have as many plants as you could ever want to try to grow.



I think that's a good idea. From what I read they should be seeding about now. I only know of one mature tree in my area, hopefully I can catch it at the right time.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 9, 2020 10:57 AM CST
RookiePresent said:

That's interesting, I didn't know that. My situation and question is kind of the inverse, this bud was there when I took the cutting, and all these days later it's still alive. Could the cutting use its last bit of energy from the bud to form roots?


There are 3 conditions to rooting Tulip Poplars: BASIL cuttings, taken in SUMMER from JUVENILE trees.

It sounds like you have 1 out of 3 conditions met (Summer). The bud isn't making any energy because there are no roots. Roots always grow first, so the bud won't grow roots but the roots would grow a bud. The bud is living off stored energy but I really don't think it will root.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Nov 9, 2020 3:34 PM CST
RookiePresent said:I only know of one mature tree in my area, hopefully I can catch it at the right time.


My tree disperses its seeds in winter over the snow.

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Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 10, 2020 9:29 AM CST
Leftwood said:

My tree disperses its seeds in winter over the snow.

Thumb of 2020-11-09/Leftwood/098de8 Thumb of 2020-11-09/Leftwood/bb5d4c


Oh, neat! Thank you for sharing that.
It is very confusing. I saw flowers on the tree in the summer, but my book and the internet says they seed in fall, but you have a tree that seeds in winter. Gotta love nature
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Nov 10, 2020 3:20 PM CST
Those pics were taken on December 18th, but sometimes my tree doesn't disperse until February. I think the extra lateness is due to the very northern clime; but it's not uncommon for them to drop seed in early winter in Illinois. You will want to hope that they do, because it's not easy find the seed just on the ground, in the grass, among shrubs, etc. But it's easy in the snow. The seed should be ripe when the leaves turn color and fall. If you are able, it would be a lot simpler and more successful to harvest the seed while most are still in the seed "pod". It doesn't fall apart all at once, so you have a little leeway time.
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Or you could look for seedlings. Mine sprout in mid summer. Yours might be the same, or maybe early summer.

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When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Alex
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
RookiePresent
Nov 12, 2020 4:08 PM CST
Leftwood said:Those pics were taken on December 18th, but sometimes my tree doesn't disperse until February. I think the extra lateness is due to the very northern clime; but it's not uncommon for them to drop seed in early winter in Illinois. You will want to hope that they do, because it's not easy find the seed just on the ground, in the grass, among shrubs, etc. But it's easy in the snow. The seed should be ripe when the leaves turn color and fall. If you are able, it would be a lot simpler and more successful to harvest the seed while most are still in the seed "pod". It doesn't fall apart all at once, so you have a little leeway time.
Thumb of 2020-11-10/Leftwood/0ddd25 Thumb of 2020-11-10/Leftwood/40db9c

Or you could look for seedlings. Mine sprout in mid summer. Yours might be the same, or maybe early summer.

Thumb of 2020-11-10/Leftwood/31a4c7 Thumb of 2020-11-10/Leftwood/740602


I went back to the tree today and saw that all of it's seed "pods" were empty. It took some searching, but was able to find plenty of seeds on the ground among the grass. Looks like it's been dropping seeds for a couple weeks now.

Thank you for the suggestion, it seems obvious, but if it wasn't for the suggestion I wouldn't have given up on my cuttings so soon and would definitely have missed the window to go back and collect the seeds.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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ViburnumValley
Nov 12, 2020 6:40 PM CST
Go for it, Alex.

I spent a good part of my career visiting your part of the world, purchasing excellent, well grown, and unusual plants from Roy Klehm, his staff, and his nurseries in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Sadly, those nurseries are now a thing of the past.

From his home nursery in South Barrington to the propagation site near Avalon, I always enjoyed the property tours - exchanging plant experiences, commenting on plant characteristics, and learning about how to observe and absorb details.

I will miss the excuse to take a long weekend and drive up to these places.
John
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Nov 12, 2020 7:43 PM CST
Thanks for the update, Alex. That timing info is good to keep on record for the future.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates

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