Although primarily propagated by seed, some varieties of pine (Pinus spp.) are suitable for vegetative propagation. For the best results, choose small twiglike branch tips from the previous year's growth in late winter or early spring. The use of a commercially available rooting hormone will measurably increase the success rate of pine tree cuttings. Plant cuttings in their final location soon after the successful development of roots; pine trees have a tap root and dislike transplanting.
Eastern White Pine
Although it does not reproduce vegetatively in the wild, eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) will root fairly well using small twigs of the previous season's growth taken in late winter. Cuttings taken from eastern white pine trees that are from 2 to 6 years old will give the best results. Take cuttings in early June and treat with rooting hormone for satisfactory results, according to the University of Wisconsin. Rooted cuttings planted in the wild will develop similar form, size and root systems as seedlings of the same age.
The object of extensive vegetative reproduction in Europe and New Zealand, according to Auburn University, radiata pine (Pinus radiata) is one of the few varieties of pine that readily roots from cuttings. Radiata pine tip cuttings taken from trees less than 3 years old exhibited growth traits of comparably aged seedlings, while cuttings taken from stock trees older than 3 years exhibited growth traits of a physiologically older tree. The smaller the branch size from which the cuttings were taken, the more superior the cuttings' rooting and growth characteristics.
Hardy through USDA zone 8, the maritime pine, also called cluster pine (Pinus piaster), is also fairly easy to propagate by vegetative methods. This is practiced extensively in Europe in an attempt to preserve species that no longer produce seed due to pollution and other factors. Native to southern Europe, the maritime is a long-needled pine tree with a conical shape that loses its lower branches as it ages.