How to Propagate Fruit Trees With Hardwood Cuttings


Fruit trees not only provide fresh, tasty fruits to eat right off the tree, they also produce beautiful, sweet-smelling blossoms and attractive leaves. Fruit trees come in various sizes and varieties to fit in a garden landscape or in pots. You can propagate fruit trees with hardwood cuttings to grow other trees with little added cost. Propagating fruit tree cuttings involves taking a small piece of a strong branch and stimulating it to generate roots.

Step 1

Use a pot or container with drainage holes, and large enough to hold all of the hardwood cuttings spaced close together (without touching). Fill the pot with a combination of equal parts peat and sand (or perlite), or top quality potting soil. Moisten the soil with water, and create holes (with a pencil or stick) 2- to 3-inches deep for each fruit tree cutting.

Step 2

Take the hardwood cuttings from the fruit trees during the dormant season. Cut off 4- to 6-inch sections of the newest growth from the fruit tree's branches. Take off any growth on the bottom one-third to one-half of the cutting, and cut back any leaves by half.

Step 3

Place some of the rooting hormone in a small plastic bag. Dip each of the fruit tree cuttings into the hormone. This will promote root growth on the hardwood cuttings. Shake the cuttings, and place in one of the holes. Push the soil around the cuttings to support them in place.

Step 4

Put a plastic bag over the pot holding the cuttings. Set the pot in a location with indirect sunlight.

Step 5

Mist the cuttings every one or two days to keep the growing environment moist. Monitor the fruit tree cuttings for signs of growth, which could take months to occur. Remove the plastic (after growth is seen) and continue to water as needed to keep the growing medium moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Sand (perlite) and peat moss
  • Water
  • Sharp knife
  • Small plastic bag
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pencil
  • Plastic bag
  • Spray bottle


  • North Carolina University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Propagation With Softwood, Semi-hardwood and Hardwood Cuttings

Who Can Help

  • University of California: Propagation
  • University of California: Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees
Keywords: propagating fruit tree, fruit tree cutting, grow fruit tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.