How to Take Cuttings From Trees


Cutting is a horticultural method for cloning a plant. There are several reasons for doing this. Taking a cutting from a grown plant that produces a healthy fruit crop, is resistant to disease or has grown to a desirable height ensures that the plant grown from the cutting will exhibit the same qualities. Taking cuttings will also enable the parent plant to grow more fully, as two shoots generally grow from the cutting area, where one previously existed.

Step 1

Select a suitable tree that has good growth and is mature.

Step 2

Find a terminal on the tree. A terminal is a branch that has a bud on it.

Step 3

Take a clipping of 3 to 5 inches long, using your razor or hand clippers. Take off any flowers or fruit on the cutting as this will ruin the cutting if it rots. Also, the branch, even though it is cut from the tree, will use its energy to grow the flower or fruit and die.

Step 4

Cut the end of the cutting so that it is at a 45-degree angle. This will prevent rot and allow the cutting to suck up nutrients from the hormone solution.

Step 5

Dip the end of your cutting into a 1.0 rooting solution. Buy either a liquid or powder form from your local greenhouse.

Step 6

Put the end of the cutting into a perlite soil and cover with a plastic bag to protect it. Extra humidity will collect in the bag and prevent the cutting from drying out. Water the cutting several times a day to prevent it from drying out.

Step 7

Transfer the cutting to another pot when roots form. Gently pull on the cutting to see if roots are forming. Once roots appear, transfer the plant to a 4-inch pot with new soil and allow it to grow into a more mature tree before planting it.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting hormone
  • Perlite
  • Hand clipper or razor
  • 4-inch pot


  • BBC: How to Take Hardwood Cuttings
  • RNR: Steps for Taking a Cutting
  • Let's Go Gardening: Taking Cuttings
Keywords: tree cutting, tree propagation, tree cuttings

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.