Rooting a tree from a cutting gives the gardener a head start over waiting for a seed to develop. It is also a way to preserve good stock, or propagate a hard-to-come-by plant, and a cost effective alternative to buying more plants. There are three different stages of growth that work for tree cuttings: soft wood cuttings, semi-hard wood cuttings, and hard wood cuttings. You can utilize hard wood cuttings taken from dormant trees in spring, whereas soft and semi-hard wood cuttings obtained from the current season's growth are best used in late summer and early fall.
Prepare the rooting medium in advance. A mixture of peat moss and soil or gardening soil and sand are well-draining options. It is important that the rooting medium doesn't dry out too quickly or get too wet and clumpy. Moisten lightly.
Cut a stem 4 to 8 inches long with a sharp knife or pruner scissors. Avoid stems carrying flowers.
Cut half of the leaves on the cutting. Cut large remaining leaves in half to encourage root formation over maintaining foliage.
Strip some bark off the bottom of the cutting and then dip it in the rooting hormone (available at gardening centers and nurseries).
Place a third to a half of the cutting (the end with the rooting hormone on it) into your rooting medium. Pat soil around your cutting down gently to support your shoot and water.
Cover the cutting with a transparent jar or wrap. Use see-through containers such as soda bottles, mason jars or plastic bags, or construct a mini green house with clear plastic wrap over a wire structure.
Place the cutting in indirect sunlight to promote photosynthesis without overheating your soil. Maintain at a temperature no less than 65 or more than 80 degrees F.
Transplant into regular garden soil after plants have produced fresh leaves, indicating new roots have formed. Use containers or put directly in the ground.