How to Take Cuttings From Fruit Trees


Fruit trees can be propagated or altered by taking cuttings from a parent fruit tree. That cutting is either grafted onto another tree to manipulate the second tree's production or rooted to grow a new tree from the cutting. Rooting a cutting, which may not be suitable for all fruit trees, typically involves treating the cut area with a rooting hormone and then keeping it in a controlled greenhouse setting to allow the roots to grow. Before attempting either procedure you need to take a cutting from the parent fruit tree.

Step 1

Clean and dry your gardening shears and wipe down the blades with rubbing alcohol to sanitize.

Step 2

Schedule to take the cutting early in the morning, when it is cooler and the tree is retaining more moisture.

Step 3

Look for insect free, mature buds from the current season's growth. If you are taking a cutting from a dormant tree, look for growth from the previous season.

Step 4

Cut off at least a 1-foot length.

Step 5

Wrap the cutting in damp burlap or place in a plastic bag to retain moisture until you are ready to use the cutting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Using suckers from the interior branches of a fruit tree is not advised. Hardwood cuttings from fruit trees are difficult to root.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Burlap or large plastic bag


  • Making a New Tree: Reproduction and Cloning
  • Grafting and Propagating Fruit Trees
  • Reproducing Fruit Trees by Graftage: Budding and Grafting
Keywords: fruit tree cuttings, fruit tree rooting, proagating fruit trees, grafting, fruit tree

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.