How to Root Fruit Tree Limbs

Overview

Not only can growing your own fruit trees be money-saving, fruit trees are generally attractive trees that flower in the spring before the main fruit-growing season and provide shade for your property. If you already have some fruit trees planted in your yard and want to grow additional trees, you can root the new trees from the trees that are currently growing. Rooting new fruit trees is a little more difficult than planting an already-started sapling, but, with a little effort, you can create a tree sapling on your own.

Step 1

Cut 6 to 12 inches of a limb from your fruit tree using a sharp knife or pruning shears. Take the cutting from the most recent or past season's growth.

Step 2

Remove the leaves from the lower half of the limb cutting. Leaves can be pinched off with the fingertips or cut away with scissors.

Step 3

Plant the tree in a pot with a mixture of potting soil. Place up to a half of the limb under the soil and keep the fruit limb pointed upward.

Step 4

Create a high humidity environment for the limb cutting. Cut the bottom from a clear 2-liter soda bottle, wash the bottle and rinse thoroughly, leave the lid on the bottle and place it over the pot, airtight against it, or put the bottle in a clear plastic bag and tie it up airtight.

Step 5

Place the planted cuttings in indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight to keep the cutting from drying out too quickly.

Step 6

Water the cuttings to keep the soil just moistened while the cutting is rooting. As the limb cutting begins to root, the cutting will require more moisture and the watering needs will increase.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant fruit cuttings that have newly rooted directly in the ground. Cuttings should be transferred into larger pots that give them room to expand and grow into tree saplings before transplanting into the ground. Fruit tree saplings that have grown from cuttings can generally be transplanted approximately a year after first rooting.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Scissors
  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Clear 2-liter soda bottle or clear plastic bag

References

  • University of California, Davis: Home Orchard
  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
Keywords: root, fruit tree, limbs

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence has been writing professionally for six years and has been published on Associated Content. She is also a freelance filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. Lawrence attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in English.