How to Root Tree Cuttings


Many reasons exist for wanting to root tree cuttings. A living memorial of a loved one's garden, saving a favorite tree damaged in a storm, or growing a gift from a friendly gardener are a few of those reasons. Rooting tree cuttings is an easy and generally quick process. Consider the ultimate size of the tree when it comes time to choose a location to transplant your sapling.

Step 1

Mix equal parts of sand and sphagnum peat moss and pour it into the planting pots. Water the soil well and allow the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pots.

Step 2

Cut several pieces of the tree, at the tips of branches. The cuttings should be 6 to 8 inches long. Remove all leaves from the bottom half of the cuttings, leaving just two or three at the top.

Step 3

Dip the cut end of the branches in rooting hormone and tap on the side of the container to loosen any excess.

Step 4

Poke a hole in the soil with a pencil or your finger, insert the hormone-tipped end of the cutting into the hole and fill around it with soil. Make sure that at least two nodes, where the leaves joined the stem, are buried. Tamp the soil around the base of the cutting to ensure good contact.

Step 5

Place the potted cutting in a shaded area. Mist the cutting daily and make sure that the soil stays moist, but not soggy.

Step 6

Transplant the cuttings, when new growth appears, into one-gallon planters filled with equal parts of planting mix and compost.

Step 7

Fertilize the cuttings after they have been in the larger planter for one month. Use an all-purpose fertilizer at the rate suggested on the label.

Step 8

Transplant into the permanent location in one year.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Planting pots, 2 to 3-inch and one gallon
  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plant misting bottle
  • Potting soil
  • Compost


  • North Dakota State University: Home Propagation Techniques
  • "American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual of Practical Techniques;" Alan Toogood; 1999
Keywords: root tree cuttings, propagate a tree, grow a tree from cuttings

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.