How to Grow Pine Trees from Cuttings


There are 35 species of pine trees in the United States, most of them located in the northern regions. Most pine trees range in height from 9 to 150 feet and can live from 100 to 1,000 years. This information is useful in helping you determine a good site in which to plant your pine tree. Fir and pine trees are notoriously difficult to root from cuttings. The Norfolk Island pine is somewhat easier to root than others. Take your cutting in the winter, while the tree is dormant.

Step 1

Fill the planting pot to within 3/4 inch of the rim with potting soil. Water the soil well and allow it to drain completely.

Step 2

Cut a 6-inch-long branch from the tree. Cut a branch near the base of the tree, from the current year's growth that appears strong and healthy. Make the cut 6 inches from the tip of the branch, not from the trunk of the tree. Remove all needles from the lower half of the cutting.

Step 3

Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, and tap the cutting lightly on the edge of the jar to release any excess hormone.

Step 4

Poke a hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil, and push the hormone-tipped end of the cutting 2 inches into the soil.

Step 5

Cut small holes or slits in a plastic bag, and place the potted cutting into the bag.

Step 6

Place the potted cutting in a cool, well-lighted area, out of direct sun.

Step 7

Check the soil daily to make sure it remains moist. The cutting will probably take over one year to root. When you see new growth, you will know that rooting has occurred.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting pot
  • Potting soil
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Hand pruners
  • Plastic bag that seals
  • Rooting hormone


  • Colorado State University: Propagating Trees and Shrubs
  • BBC: Make More Conifers
  • University of Illinois Extension: Christmas Trees & More

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions
Keywords: plant pine tree, propagate pine tree, root pine tree

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, worldwide. 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.