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How to Propagate a Weeping Cherry Tree

Weeping Higan cherry trees (Prunus subhirtella) are large, fast-growing trees. They are known for long branches that hang low to the ground and small pink (almost white) flowers. They are commonly used to bring attention to a specific area. These are high maintenance trees that require full sun locations that are protected from strong winds. They will grow in most soil types, including clay. The most common method of propagation is grafting. There are several methods to choose from; the whip method has the simplest steps.

Cut a branch from a mature weeping cherry tree, using a sharp knife, that is at least 1 foot long. Make a diagonal cut at the bottom of the cutting (the bottom refers to the part of the cutting that was just removed from the mature tree) approximately 1 1/2 inches long.

Cut the top of the cherry tree rootstock so that the top is at least 4 feet above the ground. Make a diagonal cutting approximately 1 1/2 inches long at the top.

Make a “tongue” in the weeping cherry tree cutting and the cherry tree rootstock. Use the knife to make a straight cut into the bottom of the cutting and the top of the rootstock. The “tongue” should be a small sliver that pulls away from the main portion of the cutting or rootstock creating an opening (it should look like a tongue).

Align the cutting and the rootstock. The two should fit together so that the tongue of the cutting slides into the opening created by the tongue of the rootstock.

Wrap nursery grafting tape tightly around the union. Apply grafting compound to the union and tape.

Remove tape once the cutting and the rootstock have begun to grow together. This will prevent girdling (bark injury that covers the circumference of the tree).

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