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Directions for How to Propagate Fir Trees

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fir trees at sundown
sunshine through fir tree image by Petro Feketa from Fotolia.com

Fir trees are an evergreen conifer from the genus Abies and family Pinaceae. The tree foliage is needle-like leaves attached to the stems and branches. Fir trees are propagated by taking softwood stem cuttings in late spring through early summer or hardwood stem cuttings in late fall once the tree is in the dormant stage. Softwood cuttings root quickly, but are tender and need the moisture monitored to prevent drying out.

Take a 6 to 8 inch softwood or hardwood section of current year growth from the fir tree with a sharp knife. Softwood cuttings are stem section beginning to mature but still flexible. Hardwood cuttings are firm, mature sections of stem that are in the dormant stage.

Prepare a rooting medium for the fir stem cuttings by mixing even quantities of sterile peat moss, coarse sand and perlite. Moisten the mixture with water, and fill it into a rooting tray.

Remove all foliage from the bottom half of the cutting. Dip the bottom cut end of the stem into powdered rooting hormone, and stick the stem into the rooting tray to a depth of 3 inches. Firm the medium around the stem to hold in place. Space the fir stems so the foliage does not touch.

Mist the fir cuttings and medium with water, and place a clear plastic bag or cover over the tray. Place the rooting tray in a location that has indirect sunlight and a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open the tray two to three times a day and mist the stems with water. Monitor the moisture level to prevent the medium from getting over saturated, as this will cause stem rot.

Transplant the fir stem cuttings to individual containers filled with potting soil once the roots reach a length of at least 1 inch. Softwood cuttings root quickly in approximately three to four weeks. Hardwood cuttings produce roots in approximately four to six months.

Grow the transplanted fir stem cutting indoors or in a protected environment for at least one year.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Sterile peat moss
  • Course sand
  • Perlite
  • Rooting tray
  • Rooting hormone
  • Water
  • Mister
  • Clear plastic bag
  • 4-inch growing containers
  • Potting soil
  • Bleach


  • Disinfect all propagation tools and containers with a solution made from nine parts water and one part bleach. Rinse the equipment well after washing and let dry before using.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.