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How to Take Apricot Tree Cuttings

By D.C. Winston ; Updated September 21, 2017
Apricot tree in full spring bloom--not the time to take cuttings
apricot-tree image by I'm just amateur from Fotolia.com

Apricot trees can best be replicated by the asexual propagation that cuttings provide. The trees rarely come true to their parentage by seed, so cuttings are the way to go to ensure replica tree DNA. According to North Dakota State University, apricot cuttings can be harvested in the fall when leaves remain on the tree or in the winter when the tree is in its dormancy. Cuttings should always be taken as close to planting time as possible and kept moist if there is any delay in planting.

Cut a 6 to 9-inch long piece of tree branch roughly the diameter of a No. 2 pencil. Use clean, sharp secateurs and place the cuts on the bias making sure that each cutting has at least three or four leaf axils or buds.

Strip the leaves, if any, from the bottom half of the woody cutting, leaving the top foliage in place as a barometer of health.

Wrap cuttings in damp paper toweling and place them in a resealable plastic bag to keep them moist if you cannot plant them immediately after harvest.

Wet the trunk end of the cutting with water and dip into rooting hormone powder before sliding the bottom several inches into a nursery pot of wet, clean sand and peat moss.

Keep apricot cuttings with leaves in partial shade and naked cuttings in full sun or partial shade. Keep the sand and peat moist at all times until the cutting produces growth in the spring.


Things You Will Need

  • Clean, sharp secateurs
  • Paper toweling
  • Water
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Rooting hormone powder
  • Nursery pot
  • Sand
  • Peat moss


  • Take several more cuttings than you may want to become eventual trees in order to compensate for any failures to root.