Plant cuttings from hardwood plants often need to be stored because they are taken when the plant is dormant in January or February and will be grafted or rooted as the weather begins to warm in the spring. Softwood plant cuttings are taken in warmer weather when the plants are actively growing, so they can be stored for a few days with the cut end immersed in water. Hardwood cuttings can be stored for up to six weeks in temperatures of 33 to 40 degrees F. Avoid freezing hardwood cuttings.
Cut all hardwood cuttings of the same type to a uniform size, for example 6 inches, and make a mark with a permanent marker where the top and bottom of the cutting should be on the side of the cutting, not on the cut end. Let the ink dry and immediately put cuttings in a container where they are completely immersed in clean water for 24 hours.
Remove cuttings from water and bundle them in groups of no more than 10 cuttings, with the tops pointing in the same direction. Tie the bundle with string.
Wrap bundles in wet newspaper or paper towels and place in plastic bags.
Store in the crisper section of a refrigerator because the humidity level should be higher there. If the refrigerator has a humidity control, set it to maximum.
Check cuttings for mildew or rot every 3 or 4 days and discard any cuttings that no longer look fresh. Rewrap and store bundles back in the refrigerator as soon as possible.