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How to Grow Pine Trees from Cuttings

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Take the cutting from the tip of the branch
pine tree image by pershing from Fotolia.com

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

It will take over a year for your cutting to root.
little pine tree image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

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 Will Need

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

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.