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How to Take Cuttings From a Dogwood to Start a Tree

dogwood image by Jorge Moro from

Dogwood trees are usually propagated from seeds. However, you can also propagate them by buddings and from cuttings. While rooting cuttings is the least common method of propagating dogwood trees, it produces strong trees with less susceptibility to disease. Cuttings must be taken from new growth in order to for them to successfully root. Using growth hormone is optional, but it increases the probability of successful rooting.

Cut dogwood trees for rooting in the early spring, after new leaf buds form, until mid-summer. The shoots are soft and tender in the early spring. Later in the season the stems are woody and although they can be used, you aren't as likely to have as much success with them. Avoid taking cuttings when flowers or flower buds are present, as the plant will expend too much energy on flowers and not enough on forming roots.

Cut soft wood in the morning from new growth on the upper part of the tree. Shoots should be pliable and have leaf buds or small leaves present. Use a clean sharp knife or pruning shears to cut off terminal shoot pieces about 4 to 6 inches long.

Take more cuttings than needed, since some may not successfully root. Keep them moist by wrapping them in moist paper towels immediately after cutting.

Remove the leaves from the lower third of the cutting. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone prepared according to the package directions.

Place the bare cut ends vertically into a container of moist sand. Water the cuttings.

Place the cuttings in indirect sun. Mist the plants two or three times a day or cover them loosely in plastic to maintain high humidity. Keep the sand moist until the cutting is rooted.

Transplant the rooted dogwood trees into a container. Allow them to grow in a sheltered location until they have developed a root system and gained some size before moving them to the landscape.

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