How to Root a Cutting From a Pear Tree
When you buy a sapling pear tree from a nursery or online catalog, you're gambling that the tree will do well in your local environment. Growers sell trees that do well in the general climate in which you live, but another way to guarantee a tree will do well is to propagate one that's already in your neighborhood. Pear tree cuttings will root easily with minimal work, transforming into an entire collection of baby pear trees in just a matter of months.
Clip hardwood cuttings from one-year-old branches early in the spring before any buds bloom. Clean hedge clippers or other sharp scissors with alcohol pads. Clip 12-inch long pieces of branches from different parts of the tree.
Clean a sharp knife with an alcohol pad. Mark the end of each cutting with the knife to indicate which end grew closest to the trunk. Mark the cutting by scraping off a piece of bark near the end. You must plant the cuttings right side up, or they won't root and grow. Marking the correct end to plant will ensure you get the right end in the soil.
- When you buy a sapling pear tree from a nursery or online catalog, you're gambling that the tree will do well in your local environment.
- Pear tree cuttings will root easily with minimal work, transforming into an entire collection of baby pear trees in just a matter of months.
Fill a large plastic bag halfway with vermiculite and moisten it with water. Dust the marked ends of the cuttings with rooting hormone powder. Place the cuttings, marked ends down, into the bag. Pull the opening of the bag close around the bundle of branches and secure it with a rubber band. Store this bag in the vegetable cooler drawer in your refrigerator for four weeks. A callus will form over the bottom end during this time.
Dig a 6-inch hole in your garden and fill it with 4 inches of potting soil. Place a cutting in the hole, callus end down. Fill the rest of the hole with potting soil, firming the soil around the branch to hold it in place. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the cuttings.
- Fill a large plastic bag halfway with vermiculite and moisten it with water.
- Place a cutting in the hole, callus end down.
Water the planted cuttings well and surround them with 1/2 inch of lawn cuttings. Keep the soil moist while the plants root by giving them 1 inch of water per week.
Watch for leaf growth to start in a few weeks. Once it starts, give the plants 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer each week instead of clear water.
Transplant the sapling trees after one year into their permanent homes.
Rooting hormone powder can be irritating to lungs and skin. Wear gloves when using it, use a mask if you have any breathing problems and keep it out of reach of small children and pets.
Always get permission from the owner of the tree from which you're taking cuttings if you are not using one of your own. Even if the tree is in a front yard next to the street, that tree is private property.
Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.