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Apple tree cuttings

 
Betty Lamb
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Location: Vancouver Island, Zone??
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So, I wish I had read up about this in the fall... apparently when you start a new apple tree from a cutting you have to take the cutting in the fall when the tree is dormant, is this true? Because I have my shears and I'm heading out to the orchard right now at the end of April to take a bunch of suckers off my fave trees. I've got fresh suckers all around the bottom and suckers all over a branch (that I am glad I didn't prune last year - because these are what I'm taking today). It's an experiment, I'll take the cuttings now in the spring and plant them in the ground next spring and then in the fall I'll take new cuttings like all the advice says to do. I wish I had known, or actually had thought to ask, last fall when I actually had about ten spare minutes on my hands with nothing to do...

If anyone has taken their suckers in the spring and propagated their trees I'd love to hear how it turned out.

tally ho!

I might take some pics of what I'm doing and upload them later...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I don't use cuttings, I air layer and then plant the newly rooted branch.
While cuttings will work, it is best to have hardened wood (one year old branches) for cuttings to work best, the hardened bark is more receptive to forming roots when treated as a cutting.

Air layering works for most trees and plants, and since you are working with something that remains on the tree, it has a far better chance of forming the new root ball.
If you are doing fresh growth cuttings you will need cloches to cover the cutting so it remains moist all the time. (you will also need to have partial shade so the cutting doesn't cook in the sunlight.

You will also need a rooting hormone solution or power type ( I prefer a solution, it gets into your root formation point cuts far better than a powder. You can use "willow water" if you have willow trees.
 
Betty Lamb
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Location: Vancouver Island, Zone??
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what is air layering?
 
Todd Parr
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Betty Lamb wrote:what is air layering?


Air Layering
 
Betty Lamb
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Location: Vancouver Island, Zone??
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that's interesting, here's a question from a neophyte, can I use vermiculite instead of sphagnum?
 
Todd Parr
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I haven't tried that. I tried potting soil on a mulberry tree and that didn't work, but I may not have kept it damp enough. I also didn't cut it like the guy on instructables did, I just sliced a little of the bark off. I'm going to experiment more this year, but I haven't tried it yet.
 
Betty Lamb
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Location: Vancouver Island, Zone??
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I just looked it up a little and one website said that vermiculite alone was superior to fibers

http://stfc.org.au/air-layering-marcotting
scroll down to Rooting Media

I'll definately try this, I can't afford $30 a tree to tree up an entire acre. I can wait a bit and propagate the trees I like.

I really appreciate the advice!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The one thing you need for a rooting medium when air layering is that it holds on to the branch. If you can get vermiculite to do that while so you can then get the cover wrapped around it, wonderful. If it falls off, not such a good choice of material.

In my experience, the full girdle method does not work as well as the scored bark method, but I've only propagated close to a million clones, so I could be wrong about that.

 
Carl Nutter
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Location: Sherwood, United States
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The one thing you need for a rooting medium when air layering is that it holds on to the branch. If you can get vermiculite to do that while so you can then get the cover wrapped around it, wonderful. If it falls off, not such a good choice of material.

In my experience, the full girdle method does not work as well as the scored bark method, but I've only propagated close to a million clones, so I could be wrong about that.


Bryant,
What is the scored bark method? Could you please share with me, how you go about doing your scored bark method?
Thanks,
Carl
 
Bryant RedHawk
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When you use the scored bark method what you are doing is cutting into the outer layers of the bark down to the cambium layer (where tree growth takes place and nutrients are moved up to the leaves).

I make my cuts with a sterilized, very sharp, knife blade ( I use rubbing alcohol, dip and then light, let it burn off ), I make my slits equidistant around the branch, my slits are cut in a very narrow V shape and about 4cm long.
If I have willow water I soak these slits with it then soak the sphagnum moss in it as well prior to wrapping the slits with it. This gives rooting hormone (natural) to the cambium layer and this tells the cambium to produce roots.

The longest it has ever taken for root formation using this method was 10 weeks (we had a heat wave hit with temps above 100 f for 30 days that year).

The norm it 6 weeks from treatment to roots forming. I always wait to cut the branch off until I see roots filling the sphagnum and pushing against the wrapper, this way I know the new tree will survive the transplanting.

If I don't have a permanent site selected for the new tree (s) I pot them in 5 gallon nursery containers (black plastic variety which I get free from some of my nursery friends, or that I have collected after planting purchased trees, plants and flowers).
 
gillium Schieber
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Grafting is typical, low cost and successful for the amateur. 1 to 2 weeks you have a new tree, and if yiu want it on its own roots just plant it deeper than thd graft union.
I have 200+ varieties of apples and sell scionwood and rootstock, Skipleyfarm dot com
 
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