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Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by StewartD, Jul 14, 2009.
Can anyone please tell me how to get apple tree cuttings to root?
I visited an operation in Israel where they grow apple trees from misted cuttings. They cut branch tips and strip leaves off until there are just 2 small leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and then root them in sterile soiless mix. They get misted regularly and are in a controlled environment with light and heat carefully controlled.
I've tried replicating it at home without success. I have much better results growing stoolbeds, where you cut the tree off at ground level and then pile sawdust on top of the resulting suckers, which root into the sawdust. In the fall rake the sawdust back and cut the rooted sawdust off, which become your new tree. You can repeat this every year.
Thank you for that. The cuttings do seem to be problematic especially for the home propagator who hasn't got automated temperature control, misting equipment, etc. However I'm sure there is someone out there who has discovered a trick to get them started. I'm setting up stoolbeds of rootstocks having purchased rooted rootstock commercially, but to set up stool beds for other varieties one needs to get a rooted tree to start the stoolbed, hence the need to root cuttings. Bit of a Catch 22 really. Your comments are appreciated. S.
The way I do it is a little time consuming but I get 100% a success rate.First you get get your little jiffy pot ready (the kind of pots made from organic material) cut down the side and to the center drain hole on the bottom to allow you to open it from the side like a book.Find a new shoot on a branch and at the base of the shoot go back 1/2 inch on last years wood ,I then take a sharp knife and cut out a 1 inch section of bark leaving 1/8 inch or more "feeder" section still connecting the main branch to the shoot (this will allow nutrients to continue until the shoot roots).I then make some small nicks on the 1/2 inch section and put IBA rooting powder on that section, open up the jiffy pot and slip it over the branch. I then fill the pot with moist regular potting soil and seal it up by wrapping it with clear plastic wrap. Some varieties root much quicker than others but in about 4 to 6 weeks you should start seeing roots poking through the pot.I have used this method on plum and peach with good results as well.
If you are interested I can try and post some pictures if my description is not clear. Hope this helps!
One thing that so so works with cuttings is to take a long whip, wound / nick the end and apply IBA powder bury it side ways in the ground about 1 inch deep leaving 1 leaf/bud at the end sticking out. water it well and put a black plastic garbage bag over the buried portion(this will raise soil temp) cut a clear plastic bottle in half and put it on top of the leaf to help keep up humidity. just make sure the ground stays moist under the container to stop the leaf from drying out.It has worked but success rate is some what marginal.If you don't have a heated misting bench I think it's worth a try.
P.S the last post was for rooting shoots right on the tree, sorry for any confusion.
glenn10, are you using this technique on anything beside plum and peach. Do you think that it would work for apple?