Propagating Hemlock

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by INNA, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. INNA

    INNA Member

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    I want to grow a hemlock indoors. Just got two cuttings from the ree and put them in water. Does anybody know if they will root? Otherwise, how to propagate it?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not easy from cuttings; it is usually grown from seed. It is also an outdoor tree, and won't do well in indoor conditions.
     
  3. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    You can't grow them indoors at any time. They won't last a season. And nothing will 'root' until spring in any case.
     
  4. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    I've done both Jedelloh and sargentii(weeping) forms of Eastern Hemlock, around this time. It's actually the best time for many conifer cuttings, usually in a cold frame or some other protected spot, in pure sand is often best. A teensy bit of bottom heat (around 10C is perfect) and the strongest form of rooting hormone should assure good roots by spring. These two at least root almost 100%.

    I agree the mature forest hemlock trees are probably useless to try to root, wouldn't bother if that's what you want to grow. For those, I would harvest some seed now from any cones, sowing again in a cold frame should give lots of seedlings next spring, they germinate easily under natural seasonal conditions. They would make interesting little window sill plants for the first summer at least, but as everyone alludes to...they will struggle thru the following winters inside!
     
  5. INNA

    INNA Member

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    Dear growest,
    Thank you for your extensive answer. Can you also explain what a "cold frame" is, I am quite inexperienced in it.
    Inna
     
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Inna-the cold frame is any sort of clear shelter, like a sheet of glass supported by a wooden rectangular curb, or clear plastic covering some hoops stuck in the ground, to protect things against the worst of winter weather.

    For cuttings and seeds, the glass or plastic protects against drying winter winds and excessive rains, while trapping a bit of warmth. The extra humidity will help cuttings which are trying to survive with no root system (yet).

    I've often done seeds without this "cold frame" in winter by putting pots up against the wall of the house, where the roof overhang and proximity to the building protect against extremes.

    Cuttings really benefit from the humidity trapped in the frame, plus I usually run a soil heating cable under them, so the covering helps to keep some of that heat around the plants instead of escaping immediately into the great outdoors.
     
  7. INNA

    INNA Member

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    Do you think if I just put the pot with my cutting in a cool corner of my house, it will root?
     
  8. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Inna-it would have to be a very cool spot, because the top growth of the cutting will try to grow, while there are still no roots, if it is very warm at all.

    Ideal would be just above freezing air temp, with about 10C (50F) in the root zone. This is easier done in a sheltered spot outside, at least in these parts.
     
  9. INNA

    INNA Member

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    Is the light important? Will the minimum light do?
     
  10. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Not direct sun, but fairly bright light would be good, since the hemlock never truly goes dormant like a deciduous tree would.

    Judging light intensity is difficult without a light meter, because your eyes adjust to low light...(it's sometimes surprising how little light is in a room when the light meter shows the reality that your eyes won't ). And light levels in winter are quite low in even the bright spots...north facing windows are getting really dark this time of year!
     
  11. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but..

    We have four hemlock cones that we collected yesterday at a park which had dozens of healthy Hemlock trees scattered throughout, some in nearly 100% shade. I would love to grow one of these trees, but our backyard is really small (80' x 50') and already has 6 very large silver maple trees (a.k.a. huge weeds).

    I read that these trees are VERY shade tolerant and can grow in the shade of other trees. My plan is to sow these seeds in a small bed in the middle of all of the other trees. In about 200 years when the hemlock is tall enough I will cut down some of the silver maples and have more diversity.

    Questions
    1) what are the chances of being able to grow a hemlock in the middle of my yard from seed (there are about 8 seeds per cone).
    2) were you successful in growing hemlock from seed?

    thanks,
    Jon
     
  12. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    I suppose y'all just want the challange, but you can get potted 6-14" Canadian Hemlock for $2.95 each at Musser Forest, 1-800-643-8319. That's so cheap I wouldn't even consider trying to root a Hemlock.

    I have several of these growing in the yard. They range from 3 years old to 30 years old.

    Ray
     
  13. Jon45150

    Jon45150 Active Member

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    We will have to look into that! Thanks for the tip!

    We will still try to grow the hemlock from seed just for the heck of it, but I will buy one as you recommended too. How are they doing disease-wise? How fast do they grow?

    thanks,
    Jon
     
  14. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    No signs of disease. The one planted in 1998 is 3 feet tall and nicely shaped.
     

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