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Starting Trees and Shrubs from Hardwood Cuttings

It’s all in the timing – when trying to start trees and shrubs from a cutting.                              

Whether looking for a challenge or a way to preserve a family heirloom, you may want to try starting non-patented trees and shrubs from cuttings. Timing, the type of cutting and the shrub species influence success. Privet, forsythia, wisteria, spirea, juniper, and hemlock are just a few that can be started from hardwood cuttings.  Take a 4 to 8 inch cutting from the previous season’s growth during the dormant season. Each cutting should have at least two nodes, the location where leaves or needles grow.

Bundle, cover in sand or sawdust and store cuttings in a cool moist frost-free location for the remainder of winter. Plant them in sand or vermiculite in spring. Once rooted you can pot them up and grow them in a container for a season or two. Or move them directly into the garden.

A bit more information: When starting new lilacs, forsythia, magnolia, weigela, and fruit plants try softwood cuttings. Use cuttings made from the tender new growth to start new plants.

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Green Bay Botanic Garden
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Pruning Tips for Shrubs
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