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Are you passionate about gardening? Looking for simple ways to multiply the supply from your garden? You have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn how to grow fruit trees from cuttings.
You can use a branch to grow a second tree for more tasty fruit. Find out the best types of fruit trees to propagate from cuttings with this step by step guide.
Why Grow Fruit Trees From Cuttings?
Many a time, we are inclined towards buying the required seeds or saplings from the nursery. Though easy, this can be expensive. It is also said that fruit trees grown from seeds often do not resemble the parent tree.
So instead of going for expensive and potentially ineffective way, it’s better to invest some time in a simpler and more effective method. The following are some easy ways to clone a tree without help from the nursery, or using seeds.
Different Ways to Clone Fruit Trees
1. Root Cuttings From a Tree
Cloning a tree using cuttings requires you to clip off a branch from the desired tree—about the diameter of a pencil and about 15-20 centimeters long—and then root it in the soil to let it grow into a new plant.
2. Root Without Cuttings
Also called air-layering, this method involves leaving the cutting on the tree until it develops roots. After this you cut out the branch along with the newly developed root ball and then plant it separately.
Grafting is not cloning a tree, but a technique to rather merge two trees so they become one. In this technique, two trees are made to grow together by joining their tissues. Both trees share the same root.
In this method, the scion is inserted firmly into the rootstock and secured together. In this combination, the bottom portion (the branch of the primary tree on which the insertion is made) is called the rootstock.
The upper portion (the branch from the secondary tree which is being joined) is called the scion.
While all three methods are effective, you should take care to learn which technique works for what kind of trees. Also learn when best to implement them with respect to the weather and season.
Cloning trees using cuttings works best for fruit trees, and roses.
Air layering works for most Citrus trees and some woody ornamentals such as camellia and magnolia.
Grafting is done for various reasons such as to facilitate hybrid breeding and to accelerate fruitfulness of a tree. It can also repair a damaged tree in some cases.
You can choose the best method based on your needs. Cloning a tree using cuttings is probably the most frequently used technique. It is also usually the easiest. This is the method that we will go over in detailed steps below — how to grow fruit trees from cuttings.
1. Choosing Your Tree
While most trees can be grown from cuttings, this technique is needed especially for fruit trees. You need to select a healthy parent tree. Some fruit trees that are easy to clone using cuttings include:
2. Cutting the branch
Choose a healthy portion of the branch to be cut. Make sure you include at least two nodes in the cutting. Nodes are places from which leaves grow. If there are leaves already, cut the leaves from that portion of the stem which you are going to insert into the soil. The branch can be 15-20 centimeters long, but not any more than 30 cm. The diameter could be that of a pencil’s — about ¼ to ¾ of an inch. You may use a knife or a pair of pruning shears to cut the branch from the tree.
3. Preparing the branch for rooting
Once you have your branch cut from the tree, the next step is to prepare the cutting to be rooted. Before doing anything else, peel back the bark from the bottom portion of the stem, which is going to be inserted into the soil. Then, dip that peeled bottom portion into a little bit of rooting hormone.
If you do not have rooting hormone, you can use honey, which is said to protect the stem against any possible fungal infections and keep it healthy. You can also dip it in water and rub the bottom portion of the stem in cinnamon powder, which is known to stimulate root growth naturally.
Any of these three stimulants are good enough — you do not have to use a mixture of all of them. If you wish to see which of the three gives the best results, you may cut three stems from the parent tree and experiment with a stimulant on each stem, observe the results and then make your decision on what you prefer based on the outcome. In terms of effectiveness, all three should work well.
4. Transplanting the rooted soil
Once you have dipped the stem in the rooting hormone, you are ready to fix the stem in the rooting medium. Make a small hole into the medium with a pencil, and then insert the stem into this hole— about 3 centimeters of the bottom portion. Ensure that the hole is not too big— the rooting medium has to sit tight around the stem. Do you recall that it was important to have at least two nodes on the cutting? Well, as you insert the stem, remember to leave one node into the rooting medium and another above it on the surface. Pour a lot of water into the container for moisture.
Cover the stem with a plastic bag to retain moisture. You can make a few small holes on the bag to ensure there is circulation of air and light. Remove the bag and monitor the rooted cutting every 3-4 days to check for growth of new leaves and shoots. Once you see considerable growth, you can remove the plastic bag and transplant the entire unit into the soil in your garden outside. The new fruit tree should be planted at the same depth that it was rooted.
Preparing the rooting medium
The rooting medium is nothing but a mixture prepared to stimulate the growth of a plant. Garden substrate is another name for it . You can use ready-made mixes, which you can then empty into a pot or a container. You can also make your own rooting medium using a mixture of coarse sand, peat moss and perlite.
This mixture needs to be light and absorbent because you want new roots to grow and spread out. So it’s recommended that you do not use hard soil as part of your rooting medium. Once your mixture is ready, you can insert the stem into it, and pour a lot of water which will be absorbed by the materials easily.
That’s pretty much all there is to know about how to grow fruit trees from cuttings. As you nurture the plant, you may use banana peels, vegetable peels, and egg shells as part of your compost pile to ensure that the plant grows well. Water it occasionally and make sure it receives ample sunlight.
And soon enough, you should be able to enjoy, quite literally, the fruits of your labor!
Can you grow a fruit tree from a branch?
Yes, you can. One of the easiest ways to clone a fruit tree is to cut a healthy part of its branch and fix it into the soil for it to grow as a new tree. In fact, growing a fruit tree from a branch is said to be more effective than propagating it using seeds.
There are several easy and cost-effective methods in which you can clone a tree— they include growing trees from cuttings, rooting without cuttings or air layering and grafting. If you are wondering how to grow fruit trees from cuttings, all you need to do is cut a healthy part of the branch from the desired tree, dip it in a rooting hormone and insert it into the rooting medium. Leave it for a few days. Once you begin to see shoots and leaves on the stem, you can transplant the entire unit into the soil.