Plum tree cuttings

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by fish_4_all, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    Well I have some cuttings from my grandmothers plum tree and I have had some mixed success in my first try to get them to take root. I have 2 for sure that will root. I have a dozen others that look like they might.

    This was started on September 16th. I used liquid and powder root hormones. I also used different medium: sand, generic potting soil and coconut fiber. The potting soil is where the ones that have taken root are but others are trying in the coconut fiber. No luck in the sand.

    What I need to know is how much longer should I wait to see if the rest of the starts will even try to take root? I am patient so that is not an issue but if it has been too long or there is an indicator on the cut that will tell if they will start please let me know. I would rather get some more new cuts before the weather gets cold than keep trying to get roots on dead end cuttings.

    Also, the two that do have roots: How long do I need to wait before I move them to an actual pot of soil to let them get a good root base before planting them in the spring?

    I do promise to keep things up to date and let everyone know of my progress or lack there of.
     



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  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    If all the cuttings were taken at the same time then I think you've probably given them enough time to show signs of rooting. I would definitely take more cuttings while you can but leave the original ones in place - just in case.
    The ones that have already rooted should be alright to transplant into pots as long as you don't damage the new roots in the process. I usually wait until the roots are about two inches long before I move them.
    The first signs that a cutting is 'taking' tends to be small knobbly protrusions on the cutting either from a leaf node or from the heel of the cutting.

    We have members here who are experts on this subject and will be able give you better advice than I can. Good luck.
     
  3. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    That is a huge help! I know now that I have at least 5-10 others that should take root sooner or later if they don't rot or mold.

    I really need to focus on the next cuttings and make sure that they have those knobby rouch bark areas wher eI cut them. All but 1 of the ones I see root possiblities form have that odd bark growth on them.

    I also decided to make some willow tea today and I will give that a try with the new cuttings along with the powder and liquid rooting hormones. Am steeping the willow now. I hope it is the right type. I am not sure what it is but it takes root here with the smallest clipping without ever a worry so I hope it works. Is a pussy willow for sure but not sure what type.
     
  4. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    Well I went back through all of them and looked at them to see if they had the white "bumps" or not. Low and behold I might be in better shape than I thought. Out of the 75+ that I started I have 2 for sure with roots and 34 with the white bumps. Some of them are kinda iffy but some of them have huge white bumbs and look like they have root tendrils starting to grow in certain spots. Looks like I might be luckier than I thought. We will see how it goes in the next couple weeks. :D
     
  5. travelingbooklover

    travelingbooklover In Flower

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    Keep us posted, fish_4_all. I want to try rooting some cuttings from my esperanza and my fig tree. I am going to try your method of different mediums. I am glad I found your post before I started.
     
  6. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    I will for sure keep everyone up to date. Will be painfully slow and I have to be patient but I think I should have tree for spring planting for sure.

    I would try some longer cuttings of some "harder" wood if you can get the cuttings. I have had the best results with larger stems than smaller ones. None of the very newest growth I got took root at all. All of the ones showing roots were of larger diameter, maybe half the size of a pencil. Anything smaller didn't do so well.

    But try all sizes as each tree/shrub is sure to be different with what works.
     
  7. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    Well I started a dozen more cuttings today, well yesterday anyway. I cut them well down the limb and longer than I did before. I stuck them directly into the willow tea and soaked them overnight. Then I dipped them into powder rooting hormone and planted them. 8 or so in a mix of potting soil and coconut fiber. I watered this mixture first with the willow tea and then with water to get it damp enough.

    5 of them I planted in planting soil only and did something a little different. I placed a layer of potting soil in the bottom 2/3rds of the shoe box. Then I powdered the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone and layed them in the shoe box. I then covered them with more potting soil that was kinda on the dry side. I watered that with the same willow tea I used to soak them in. I am thinking that this let more of the powder stay in place and I might even get a more serious amount of roots if it works.

    More things to keep track of but it is fun. Will keep this up to date as I see more roots.
     
  8. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    I like to follow your progress, so please keep on updating. :D
     
  9. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    Need more advice

    The first time may have been a failure but this second batch is coming along extremely well.

    The cuttings are doing really well, well enough that they are growing new leaves and even flowering.

    Now I need to know what to do to keep the roots form rotting and keep them alive. When should i take them out of the soil or uncover them so the soil stays moist but not wet so they don't rot? Is there anything I need to do to help keep them from rotting?

    This batch was done by taking the cutting and soaking them in a willow tea for 48 hours. Then I put powdered root hormone on them. I don't know for sure it was the willow tea but I do know I will use it again.
     
  10. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    wow. is it really true u can root plum tree cuttings ???
    i thought it only worked by seed or grafting...
    my dad has a few "common" plum trees in the garden that always have an army of seedlings around them... and a few cultivars... meaning large and tasty plums... he keeps trying to have more like those by grafting into others.

    if i can tell him he can just root cuttings...

    will it take a long time for a cutting to actually flower and set fruit???

    i'll try to find some info on the internet...

    thanks!
     
  11. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    My cuttings actually flowered while I am trying to root them! I took off the flowers so they could put their energy into growing roots.

    Best bet to get rootings to take faster will be to wait until you get new growth in the spring. Once the new branches are a good 12 inches long, take some cuttings, dip them in rooting hormone and put them in moist soil. Make sure they have good leaves on them. Put a dome over them to keep in the moisture and hopefuly you will have some take root. A glass top in partial sun will give them plenty of sunlight but will keep them from baking in too much sun.

    There is another way. If you take some containers, fill them with soil, then support them so you can take new branches and bury part of them in the soil they are supposed to grow roots. I think you are supposed to "injure" the part you bury in the soil but I don't remember for sure. I am gonna try this with my grandmas tree this spring just to get as many starts as I can. Still hoping that all the ones I have take root and survive until spring.