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How to Root a Tree Branch (Step by Step)

How to Root a Tree Branch (Step by Step)

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Trees can certainly add a lot of charm to any property. You might have some trees on your property already that you truly love.

It’s nice to have trees that stand strong and beautiful near your home. They provide aesthetic appeal while also giving you shade and providing food and shelter for local wildlife.

If you have some trees that you’d like to have more of in your yard, then you can make that happen. It’s possible to root a branch from the tree and grow a new one.

When you’ve never done this before, it’s easy to feel a bit intimidated or unclear about how to proceed. Thankfully, it isn’t that difficult once you dig into the details.

Read on to learn everything that you need to know about how to root a tree branch. If you follow the advice below, then you’re going to be able to turn your tree branch into a full tree over time.

Get a Planter Ready

The first thing that you should do is get a planter ready for the branch. You can fill the planter with a good potting mix that will help the branch to get started.

Most of the potting mixes that you find don’t contain any actual soil. They’re just well-draining potting mixes that are great for situations such as this.

Water the potting mix in the planter thoroughly and ensure that it’s moist all the way through the mix. You want to make a hole for your branch in the potting mix as well.

It’s said that making the hole around one inch in diameter is the best option. Ensure that the hole goes through the top of the potting mix.

Pick a Branch to Use

You want to find a good branch to use that will be viable for growing a tree. Try to find a branch that is roughly ten inches in length.

It would also be best if the branch that you choose has some leaves on it still. You can cut this branch directly from the tree whenever you’re ready.

To get the best results, you’re supposed to take cuttings for hardwood trees in the winter and softwood trees in the spring. When making the cut, it’s wise to do so at a 45-degree angle.

Get Your Branch Ready

Now it’s time to get your branch ready to be planted. Take the time to remove the leaves and needles that are present toward the bottom three inches of the branch that you cut.

If you’re trying to root a hardwood branch, then you’ll need to “wound” the bottom of the branch. Essentially, you’re supposed to make little vertical cuts on the bottom two inches of a hardwood branch on each side.

The purpose of doing this is to allow the branch to absorb more water than it otherwise would. This can also improve cell division and it makes this a step that you won’t want to neglect.

Use Rooting Hormone

If you want to get the best results, then it’s wise to make use of a rooting hormone. You should get some rooting hormone and place it in a saucer.

About one teaspoon of the rooting hormone will do the trick. Take the time to dip the end of the branch that you’ve wounded in the rooting hormone.

You can just roll the branch at the bottom in the rooting hormone to ensure that everything is covered nicely. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to lightly shake the branch so that any extra rooting hormone comes off.

Get rid of the rooting hormone that remains on the saucer now. Place the branch in your planter with the potting mix with the wounded end facing the soil.

You might need to form the potting mix around the branch to ensure that it stays in place. Go ahead and use your hands to get the branch to stay in the planter in a proper vertical position.

The Final Touches

Go ahead and grab a spray bottle filled with water so that you can lightly mist the branch and the leaves. Now you can grab four sticks and place them in the potting mix alongside the branch toward the edge of the planter.

Take the time to cover the planter using a plastic film of some sort. This helps to create a greenhouse effect that traps the humidity inside.

Find a spot for your planter that receives indirect sunlight. Ideally, you’ll want a location where the temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit as well.

You can place the planter in a temperature-controlled environment to be safe. Many enthusiasts will choose to place a heat mat under the planter and they’ll set it to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

This helps to keep the soil temperature where it needs to be for the plant. It’s a good idea to do this when you want things to turn out perfectly.

Keep checking on your branch each day to see how it’s doing. Check on your soil to see how moist it is and note how the branch seems to be developing.

You can mist the leaves every time you go to check on the branch. Try to ensure that the soil remains moist.

With this done, your tree branch should be successfully rooted. You’ll be able to tell if roots have formed by gently tugging on the branch to see if it stays in place well.

You can transplant the cutting into a planter with soil eventually. You just keep the soil moist and place it in indirect sunlight.

After the branch has been rooted for a year, you’ll be able to start getting it used to outdoor temperatures before planting it in the ground. You’ll then have a young tree growing on the property that you made from a branch cutting.

Final Thoughts

Being able to make a new tree from a simple branch cutting is neat. This is something that you don’t need a lot of skill to be able to do, but you will need to keep caring for the young tree.

It’ll be time-consuming, but the results will be worth it in the end. Follow the advice above and you’ll certainly have good results with rooting your tree branch.