Want free plants and free trees? The dead of winter is the ideal time to make hardwood cuttings of many deciduous trees. And for many deciduous plants, winter is really the ideal time to make root cuttings.
When plants grow in the spring they make leaves, adding new growth that is very soft and pliable. And as the season progresses, that new growth hardens off to prepare itself for the coming cold winter weather. When winter arrives, that new growth is very hard and rigid.
Although softwood root cuttings root quickly and easily, they are also frail, and they can easily fail. Hardwood cuttings, on the other hand, are very hard and durable. Hardwood root cuttings take longer to root than softwood cuttings.
Mike McGroarty from Mikesbackyardnursery.com says that making hardwood cuttings is “super easy”, just remove the canes from the plant, cut them into 5 or 6 inch long cuttings, optionally dip them into a rooting compound and stick them into either sand, potting soil, or right into the ground if it’s not frozen. Mike says to just make sure you cut just below a bud union and not into or above it.
Read Mike McGroarty’s full plant propagation post here.
With luck, by spring many of your new baby trees will be rooted and ready to lightly prune. Enjoy your free trees!