sucker cutting

ryne(6)August 18, 2009

hey all, i have a good sized(6ft) black jack fig tree with an approx 8"-9" sucker growing out by the trunk at soil level. it is leafed out as well. my question is, can i just cut it off at soil level and attempt to root it. would it be better to try and do it when dormant this winter? what would be the preferred method for this situation. btw, this would be my 1st attempt in propagating a tree. thanks in advance.

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genecolin(Zone 9, LA)

ryne, I always cut mine and pot them. Most of them grow with no problem. Another option since it is so close to the ground, is to cover it with some soil and let it root while attached to the mother tree. Check it after it goes dormant and if it has sufficient roots, pot it. Good luck.

From the bayou,

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 3:27PM
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If you're not in a hurry, try an air layer... Before the tree wakes up in spring (before the leaves break), cut a hole in the bottom of a bottle roughly the size of the branch, slide it over, fill with dirt, and keep it moist. Cover the open end with foil, if you want, to keep the whole situation at a more consistent humidity... A clear bottle works well because you can see root development, and you will see roots within a few weeks... An old timer around here does all his propogation this way, and boasts a 90+ percent success rate... Last time I was at his farm, he was just about to cut off an 1 1/2 inch diameter branch he had layered in a three gallon bucket using this method...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 8:33PM
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I would try to cut it off with some roots on the sucker with a shovel, kind of cut some off the mother plants root. but that's me :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:17PM
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thanks for all the input. great forum.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Hey all, just for the heck of it, i'm trying an air layer with a cut, inverted, plastic bottle and some organic potting soil. I'll try and post some pics when i can. thanks again for the info.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 3:38PM
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I have used straightened out and then bend paper clips yup to make hook for small small suckers and have cut up a coat hanger and made hook end for larger suckers low to the soil top then i just cover with soil and keep moist. In 4 weeks time i have roots and can severe from the parent tree. One can do this in fall as well and leave it till the spring and will have plant rooted.
These fig plants for the most part are so much fun and can take a lot of abuse.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 5:23PM
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As far as air layering goes, is there a disadvantage to doing at this time of the season? Also, if I do it now on a tree that is packed with ripening fruit, I wonder if it will impact the fruiting process. The last thing I want to have is a tree full of unripe fruit going into the fall. I know the olive oil tip but the figs just dont taste the same.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 6:18PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I would air layer it in the spring as ejp3 suggested. What will happen if you do it now is you will get stoped growth (zone 6) and then the moist moss you have on the tree will rot or freeze and kill the branch. Doing this in spring you will have tons of growth and it will root very fast. I would use dipnGrow. I use that stuff on all my cuttings or air layers.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 11:19PM
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