Simple scion gathering instructions

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)November 8, 2012

I was mentioning my interest in figs to a friend in PA and she said there's a fig tree on the property she is renting. I told her I'd like some cuttings of it but since I've never done it I want to make sure I give her correct instructions.

I believe the tree should be dormant and that she should take the most recent year's growth; that the cutting should be between 9 and 12 inches. Is this correct?

When I get them I should dip them in a 10% bleach solution and let the bleach water dry on them. Then I should dip them in rooting hormone, and use a good rooting potting soil mixed with 50% perlite. I should plant them in clear plastic glasses with holes on the sides and bottom (I found that using a hot glue gun without the glue works well). I should keep them in a large Rubbermaid clear container at a steady temperature of 70 degrees F.

Am I missing anything?

Is there a link that gives better descriptions that I can send her?

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Clean and steril stock and water is best given the length of time in a high humid environment because of fungus and mold can also take off in the bag. Soft green cuttings have some success using the technique you describe, hard wood tip cuttings from dormant trees have better success using the bag technique. Depends on the actual stock, time of the cuttings, and humidity level and consistancy during the rooting period.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:36PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I went through the links you gave but I'm still confused regarding the type of wood. I should ask her NOT to send the tips but more woody cuttings, is that it?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:50PM
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I'm sure others more knowledgeable will weigh in, but I personally like the latest season's growth (tips of branches), probably 6-9 inches long. I do bleach them but don't use rooting hormone and use the bag method. I keep them at about 70 degrees and check them daily for moisture levels and mold. When roots develop, they are very fragile. I usually let them get 1/2 an inch long and pot up carefully. Then the biggest problem is overwatering in the clear cup.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:19PM
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bob17257(Z6/ S Central PA)

Here is a tip when cutting the scions: Make a horizontal cut for the BOTTOM of the scion, and an angled cut for the TOP. The scions will then have a flat bottom and a pointed top. Useful for keeping them right-side-up.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:26AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


That's a great tip. Thanks to all. I'm sending her the link to this post. Who knows, it may be a "new" cold-hardy fig!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:13PM
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Just what I wanted to know, Thank you! I have 2 different fig trees but don't know which they are. Wanted to start some figlings(lol) because we rent and will be moving in a couple years. These trees from what I was told are over 30 yrs. old and have such delicious fruit.
I do have a question. If I take tip cuttings, do I cut diagnally and do I leave the bud tip on or cut it off?
Thanks again & Happy holidays!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Probably the most important thing is to make sure that you have at least 3 segments (look closely and you will see seams in the bark marking segments) in your 6-9" cutting. I leave the bud tips on mine most of the time. I like horizontal cuts for the bottom of the cutting. If you cut the tip off, use a diagonal for the top and you will know which end is up. Try to make the bottom cut below a seam, but not too far away, say a half inch below the seam.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Thank you Scott!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:56AM
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