rooting red maple softwood cutting

alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)June 10, 2009


I will soon attempt to root some softwood cutting from a red maple (Acer rubrum). Any special tricks for rooting red maple? I plan on dipping the cuttings in rooting hormone and sticking them in a perlite/vermiculite mix in an enclosed planting chamber.


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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

A tip, a huge tip, keep the humidity at 90-99% while not allowing the leaves or the lightweight poly only...covered chamber to accumlate large water droplets on the poly. The same must go for the cuttings. They cannot have any water droplets on them ever or they will rot. Here is what I use. Depending on where your chamber is you need to understand that you must diffuse the light to conditions that of dappled light such as produced under a large shade tree. Those conditions must be met. I use a greenhouse with 50% shade cloth on at all times with my cuttings in a chamber that can be sealed with furring strips and screws. The most important part of keeping the conditions continuous is that I use a cool mist humidifier on a timer. You must experiment until you can keep the chamber 95% or therabouts humid. It takes several days or a week to achieve this. I can say that mine runs for 15 minutes at 7 am, 3pm and 7pm and that's all that is needed. I'll show a few photos now. Dax

Do you notice I have way too much water on the inside of the poly walls?

furring strips, scrap lumber

If at any time you cannot keep the heet below 80 add white poly to cover the box or more shade cloth and keep the poly open. You can't let them cook.

Good luck! The best time to take all woody shrub cuttings here in zone 5 is between mid June thru the end of August. In colder climates, adjust about a week per zone. Warmer add a week or two.

Lastly, my biggest hint, 'Root Gel Dip' sold by Treehaven Evergreen Nursery, "Hilltop Tree Farms" for about 5 dollars and it makes enumorous amounts of dip for dipping. First a quick dip in 'Dip n' Grow' at a rate of 1/10 parts or a rooting hormone such as Hormex #8 followed by this root gel dip stuff, then stick the cuttings. I use 50% perlite to 50% peat. Sometimes I add sand for Junipers especially.

Again good luck:

My newest propagation chamber (grafting or cuttings).

The pots I use: Anderson Tree Band Pots:

I also spray with an algaecide/fungicide every two weeks like clockwork. I use Consan20. Any fungicide labled for this type of work could also be substituted. You only spray while the temps are cool such as very early in the morning or in the later evening. Then the plants are allowed to completely dry off and the chamber is sealed back up. Same as with when you water. Always allow the foliage to dry 100%.

You must exchange the air every couple days. Keep all these things in mind and figure out your own way for your individual situation. It...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:10AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Wow, thanks for all the information! I tried a few cuttings shortly after my post, and they are now rotten :(

I'll see what I can rig up based on your advice.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:03PM
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Brilliant advice, I have a full tree to take cuttings from as it has to be dug up. So plenty of cuttings to be had

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:33PM
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