cuttings questions

hookilau(long island NY)July 21, 2006

I have a small (~3ft) potted patio tree that I bought at Trader Joe's very early last spring.

It is a weeping pussy willow and appears to me to be grafted as it is grown as a standard.

I remember from the care tag that it said all shoots that sprout from the trunk should be removed as they will not weep.

I'm wondering if I can take a cutting and if so, what time of year, green or woody, water or soiless medium?

I'm also wondering if other plants can be grown as standards, how come this one was'nt?...does it take too long and that's why it was grafted? commercial growers get better results with grafting?...can I grow a standard from one of the weeping cuttings?

Another probably silly question, my tree is as tall as it's going to get right? all new growth will be pendulous and therefore the tree will not grow taller right?

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Trees grow from the top. The root stock has been grafted to a weeping habit plant. Only the weeping part is on top and will continue to grow up, although its weeping form will grow mostly horizontal. The root stock may grow from latent buds on the trunk and that new growth must be removed or it will compete with the weeping growth and will usually cause its eventual death. Al

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 9:52AM
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I have grafted these plants in the course of my job. They might be able to be grown as a standard but would take a lot of staking and training. The conventional understock is Salix x. smithiana, which is a very straight upright growing willow. Not sure if that's what your tree is grafted onto. Cuttings should root readily if you want to try growing them yourself. Willows don't want/need any rooting hormone, as they have preformed root initials. I have rooted them in the winter from dormant hardwood cuttings and also from summer softwood. Winter hardwoods can be stuck in a pot in soilless media, placed in a sheltered spot and will probably root with no special care. Summer cuttings would need to be misted or otherwise protected from wilting. I wouldn't advise covering a willow cutting with a plastic bag for protection as they are very susceptible to fungal diseases and would probably rot.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 10:18PM
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mickey_dee2002(zone5 MI)

When you graft the weeping pussy willow onto the standard, what type of graft do you usually use? What time of year is this usually done? Could you use Salix caprea 'Select' for the standard and Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' for the top graft? If you have any other suggestions and sources for the root stock, please include them also. The reason I'm asking is I'm thinking of trying to do this. If you have any other tips or suggestion, please add them. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 3:14PM
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I'm a little confused.
I also have weeping pussy willow that was grafted onto a non-weeping pussy willow. The grafted part tended to lean, so after a few years, the weeping pussy willow part was growing almost horizontally. Now I have a very tall non-weeping pussy willow (growing from the root stock) with a heavily leaning weeping pussy willow outgrowth at the base.

Q: If I take cuttings from the weeping part this fall or winter and put those into the ground, will they take root? If so, will they turn into weeping pussy willows?

Removing the straight-growing part is not that much of a challenge, but I'd really like to start some smaller, more upright (non-leaning) weepig pussy willows from cuttings (or from catkins, if that's possible).


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:56AM
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Willows are perhaps one of the most easily rooted tree species. To answer Genies question, as long as you take cuttings from the part of the plant that is weeping then they should just take root, but make sure you give them plenty of water if it is dry. There is no need to use a rooting agent.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 1:21PM
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