Medium for Plum tree rooting Urgent

fish_4_allOctober 9, 2008

I wish I had more time but I don't so the best I can do is find out what mediums to use and try multiples of them.

My grandmother has a plum tree that has the most lucious fruit and is the best plum she has ever had. It might be a hybrid or something, she isn't sure. I do know that she is going to cut it down very soon, probably the first of next week so I have to do this now.

I have generic fertilizer free potting soil with a lot of vermiculite, potting sand and coconut fiber. I plan to use small starter pots in a pan with a home made dome for moisture. I have rootone in powder form and can get a liquid rooting solution at the local garden center.

What else can I use to have the best chances of the cuttings taking root as far as a good medium? I really want this to work and I want to have as many take root as possible but a 20% success rate will be good as I am gonna try at least 40 if not 100 cuttings in different ways.

Please help. I will be doing this either tomorrow or Saturday or both depending on what I can find out about starting fruit trees by then. I may have more time so please post what you have that might help just in case I can convince her to wait a week or two before cutting it down.

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It appears that I do have more time. My dad convinced grandma to leave part of the tree and I am gonna get some scions from the part they are gonna cut down. At least I can try now and if nothing takes root I will have more options to try and get other pieces to take root next spring.

I still need medium ideas as I have never done this and I have not found anything useful or difinitive as to what medium to use to have the best chances of the scions taking root.

Does anyone have any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 1:52PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

I have taken hardwood cuttings about this time of year and had success with a couple different methods. The first method, plant cuttings in soil outdoors at this time of year, water them in and take a fish aquarium or some sort of clear plastic tub and cover your cuttings. Leave them alone until spring. Worked well for pear and apple trees for me.

Another method which has worked for me. I've taken a clear plastic, large storage tub, place equal parts of peat moss and perilite at the bottom (approx. 3 inches), dampen soil, place cuttings after dipping in a rooting hormone, place tub on a heat mat and allow to sit until cuttings root.

Good luck. I hope you have success.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 12:07AM
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Well I have done 56 of them. 48 in one container: 6 in sand, 32 in generic fertilizer free potting soil and 12 in coconut fiber. Half of each were done in liquid root starter and half were done with rootone. I will say I was very surprise how well the rootone stuck to them as I had to replant a couple becayse they got pulled up. All the powder was still in tact.

I did 2 different containers, one has 48 in it with the mixes of different soils and one is a single pot of potting soil with 8 of them in it.

I am getting good condensation in all of the "pots" so hopefully the humidity is high enough and they stay warm enough to take root.

I am hoping for at least 20% to take root. 50% would be a huge success and anything more simply astonishing for my first try.

I also set up 4 rose starts in seperate containers with the potting soil and rootone to try and get them to go. They are rose trees I have had for well over 20 years. I hope at least one of them takes off so I can start the rose tree properly and have a nice long stalk on it with a mass of roses at the top.

Will keep things up to date as I see roots or don't. If I understand right it should be about 4 weeks before I need to even check for roots and 8-12 weeks before I give up so now it is time to sit back and wait.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:43AM
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Success, well kinda. I have over 75 cuttings in different media and I have 2 of them that have actually started to take root. I know, terrible success rate but for a first try I am happy to get any of them. The best medium seems to be simple plain unfertilized potting soil so far as both are in there that have started to take root.

The ones that are taking root had a massive amount of leaves on them and were the very end cuts. The leaves were very dense and thick with very little space between them like you see on plumb and cherry trees.

Also, the two that have started to take root were cut at a place where there was a lot of knobby wood where a lot of other leaves would have been or where new branches might have tried to start in the spring.

Both of them, I think, were done with liquid rooting hormone. None of the powder ones have started to root. YET.

I am not giving up on the rest and will leave them for aonther 4-6 weeks to see if I can get as many as possible to take root unless anyone here thinks it is a bad idea. If it would be better, the weather has been extrememly mild and I should be able to get a bunch of similar cuttings from the tree if that might be a better chance for success.

How long should I wait before I transplant the two that have started to take root into containers and start to remove the lids to let them grow like normal trees would? One of them has a lot of roots and a good root mass where the other is just starting to get roots to just start growing out of the cut end.

TIA for all the help and will keep this updated, I promise.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Have you considered bud grafting some of these? You will probably get better results. As far as rooting the cuttings, It is much easier to do in the springs by taking cuttings right after the tree has dropped it's blooms, but before the leaves appear.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 12:26AM
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