Do any of you have any experience rooting trees (or shrubs – or anything else fro that matter) from cuttings? I’m on a definite budget after all we put in $ for fencing but I’d really like to get a tree or 2 started this year. I live near the San Pedro river which is lined with trees and I was wondering if I could maybe root something ~ or several somethings :). I’ve got some rosemary branches that seem to be rooting ok in water but those I tried to stick in a moist pot just dried up & died so I guess I need some advise.

I did ok with roses, rooting them in sand, covered with a part of a soda bottle as a »greenhouse’. But that is all I have tried. Why not just dig up a small start? There are usually a lot of seedlings near the trees and shrubs, and they tend to be overcrowded near riverbanks, so you would be doing them a service to thin them out a bit.

I would also like to know how to do lilac bushes. My old house has lilac bushes that are hugh and I would like to transfer some to my new house. Do they need sun,etc?

As I understand it, you can root willow cuttings, willow stumps, etc. Theoretically, willow prefers a wet area, but ours is on top of a hill and is doing well. Some of it came down in a storm in 1999 and out of the part the trunk too large for the shredder, I made a raised garden. These logs are still sprouting branches nearly 3 years later.

Well, I’m certainly not an expert at it, but I’ve managed to get a few things to root. I’ve read that rooting cuttings in water is sometimes easier, but it also produces fragile roots so you have to be extra careful when you go to plant the cuttings in soil. For trees and shrubs, you’ll have better luck with softwood (young growth) than hardwood (old growth). I think it’s best to take softwood cuttings in summer, because spring growth is still too tender. You might also try air layering on some plants.

Actually, I’ve heard that putting a willow cutting (even a little green twig) in water with whatever it is that you are trying to root will stimulate root growth in the new cutting. There’s supposed to be something in willow that will promote root formation. Might be helpful with lilac starts, etc.

Try rooting your rosemary by pinning some of the lower branches under the ground (at this point remove the shoots and this will be where the roots form), this seems to be a workable method. I have tried various methods for different plants; grape vines, currants, etc. straight into the ground during dormancy, kiwi vines in June using rooting hormone (did 30 last year and most took). I’m experimenting with the rooting hormone on some Dolgo crabapples cuttings (Dolgo’s are used as apple root stock for full size trees) and some other apple trees that I may want to graft onto MM-111 stock later. Some plants require bottom heat to root properly – experiment.