I took most of these snow covered tree photos early this morning.
Winter Time Plant Propagation.
Believe it or not, the dead of winter is the ideal time to make hardwood cuttings of many deciduous plants. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? However, with many plants it really is the ideal time. We do most of our plant propagation here in Perry, Ohio starting in June working the extremely softwood. But right now in February, we are doing a lot of things with really hardwood.
The difference between hardwood and softwood?
When plants start growing in the spring they make leaves, then they starting putting on new growth. That new growth is very soft and pliable. As the season progresses that new growth begins to harden off, preparing itself for the coming cold weather. By winter that new growth is very hard and rigid.
Softwood cuttings root quickly and easily, but they are also very frail and fail just as easily. Hardwood cuttings on the other hand are very hard and durable and take longer to root. But the cuttings are for the most part, tough as nails as you will see in these photos.
In the above photo there some grape cuttings, Golden Curls Willow, Yellow Willow, Black Pussy Willow, Dappled Willow and Lynnwood Gold Forsythia. As you can see the ground was so frozen we couldn’t even level it before placing the flats. I took this photo probably about ten days ago. Since then we’ve gotten a fresh batch of snow so these cuttings are completely covered in snow. That’s a good thing. The snow will protect them from harsh winds and at the same time keep them plenty moist.
All of this snow fell overnight and I couldn’t resist taking these photos and sharing them. It was a spectacular sight when I woke up this morning.
Making hardwood cuttings is super easy. All you have to do is remove the canes from the plant, cut those canes into cuttings about 5 or 6 inches long, dip the cuttings in a rooting compound and stick them in a flat of sand, potting soil, or if the ground is not frozen you can stick them right in the soil in your garden. The rooting compound is optional and brand does not matter. If I have it on hand I use it.
The only thing you need to know is that when you make the cut at the bottom of the cutting, cut right below a bud union and not into the bud union or above the bud union. A few weeks ago I did a video on making grape cuttings. The process is exactly the same except most plants will have a lot more bud unions along the stems that grapes do, therefore the cuttings can be much shorter than you would make a grape cutting. You can watch that video here.
The light yellow cuttings are Golden Curls Willow. A lot of people don’t like willow trees and at one time I was like that. But I have this beautiful Golden Curls Willow in my front yard and it creates so much shade, and they grow so quickly, that I am going to plant one next to the donkey pen so me and the donkeys can get a break from the summer heat.
I took this photo this morning. I have really come to love this tree.
These are some of the Golden Curls Willows trees that we did from hardwood cuttings last winter. These sell like crazy at $4.97 each!
Questions? Comments? Post them below and I’ll take a peek at what’s on your mind! -Mike McGroarty