Trees from cuttings

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by Hobie, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Has anyone tried to start a tree from a cutting? Last year I found a Cucumber Magnolia, and would like to start a new tree. I was just going to dig up a seedling, but I have read that the magnolias have shallow, spreading roots and are very difficult to transplant without damaging critical roots.

    Any "how to" steps on starting a tree cutting would be appreciated. I could take a cutting from the 40 ft Momma tree or the 4 ft baby. The tree is budding now.
     
  2. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Are you talking about the native Cucumbertree Magnolia?
    My book of Michael Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs suggests transplanting "young specimens into deep, moist, acid or high PH soils." He usually gives the best way for reproduction. He doesn't say anything about cuttings.

    If the owner doesn't care if you do cuttings, it's worth trying. at the very least you can call it a science experiment.

    If I were going to do a cutting, I would wait until the sap is flowing, take cuttings from new wood, cutting them at an angle, use rooting hormone, a nice soiless potting soil, put it in a plastic bag to retain moisture and have patience.

    I have never heard of this tree before. Looks like great shade if you have lots of room.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Yes, it's a Cucumbertree Magnolia. I was surprised to find one in this climate. It's growing on the edge of a farm field, so I should not have any trouble getting permission to take a cutting. I was going to start on from seed, but by the time I found the tree, the seeds had dropped. That will be "Plan B" for next fall.

    Thanks for the tips! One question: Does your book mean "acid" soil or "high pH" soil, or either?

    I could only see the one 4 ft sapling - may be too big to dig up. I will have to look for smaller ones that may be still under the foot of snow.
     
  4. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I double checked my book. He says a acid or high PH soil. Seems like a contradiction to me. What type of soil do you have there? Just curious. We have a fairly neutral soil here.

    Dirr says the tree grows in zones 4 to 8, New York to Illinois, south to Georgia and Arkansas.

    The book also says that "superb specimens are found in calcareous soils of the midwest." I searched wikipedia for the meaning of calcareous soil. "Calcareous grassland is a form of grassland characteristic of soils containing a lot of calcium carbonate from underlying chalk or limestone rock."
    "Calcareous soils are relatively alkaline, in other words they have a high pH. This is because of the very weak acidity of carbonic acid."

    The botanical name is magnolia acuminata if you want to search for more info.

    Here is a good web site with lots of useful info. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvi ... minata.htm
    I noticed that it says cuttings will not work. Sounds like transplanting or seeds are the way to go.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Just wait for spring or the middle of summer and find some of the seedlings sprouting up, tie a plastic ribbon (like surveyors use) to it and then go back in the fall of the year and transplant it.

    G3
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thanks for the link, srvfan. Good info. However, it says the trees do not self-pollinate... I wonder if this one has viable seeds? I have only seen the one. Could be another deeper into the woods, I guess.

    Seedling search will have to wait. Another 1 ft+ of snow today.

    (G3 - Ha! Just translated your Morse Code! Good one!)
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    DING DING DING..........we have a winner!!

    I was wondering how long it would take somebody to figure that out, been up there for months.

    What gave it away??

    G3
     
  8. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    And I thought it was a picture of the grass lands :) Very smooth G3
     
  9. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I think I finally just actually paid attention. As soon as I noticed it, I had to start translating.
     
  10. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    You need to take a cutting from "new" growth. This willl be usually in late april or may. I would take a dozen or so to improve your success rate. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and place in a controlled enviroment. Keep moist but not wet. "cucs" grow native here...but I have not tried to propogate a cutting

    another technique is called "air layering". This is where you create a small tree on a existing branch..check out some Bonsai forums for details.