How to Plant Apple Tree Cuttings

Many plants may be successfully grown using a cutting—a small piece of branch or root that is taken from an existing plant of the desired species. Propagating a species by cutting offers a way to share a plant. Apple trees may be grown from branch cuttings, if the right cutting is used and the plant is given the proper care.

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An apple branch may be encouraged to grow roots and, in time, become a fruit-bearing tree.

Step 1

Choose the right branch to use for a cutting. According to the experts at the University of Califonia, the branch should feature a number of nodes where leaves branch off, as well as a bud on the tip of the branch. Apple tree cuttings should be taken in late spring for best results.

Step 2

Trim off all leaves and buds that will be below the soil. The cutting should be around 6 to 8 inches long, and at least three inches should be below the soil. Leave at least one or two leaves.

Step 3

Dip the end of the cutting into a small dish of rooting compound. Rooting hormones are special powders or liquids used to encourage a cutting to sprout roots, according to the experts at Fine Gardening.

Step 4

Fill a pot with moist peat soil. Peat soil is recommended by the experts at the Washington University Extension Office because it drains well and is light enough not to interfere with root growth. Insert the cutting into the soil to a depth of at least 3 inches.

Step 5

Place the pot in a warm spot where it will receive partial or dappled sunlight. The experts at the Ohio State Extension Office recommend keeping the soil moist and sunlight indirect, or the cutting will dry out or suffer burn on it's leaves.

Step 6

Check the cutting for signs of root growth after four weeks. If the leaves on the cutting have died and no growth has occurred, the cutting has not developed roots. Roots should provide some resistance when the plant is pulled up gently.

Step 7

Plant the cutting. Loosen the soil at least two feet deep and 18 inches around the seedling, and plant it with as much of the cutting in the ground as possible.