Things You'll Need
Bottomless milk jug or plastic bag
Make your cuttings from either semi-hardwood or hardwood branches. For a semi-hardwood cutting, take the cutting from the current season's growth, just after a growing period, from mid-July through early fall. For a hardwood cutting, take the cutting from mature, dormant branches that have no signs of growth, from late fall, winter or early spring.
A cypress tree is an evergreen conifer from the Cupressaceae family, and it is known for its bushy flame-shape and scaly, needle-like leaves. They grow anywhere from the size of a shrub to a large tree, reaching 60 feet in height, with some known to even exceed this. The seeds are held in cones that eventually open to release them. The trees do not have to be planted from seed to multiply, however. You can use a branch cutting to grow a new cypress tree. Planting a cypress from a cutting is known as propagation, in which a new tree grows from the parent cutting, bearing the same species.
Cut a portion of a cypress branch, measuring 4 to 8 inches long, using hedge shears. Keep the leaves attached. Make tip or heel cuttings for the best results. To make a tip cutting, cut the branch from the stem tip, using stems, or branches, that are one year or less in age. To make a heel cutting, pull a side shoot directly away from a main stem, or branch, that is two or more years old. This cutting leaves a heel of older, main-stem tissue on the end of the side shoot.
Wound the cutting using a razor blade. Wounding the end of the cutting actually stimulates rooting. Make a 1- to 2-inch vertical cut down either side of the base and strip off the lower side branches. The cut should just be deep enough to expose the cambium, or layers of cells between the bark and wood.
Cut off 1 1/2 to 2 inches of leaves, or needles, from the bottom of the branch cutting using scissors. There should not be any leaves touching the planting medium.
Fill a flower pot with a mixture of one part sand and one part peat. Make a hole in the mixture and insert the base of the cutting. Pack the mixture around the cutting so it is firmly in place and upright.
Water the planting mixture well so that the water settles around the cutting.
Cover the pot with a milk jug that has the bottom removed, or a plastic bag. This will create a humid environment and help the cutting form roots. Place the pot in a sunny area that maintains a temperature around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the potting mixture and cutting moist and remove fallen leaves or needles daily.
Replant the cutting in a pot with a 4-inch diameter filled with potting soil once it has two or three roots that measure at least 1/2 inch long. Keep in mind that it may take two or three months for the roots to develop.
Cover the pot with the milk jug or plastic bag for a week and place it in a sunny area. Allow the tree to adjust to the outdoors gradually before transplanting it outside.
Audrey Pannell has been writing since the year 2000. She has written for AOL and eHow. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and also completed a certification course to obtain a teaching certificate for early childhood through fourth grade.