Apple Tree Twigs and Rooting

Asked February 27, 2019, 1:35 PM EST

A client wants to know what can be done with a few apple twigs that have sprouted green leaves and bud. He has had them in water since January. They don't appear to be growing roots but do have a fair amount of leaves. What does he need to do to propagate the stems?

Emmet County Michigan winter damage apple tree

1 Response

Hello,

I am including a response from a previous question that is very similar to your client. The response is from William Shane - Michigan State University Extension Tree Fruit Specialist.

Two suggestions:

1) Use rooting hormone, available online and in some plant supply stores / hardware stores.

2) Use moist potting medium rather than water.

As you suspected, waiting until late February to mid-March to start this process works better. (end of response)

Your client may find that it is a hit and miss to get root growth from the stems and may take several tries but using a rooting hormone will help. As a side note, most apples are propagated by grafting or budding to the desired variety on to a rootstock. If your client in interested in trying that method I have included more information.

https://extension.psu.edu/fruit-tree-propagation-grafting-and-budding

https://extension.umn.edu/fruit/growing-apples

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