Reproduction Of Apple Trees By Cuttings And Layering. Photo

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Reproduction Of Apple Trees By Cuttings And Layering. Photo
Reproduction Of Apple Trees By Cuttings And Layering. Photo

Video: Reproduction Of Apple Trees By Cuttings And Layering. Photo

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Video: How To Grow An Entire Apple Orchard From Existing Tree Cuttings 2023, January

An apple tree on the site is no longer a luxury. Overseas apples are beautiful, but they stay too long, and you don’t trust the fruits that are sold, besides, they are expensive. For this reason, gardeners increasingly prefer their own, dear, even if not so tasty and not so large, but much more useful liquid apple. In this article, we will tell you how to propagate apple trees by root cuttings and layering.

The apple tree can be propagated by root cuttings and layering
The apple tree can be propagated by root cuttings and layering


  • Why is it important to propagate your apple trees?
  • How can an apple tree be propagated by root cuttings?
  • Reproduction of an apple tree by layering

Why is it important to propagate your apple trees?

Unfortunately, nothing on earth lasts forever. It's time to grow old and apple trees, which have served their considerable life. And you need to replace them with new ones. But is it worth running to nurseries and buying new-fangled varieties that do not know how they will behave in our area? Isn't it easier to trust those varieties that have delighted us for many years, let them grow again on the site? What is needed for this? To do this, we need to multiply our old apple trees, get children from them, return the old varieties to the site for the joy of the owners.

If for some reason your apple trees are no longer suitable for reproduction, and your neighbor grows exactly the same varieties, young and healthy, then why not ask him to help you propagate this apple tree by planting it on your site?

How can an apple tree be propagated by root cuttings?

In fact, there are a lot of ways. Sometimes they even resort to dividing the tree in half or into three, or even four parts, cutting off part of the roots and the ground system. But most often they do it much easier - by vaccination or budding. But today we will talk about much more interesting ways to reproduce an apple tree - about propagation by root cuttings and layering. Each of these methods, as always happens, has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Let's start our debriefing by propagating an apple tree by root cuttings. The main thing here is that the seedling is self-rooted, that is, it was obtained from rooting a cuttings, or from sowing a seed, which means it did not have a rootstock at its base, on which it was previously grafted by summer copulation (grafting with a graft) or budding (grafting with a kidney) …

If the apple tree sapling is not rooted, that is, when there was a rootstock at its base and grafting was carried out on it (no matter how), then as a result of this rather laborious operation you will get a wonderful rootstock, on which, in order to get good, tasty, large apples will need to be done either in spring copulation or in summer budding, as we have already written about.

So, what is the good method for obtaining full-fledged apple seedlings from root cuttings. First, it allows you to significantly reduce the very period of obtaining these seedlings. That is, if waiting for a long time is not included in your plans and your plants are rooted, then you have an ideal way to implement your plan.

At the same time, and we mentioned this in passing, the older the tree, the more difficult it will be to get a full-fledged seedling from it by rooting a root cutting for a banal reason - with age, regenerative, that is, growth or recovery, the possibilities of the tree and the root system as a whole are noticeably reduced … Therefore, we reminded about a neighbor from whom taking material for the production of a full-fledged seedling might be a much better idea. Again, if he has an apple tree on the site of a suitable variety, not old and rooted.

Harvesting root cuttings of an apple tree

Harvesting of roots for obtaining seedlings from root cuttings of an apple tree, as a rule, begins in early spring, necessarily before the start of active sap flow, that is, before the roots begin to absorb moisture with nutrients dissolved in it from the soil.

This is much more important if you are doing work with a tree from a neighbor, although your trees are valuable too, and it is also a pity to injure them. Therefore, you should not delay with this. If, for one reason or another, in the spring you simply did not have enough time to carry out this procedure, spring is, after all, fleeting and unpredictable, then cuttings for harvesting full-fledged apple tree seedlings can be collected in the autumn period, only in late autumn, when the trees will drop all the leaves and submerge into a real hibernation, and this procedure will be safe for them.

When everything is ready, a cool, damp day is chosen, but without rain and downpour (with drizzle, for example) and a shovel in the root zone of the apple tree is extremely carefully removed layer by layer of soil until we stumble upon the end roots, they are usually quite thin, their diameter may not differ much, from five to eight millimeters at the topmost cut.

Further, everything is simpler: since we found the roots, then we bend them back and carefully separate them from the root system of the root-rooted apple seedling with a sharp and clean pruner. It's not worth it to waste time on trifles, if they got down to business, then the cuttings need to be made full, from 14 to 17 centimeters long, no less and no more.

When the cuttings of the apple tree are in our hands, and if it is autumn, and not spring, outside the window, then we are looking for the most elevated part of the site, so that they are not trite to be flooded with melt water, and so that they do not rot.

In this area, with a shovel, bayonet deep, you need to dig a groove according to the size and number of these cuttings, lay the walls of the hole with dry sawdust, just like the bottom (at least a centimeter) and be sure to put poison from mice. Next - put bunches of cuttings (if these are different varieties of apple trees, then tie them with strong twine and sign with labels, otherwise you will confuse them), cover with a net from rodents, sprinkle with sawdust on top, again throw in the poison from rodents and, finally, sprinkle with humus or dry soil a couple thick centimeters and mark this place with a stick with a red rag at the end, so as not to frantically look for your plantings in the spring.

In this form, apple cuttings, as a rule, winter very well. But if you have a thin layer of snow, then the amount of sawdust needs to be increased, just do not overdo it with their moisture, otherwise the cuttings may start to rot.

The older the tree, the more difficult it will be to get a full-fledged seedling from it by rooting a root cutting
The older the tree, the more difficult it will be to get a full-fledged seedling from it by rooting a root cutting

Work with apple root cuttings in spring

So, you can completely forget about all the autumn procedures if we do it all in the spring. Let's just say: those apple cuttings that have been dug in are removed from the ground and examined for mold (gnawing, rot, etc.). Some especially caring gardeners wipe cuttings taken from winter storage with 4-5% alcohol. It is not forbidden - you can also use 2% potassium permanganate, ammonia, just try to bypass the kidneys.

And for cuttings of own-rooted apple-tree plants extracted from the pit for the winter and for those that have just been separated from the mother plants, in order to avoid drying out, it is better to place them in a moistened burlap while we prepare the soil.

We prepare the soil as follows: we dig on a full bayonet of a shovel with the introduction of 4-5 kg ​​of well-rotted manure or peat, 500 g of wood ash and a tablespoon of superphosphate. Next, beat the soil (like a grandmother's feather bed) and plant the cuttings in even rows "in the gap".

The gap is prepared as follows (it is usually convenient to plant two people in the gap), for this one goes in front and the other goes behind, the one in front sticks the blade of the shovel and bends the soil, a gap is formed, and the one that goes behind inserts a stalk of its own root into this gap apple tree and compacts it with your feet so that it stands level.

It is not necessary to insert the blade of the shovel very deeply, this is when planting the rootstocks, a great depth is needed, but here you need to try so that the shovel sticks at an angle of 14-16 degrees approximately so that the stalk of the apple tree sticks out of the gap as a result no more than a couple of centimeters under the soil, but above it you cannot put it aside, as well as fall asleep harder too.

For the convenience of subsequent processing of rows, even if you have, say, only two, it is necessary that there is a distance between the cuttings equal to the length of a simple pencil (for those who have forgotten - 13-16 cm), and between the rows you can leave a meter, although, as for me, 80 cm is quite enough. Then you can do nothing in the first week, neither over-compact the soil, nor water it, let the apple cuttings "come to their senses" in a new place.

Of course, if, of course, there is no rain at all, then after a week the plantation can be watered with sprinkling, trying to erode the roots of the apple tree as weakly as possible, making literally dust from the jets of water. By the way, potassium sulfate can be added to the water, sometimes it accelerates growth.

Usually, the first noticeable shoots and the joy that the experiment was a success does not come soon, you have to wait for shoots for 30-35 days. But it's worth it. Literally every root cut of an apple tree comes to life and gives two, and sometimes even three shoots. These shoots, as a rule, are very tender, therefore, an anti-hail and creating a light shade net is installed over the plantation, and the soil should also not be allowed to dry out by regular watering, preferably from a spray bottle, so as not to wash out the soil.

After watering, the ideal option is mulching; for this, use humus (in a centimeter) or wood ash - a source of potassium and trace elements (0.5 cm thick). Usually you only need one summer, and if the trees were self-rooted, then not rootstocks that need to be grafted or inoculated, but full-fledged apple seedlings, ready for planting in a permanent place, will grow from them.

Ringing is one of the stages of apple tree propagation by air layers
Ringing is one of the stages of apple tree propagation by air layers

Reproduction of an apple tree by layering

In addition to the apple tree propagation methods described above, there is another very interesting one - propagation by layering, and we will give two such methods - a simple one and an improved one.

As you know, layering works best if you drop them in. But how to dig in apple tree shoots if they are high? There are several options: either a tilted tree is looked for, the shoots of which touch the ground, but this variety is interesting to you, or a dig is made, and the tree bends so that part of its shoots is on the ground. Naturally, the underside of the tunnel should be covered with soil, and the roots that have crawled to the surface should not be exposed.

When everything is ready, in early spring, all the apple tree shoots that are most conveniently located to the soil surface are fixed at its surface with wooden brackets, preferably along the entire length, so that the entire length of the shoot lies flat on the ground and does not rise.

A few weeks later, provided there is sufficient moisture in the soil (that is, periodic watering, but only slightly moistening the soil), vertical shoots should appear from the buds on an apple tree shoot pinned to the ground, they need to be spud twice a season. The first time - in June, at 50% of the height, the second time - in July, at 60% of the height. Do not forget about the abundance of moisture, the soil should not dry out, otherwise the shoots will not grow.

The next fall, the trunk is usually cut off with a pruner and carefully dug out with a pitchfork, the overgrown shoots of the apple tree are divided into parts and planted in loose and nutritious soil for growing for another season.

Air layering for apple propagation
Air layering for apple propagation

Improved technology of apple propagation by layering

Another technology for obtaining apple by layering, in our opinion, is simpler and more efficient. These are the so-called air layers known to a narrow circle of gardeners, which also give excellent results.

The essence of this technique is based solely on the ability of the apple tree to form a root system and sometimes very powerful from the most common cambial tissue, of course, if this very cambial tissue is damaged.

Stage one - in early spring, before the sap flow begins, we examine the apple tree that we want to propagate in this way very well, and select two or three branches that have the maximum annual growth.

Stage two: in the place where we need the roots of the apple tree to form (usually from the top it is ten centimeters), we need to carefully cut off a ring of bark three centimeters wide with a sharp garden knife. If ringing is not your strong point, then you can simply make not very deep (with a millimeter) oblique notches along the entire radius of the shoot. What does it do? Unlike ringing, we do not inhibit the supply of nutrients to the rooted part of the shoot.

Stage three: in order for the roots of the apple tree to begin to grow, you need to treat the injured area with any growth stimulant (we have already carried out a list of them many times, and from the new ones we can name naphthylacetic acid).

Stage four: it is important to make sure that the ringing site or the one where we applied the notches is moderately but completely moist, therefore (ideally) it can be wrapped in sphagnum or a cloth that retains moisture for a long time, and moisten these places from a spray bottle, in one hiding them from the rays of the sun. The easiest way, of course, is to wrap this place, after being moistened, with a banal plastic wrap and fix it at both ends so that it does not fall off.

The final stage is the fifth, it usually occurs in the fall: you carefully open a branch of an apple tree and see the roots on it, you just have to put this branch in the soil and sprinkle it with earth until spring, and in the spring plant it in a garden for growing, so the seedling is ready for you.

You can do a little differently - as a container in which the roots will form, you can use ordinary plastic bottles with a capacity of 0.33 or 0.5 liters. To begin with, you need to cut off the spout and bottom of the bottle, then cut it lengthwise, and over the place of the shoot, which we have prepared accordingly, we hang our cut bottle filled with a mixture of equal shares of leafy soil and vermiculite, water it and fix it with tape.

What is good about this method - with it, the roots are less injured during transplantation, and in the cut off part of the bottle they develop much better than just under moss or wet cloth. Then everything is as always.

We are waiting for your comments and criticism in the comments. We will be glad to everything, we love you all!

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