How to take a cutting from a tree

How to take a tree cutting - The Blue Tree Company

Taking hardwood Tree and Shrub cuttings

Many of us have plants in the garden that are our favourites, and what happens when you want another one? Do you always need a visit to the local garden centre, or, do you know how to take a cutting from a tree? Taking a cutting is a cost effective way to replicate your plants, all it takes is a little bit of skill and some patience as the tree grows.

Taking cuttings from deciduous hard wood trees and shrubs is not as difficult as you may think. In fact, some trees and shrubs can only be propagated this way. With just a few cheap tools and products you can grow your own forest in no time.


• Sharp secateurs, preferably cleaned in a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water. This is to help prevent cross contamination of diseases and pathogens.
• Gloves
• Bleach
• Cutting compost
• Large pots at least 10 inch deep
• Rooting compound (optional but recommended)

How to take a cutting from a tree

A cutting should be taken when the hardwood plant is dormant (Late autumn to late winter).

Step 1: Clean your secateurs with the 10% bleach solution, rinse and dry well.
Step 2: Fill a pot or trench (if planting directly outdoors) cutting compost. Make sure there is adequate drainage.
Step 3: Select a healthy vigorous shoot of around 30-40cm from this year’s growth preferably around the diameter of a pencil at the base.
Step 4. Trim off any side shoots or leaves back to the main stem
Step 5. Trim the top of the cutting at a slight angle to allow rain to run off just above a bud node. Trim the bottom of the cutting below a bud node straight.
Step 6. If you are using rooting compound now is the time to use it in the manufacturers recommended way.
Step 7. Insert the cutting in to pot/trench so that only 1/3 is still visible above the soil level.
Step 8. Protect from frost and do not let them dry out.
Step 9. Cuttings should be left in place until the following autumn and then planted out.

For slow rooting plants such as Cornus or Laburnum it may be worth storing the cutting in bundles of 15-20 in sharp sand until the spring and then follow step 7 to 9.

Protecting the Saplings

There are a few animals, particularly deer and rabbits, that find tree cuttings particularly tasty. You can protect tree saplings by using tree guards. There are various designs available, all designed to put a barrier between the sapling and the rabbit or deer.

Brian WrightBrian Wright
17:46 04 Mar 22
The team worked very closely with us throughout their visit to give us exactly what we were hoping for in our small garden.Tidying up was excellent as usual.
kern joneskern jones
13:49 04 Mar 22
I am delighted to say what a great service the teams from The Blue Tree Company always provide. They are skilled and conscientious and always leave the property looking so much better than before they arrived. Not a stray twig left on the grass or in a bush - everything tidied away. Fantastic work.
Marianne BondMarianne Bond
23:13 01 Mar 22
Knowledgeable, personable and tidy up afterwards. We've used them several times for various tree work and always found them good.
16:35 19 Nov 21
Blue Trees were recommended to me by a neighbour who has been using them for several years. I was impressed with the professionalism, knowledge and punctuality of the whole team-from Fred who came to quote, through to the three men who came to carry out the job. They worked quickly and tidily and made sure I was completely happy before leaving. I have no hesitation in recommending Blue Trees to family and friends and would certainly use them again in the future.
Annabel PearceAnnabel Pearce
21:21 18 Aug 21
Job done very well. Helpful and approachable company. Thankyou.
Linda DenningLinda Denning
09:16 02 Jul 21
We have used Blue Trees on a number of occasions now and most recently yesterday to take down a tall tree. As ever they are very professional, neat and tidy and reasonably priced. We had requested they leave the wood with us and my husband would chainsaw it for our neighbours. The fact that they left the whole tree in very manageable chunks without being asked was a real bonus as it will save my husband a huge amount of time and effort. Thank you to all the team. We will use you again and would not hesitate to recommend you to others.
David DeeDavid Dee
11:39 02 Mar 21
We employed the Blue Tree Company to remove a couple of Laurel Hedges and grind out the stump of a 30 year old Birch tree that we had felled last year all in preparation for new turfing. The guys turned up on time on the day as planned, carried out the works efficiently and when finished cleared up behind them.We had an invoice query that was resolved promptly to our satisfaction.All in all we had a very positive experience of The Blue Tree Company
Tracy LynchTracy Lynch
21:21 10 Sep 20
Professional company from first contact. Quote provided on basis of photos during lockdown. Future appointment booked due to bird nesting season. Update email to confirm attendance/appointment time day before. 3 friendly capable staff Mark Callum and Brandon. Explained what they were doing reassured us. Cut very ugly tree to look as pleasing as possible from our side. Cleared up the site before leaving. Would definately recommend.

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