August 17, 2021 at 5:13 pm Replyaudreyandgeorge30Private messageGreenhorn
How long should the cutting be? As in the whole branch from the ground up?August 18, 2021 at 4:49 am ReplyNate from N&GPrivate messageExpert gardener (moderator)
Good evening there! Actually many different lengths will work. If you take a longer stem, say 3 or 4 feet, then you’ll get a taller plant to begin with. The drawback is that you can’t make as many cuttings in one shot. The advantage is that there’s actually a higher chance of success, since the larger and longer the wood, the more reserves it has to feed on, which gives it more time to develop roots. For longer cuttings, you have to make sure you bury it deep enough for it to not tip over. For instance, up to 8-12 inches deep (around 20-30 cm) for stems longer than 3 feet/1m.
With small cuttings, the minimum is usually around 6 inches (15 cm) long, one-third of which is underground.
In both cases, make sure you remove all the leaves entirely, except for the topmost pair, and even these you would shorten by half (cutting right across the leaf to remove the tip half off). This keeps a minimal amount of circulation in the cutting. Lastly, important is soil moisture: moist but never soggy. This usually means watering twice a day with just a little water, it should be moist but not sticky wet about an inch (3cm) deep.
So in the end it depends on how many stems you have available for your cuttings, and how many you need. The larger, the more successful. This doesn’t work with all tree species, but hazel is one that works. Others that work with this full-branch cutting system include willow, poplar, moringa…
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