Crab apple tree cuttings

tph18

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hey everybody,

I want to plant some cuttings of my family's crab apple tree, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it. Any suggestions? I've attached a picture of our tree below.

Best,
Tom
 

Attachments

  • Crab apple tree.jpg
    Crab apple tree.jpg
    316.9 KB · Views: 101

Kanorin

Shohin
Messages
341
Reaction score
513
Location
St. Louis, MO
USDA Zone
6a
What are all of those brown things on the ground? They look like seed pods? Are they from the same tree?
 

rorror

Seedling
Messages
9
Reaction score
14
What are all of those brown things on the ground? They look like seed pods? Are they from the same tree?
Those seeds pots could be "honey locust" and then a variatie without thorns.
Perhaps the crab apple tree is the one on the most left side, you see some brances sticking out from the left, just above the building.
 

Kanorin

Shohin
Messages
341
Reaction score
513
Location
St. Louis, MO
USDA Zone
6a
What I'm getting at is that I'm dubious that this is a crabapple tree. And since advice for how to root cuttings depends on what kind of tree it is, that's important.
 

LittleDingus

Chumono
Messages
588
Reaction score
869
Location
Kansas City, MO
USDA Zone
6a
Are there crab apples that drop their fruit before winter? All the varieties I am aware of keep their fruit through the winter.

Those pods are most likely from honey locus.
 

leatherback

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,836
Reaction score
14,256
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Are there crab apples that drop their fruit before winter? All the varieties I am aware of keep their fruit through the winter.
In my garden the birds take most of them before winter arrives. The ones that are left fall in fall.
 

LittleDingus

Chumono
Messages
588
Reaction score
869
Location
Kansas City, MO
USDA Zone
6a
In my garden the birds take most of them before winter arrives. The ones that are left fall in fall.
Mine usually rot before the birds find them...then the birds leave them alone for the winter. My tree was still full of fruit this past spring...I almost picked some to try to grow but I don't really care for crabapple. I just went to look at it now and it is mostly bare already this year. All the fruit stems are still there and most of them still have bits of peel.

Anyway, my point was, the way I am used to identifying crab apple in the fall/winter is by looking for fruit/fruit stems which I do not see here. I realize that is not a foolproof way to identify! Hence my question :)
 

BonsaiNaga13

Shohin
Messages
425
Reaction score
306
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
USDA Zone
6b
I started 6 from seed last spring but now that I got some dip and grow I'm ready to try cuttings from the parent tree, hence why I'm lurking this thread 😂
 

Shibui

Masterpiece
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
5,461
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
The pods do pose many questions but all the honey locust I know have smooth bark. This one has flaky bark.
Assuming the OP does know a crab apple from a carob the process for cuttings is quite straight forward.

Most apples are relatively easy to strike as cuttings but ability to root does vary from one type to another. A couple of my crabs have been quite difficult from cuttings.

Take pieces of relatively young wood if possible. Older branches can root but new shoots are quicker and more reliable.
Your crab apples will be dormant this time of year so no leaves to deal with. Dormant cuttings are slower but much more reliable than summer cuttings. Check for pests and diseases. No point taking cuttings covered in woolly aphid. If there's any doubt about pests or disease the cuttings can be dipped in peroxide solution or bleach solution to kill most bugs.

Cut into sections about pencil thick and 10-30 cm (4-12") long are good. Lower cut close below a bud is best. Make sure you know which is the base and which end is the top as they don't grow well upside down. Some use a different cut - straight across or slanting - to keep track of which end is which but you can usually tell by the shape of the dormant buds.
Rooting hormone (from the plant nursery) does help with rooting but you should still be able to get good results with apple without treatment. Follow instructions on the pack to dip the base of each cutting.

Most people then plant the cuttings right side up in a propagating mix (available at the nursery or make up from peat/sand/ perlite) in pots and place in a semi shaded area if possible. Water as the mix dries out. I have had some issues with dormant cuttings like this dehydrating over winter and failing to root. A plastic bag over the top may help but can occasionally promote fungal infection.

Alternative method from the old days is to tie cuttings into bundles and bury them in the ground over winter. The ground protects the dormant wood from dehydrating but you do have to remember where you put them! In early spring dig the bundles up and check the base of the cuttings. Many will already have callus which is the start of root production. Untie the bundles and pot cuttings into pots of propagating mix, potting soil or straight into the ground. Again, make sure they are right side up. For the few weeks in spring until roots form they should not need covers for humidity.

Dormant apple and plum cuttings can even be planted straight into a bed in the ground and some will usually grow.
 

tph18

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the replies. Those brown pods on the ground are from an adjacent honey locust. I'll create a new thread once I determine the species of my tree.

Tom
 

Kanorin

Shohin
Messages
341
Reaction score
513
Location
St. Louis, MO
USDA Zone
6a
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the replies. Those brown pods on the ground are from an adjacent honey locust. I'll create a new thread once I determine the species of my tree.

Tom
Most deciduous species have good success somewhere in the spring to summer months (exact timing depends on species), so if we can figure out the species within the next few weeks or months, I don't think you'll miss your window.
 

Njyamadori

Shohin
Messages
425
Reaction score
275
Location
New Jersey
No one here is thinking the logical way too. You would have to climb this tree or get a big ladder to even take the cuttings
 

tph18

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Cut into sections about pencil thick and 10-30 cm (4-12") long are good. Lower cut close below a bud is best. Make sure you know which is the base and which end is the top as they don't grow well upside down. Some use a different cut - straight across or slanting - to keep track of which end is which but you can usually tell by the shape of the dormant buds.
Rooting hormone (from the plant nursery) does help with rooting but you should still be able to get good results with apple without treatment. Follow instructions on the pack to dip the base of each cutting.
Hey Shibui,

Can you please elaborate on what you mean by cutting the sections "about a pencil thick"? If the shoot is wider than a pencil, do I cut it vertically to make it thin?

Also, I have done some research on the possible genus of this tree, and I think it is either a Sugar Tyme, Ellen Gerhart, or Adirondack crabapple.

Best,
Tom
 

leatherback

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,836
Reaction score
14,256
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
If the shoot is wider than a pencil, do I cut it vertically to make it thin?
it means that the material you ideally use for cuttings, is about as thick as a pencil. You do not make the cuttings thinner by cutting them lengthwise.
 

Shibui

Masterpiece
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
5,461
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
Can you please elaborate on what you mean by cutting the sections "about a pencil thick"? If the shoot is wider than a pencil, do I cut it vertically to make it thin?
Throw away any thicker pieces and really thin sections. Just use the parts that are +_ pencil thick. Probably up to finger thick will be OK but thicker wood tends to be older and less inclined to make roots. Straight sections that have grown last summer make the best cuttings (vegetative wood) The smaller, twisted sections are usually flowering spurs and can be quite old so less likely to root.

I do not know any of the varieties/species you mention so can't advise if they root easily or not.
have fun and good luck
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom