Logs in Pots?!

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
OK...perhaps I will get laughed and ridiculed at for my lack of horticulture knowledge but I'm posting this to perhaps learn something regarding this topic. Over Easter weekend I was exploring a relative's property for potential collecting material. I couldn't find anything worth digging. Because a creek was going through his property there were plenty of of Salix nigra growing and remembering that willow root easily from cuttings I decided to try large cuttings of old wood that had a particular interest to me. This is probably the wrong time of the year and much too mature of wood to do this but thought I'd give it a try. I then discovered mature chinese elms near the house and decided to take large cuttings as well. They were all soaked in water over night and stuck in pots with rooting hormone. The 4 logs are identified in the 1st pic. Each have been throwing new buds this week and the willows have pushed new buds down on the trunk. Do trees continue pushing buds or new growth for awhile with NO roots because of some stored energy or is this perhaps a sign these will take? I will have to one day try air layering off his chinese elms but this last trip decided to see if this just might work.

-Matt
 

Attachments

  • cutting1.jpg
    cutting1.jpg
    85.9 KB · Views: 107
  • cutting2.jpg
    cutting2.jpg
    83.2 KB · Views: 95
  • cutting3.jpg
    cutting3.jpg
    76 KB · Views: 106

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,377
Reaction score
3,622
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
OK...perhaps I will get laughed and ridiculed at for my lack of horticulture knowledge but I'm posting this to perhaps learn something regarding this topic. Over Easter weekend I was exploring a relative's property for potential collecting material. I couldn't find anything worth digging. Because a creek was going through his property there were plenty of of Salix nigra growing and remembering that willow root easily from cuttings I decided to try large cuttings of old wood that had a particular interest to me. This is probably the wrong time of the year and much too mature of wood to do this but thought I'd give it a try. I then discovered mature chinese elms near the house and decided to take large cuttings as well. They were all soaked in water over night and stuck in pots with rooting hormone. The 4 logs are identified in the 1st pic. Each have been throwing new buds this week and the willows have pushed new buds down on the trunk. Do trees continue pushing buds or new growth for awhile with NO roots because of some stored energy or is this perhaps a sign these will take? I will have to one day try air layering off his chinese elms but this last trip decided to see if this just might work.

-Matt

Neat effort! Yes, new buds in spring are no guarantee of rooting. But with these species, especially the willows, you may have good luck.

Dan Robinson goes over to see friends in Hawaii each year, and for a number of years now he has brought back in his suitcase similar logs off of thick bougainvillea vines that grow wild. If they were plants or rooted cuttings he could not bring them back, but as logs, such as might be used for woodworking, there is no problem. When he gets them back he plunks them in soil, and within a few weeks they almost invariably start putting out roots.

Good luck.
 

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
Thanks for that interesting story, Grouper. I guess time will tell with my case.

-Matt
 

capnk

Mame
Messages
125
Reaction score
6
Mholt,
One key for your success will be misting the foliage.
The logs (or any cutting) will sprout foliage even if there are no roots. The foliage becomes the main way for the tree to absorb water until the roots grow.
We put cuttings like this under a mist system that goes off every 10 minutes, so don't worry about misting too frequently.
Good luck,
Chris
www.telperionfarms.com
 

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
Thank you, Chris, for the tips. I don't have a misting system. However, I have the luxury of working at home and can go out there and mist with a bottle or hose. Is there a simple way of misting so I don't have to go out and manually mist every 10 minutes? Should any type of foliar feeding be avoided or used at this time?

Thanks,
Matt
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,457
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Misting could complicate things. Misting is generally used for species with foliage--conifers, as it helps reduce respiration (evaporation from the foliage) which eases the work on the roots. Since these don't have any foliage and you live in a relatively humid area, misting might only keep things above ground soggy, which could set up fungal problems.

Willow is a very vigorous species and will root pretty readily--("willow water"--made by soaking willow bark in a bucket--is used as a rooting stimulant. Salicylic acid seems to be the active ingredient-S. acid is also used in Aspirin) Many people have succes by simply putting willow stumps in a bucket of water and leaving them alone...

Once they root, however, good luck training them...:D
 

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
Thanks Rock! There are leaves emerging on both the willows and elms, however. I used the water that I soaked the two willows (along with about 10 other willow cuttings that didn't make their way to pots) to water the soil of the elms upon potting.

Curious as to your comment regarding training willows? Is this in regard to them being not much more than logs or because of their rapid growth?
 

capnk

Mame
Messages
125
Reaction score
6
mholt,
I'm sure you can find a timer at Lowe's/Home Depot, or check out www.dripworks.com. Dripworks has a variety of misters, etc.

The comment about fungal dz is valid. Here in Oregon, it is a constant problem. Trays & soil for cuttings are sterilized before cuttings are stuck. Then, the trays are treated with an antifungal on a monthly basis.

What kind of soil do you have in your pots? We avoid some of the moisture problem by rooting cuttings in pumice.

Good luck,
Chris
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,457
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Willow is a fast grower, needs alot of discipline in keeping branches under control. Shoots tend to grow up like fence posts. Also, they may drop branches for no reason--which they do in the wild.
 

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
Thank you for the info and sources Chris. Soil is equal parts Turface and Gran-I-Grit and the remaining 1/4 is pine bark.

Thanks again!
Matt
 

mholt

Mame
Messages
172
Reaction score
2
Location
Silver Lake, WI
USDA Zone
5
Thanks Rock. I kind of figured you'd say something along those lines regarding growth habit. I noticed shoots in the wild doing just that. I was hoping to find hornbeam also near the creek but no such luck.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom