Season to take Chinese Elm, Gingko, and Bakd Cypress cuttings?

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Title. I’m letting my trees go wild and run, it’s been about 2 months of vigorous growth (see Imgur link). I’m concerned I’m missing out on ramification and refinement just for a couple dozen cuttings.


I took a few cuttings in January right before spring and they look like they are going to make it. I’m just getting tired of looking at the wild and crazy runners!
 
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You should be good with Elm and likely Ginkgo, I’ve struck both of these in May up here, so you should be good down by you. I‘m not familiar with Bald Cypress.

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Shibui

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I do most of those cuttings when the trees are dormant. Dormant winter cuttings take longer to root but don't need the same controlled atmosphere that leafy cuttings need.
I also strike elms in spring and summer but have not tried the other 2. They should still strike though. Just a matter of getting the humidity right so they can get roots started before dehydrating.

You are probably not missing out on much ramification in the few months you let these grow. I get more shoots after cutting back semi hard shoots than I get when pinching soft new shoots.
WEhether the cuttings will be worth looking at untidy trees is something that only you can work out. Little trees are usually pretty cheap.
 
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I do most of those cuttings when the trees are dormant. Dormant winter cuttings take longer to root but don't need the same controlled atmosphere that leafy cuttings need.
I also strike elms in spring and summer but have not tried the other 2. They should still strike though. Just a matter of getting the humidity right so they can get roots started before dehydrating.

You are probably not missing out on much ramification in the few months you let these grow. I get more shoots after cutting back semi hard shoots than I get when pinching soft new shoots.
WEhether the cuttings will be worth looking at untidy trees is something that only you can work out. Little trees are usually pretty cheap.
I typically just prune everything in early spring right as the buds are swelling and use those as cuttings. I just prune and wire once a year. Should I be pruning more?
 

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How often to prune depends on the stag of development, species and your aims.

Young trees that need to grow and thicken are often only pruned once a year. Allow to grow long then cut back hard at the end of growing season to get changes of direction and taper. This can be repeated for a number of years until the trunk is thick and has good taper. Later in this stage pick out well placed shoots and wire for position to start branches for the bonsai.

Trees that are part developed - trunk is nearly as thick as required, branches are in the right places: Allow new shoots to extend 6" - 12" (depending on species and your aims) then cut back to 1 or 2 leaves. New shoots will grow from leaf axils. Allow those to grow to same length then trim again. You can do that several times in a season depending how healthy the tree is and species. This process builds ramification and will thicken branches a bit.

Well developed trees that have good trunk thickness and well ramified branches: trim new shoots when they are quite small - 1-3 sets of leaves. The aim is to prevent branches from getting too thick now. Trees can be trimmed (pinched) many times through growing season. Once a year, usually in winter when you can see structure easier, prune for form, direction, taper, to thin out overcrowded areas and to reduce branches over thickening.

That Chinese elm looks like it already has a good trunk. Presumably it also has well placed branches under all those leaves. It probably also has reasonable ramification. All that means it is in the final stage and you can trim new shoots much more often. i would have cut those shoots by now on my older Chinese elms.
Ginkgo are much slower growing. Even older trees often only need trimming once or twice a year.
Bald cypress don't ramify as fast as Chinese elm and will probably need less trimming too. BC is a species I am still trying to work out. You will get more expert advice from US growers.
 
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How often to prune depends on the stag of development, species and your aims.

Young trees that need to grow and thicken are often only pruned once a year. Allow to grow long then cut back hard at the end of growing season to get changes of direction and taper. This can be repeated for a number of years until the trunk is thick and has good taper. Later in this stage pick out well placed shoots and wire for position to start branches for the bonsai.

Trees that are part developed - trunk is nearly as thick as required, branches are in the right places: Allow new shoots to extend 6" - 12" (depending on species and your aims) then cut back to 1 or 2 leaves. New shoots will grow from leaf axils. Allow those to grow to same length then trim again. You can do that several times in a season depending how healthy the tree is and species. This process builds ramification and will thicken branches a bit.

Well developed trees that have good trunk thickness and well ramified branches: trim new shoots when they are quite small - 1-3 sets of leaves. The aim is to prevent branches from getting too thick now. Trees can be trimmed (pinched) many times through growing season. Once a year, usually in winter when you can see structure easier, prune for form, direction, taper, to thin out overcrowded areas and to reduce branches over thickening.

That Chinese elm looks like it already has a good trunk. Presumably it also has well placed branches under all those leaves. It probably also has reasonable ramification. All that means it is in the final stage and you can trim new shoots much more often. i would have cut those shoots by now on my older Chinese elms.
Ginkgo are much slower growing. Even older trees often only need trimming once or twice a year.
Bald cypress don't ramify as fast as Chinese elm and will probably need less trimming too. BC is a species I am still trying to work out. You will get more expert advice from US growers.
Thanks for the advice. All my late winter/early winter cuttings are doing well. I’ve never tried summer cuttings so I’m apprehensive. I’d like to make cuttings to give away to friends and family as gifts. I’ve noticed a huge slowdown in growth from most of my trees as the weather gets hotter and days get longer.
 

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I’ve never tried summer cuttings so I’m apprehensive. I’d like to make cuttings to give away to friends and family as gifts. I’ve noticed a huge slowdown in growth from most of my trees as the weather gets hotter and days get longer.
You should find that summer cuttings root and start growing much quicker because the plant is active.
When the growth slows is isually a good indication that the new shoots have started to harden and should be good for cuttings.
Strip leaves from the lower 2/3 of any leafy cutting. You can take off more if leaves are big or cut the remaining leaves in half. The aim is to have some foliage to gather energy but not too much to dehydrate the cutting before it has roots to replace water.
Leafy cuttings need to have high humidity so they don't transpire too much and dehydrate. Misting is used in commercial propagation but won't work if you are away for a few hours and don't have automatic control. Small batches can be covered with a clear plastic dome to maintain high humidity. Cut down plastic bottles are good. Plastic bags over a wire or wood frame works well. A clear plastic storage tub can hold several pots of cuttings. Water in the bottom of the tub provides humidity but sit pots of cuttings on a brick or something so they are not sitting in water.

Have fun down here in the rabbit hole of propagation..........
 

Cajunrider

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Since I only have one Ginkgo I don’t have much to say. I would take Chinese elm cutting at any time in zone 7-11. They are so easy to propagate. I wouldn’t do BC cuttings. They are just not worth the effort. Growing them from seeds is the better choice.
 
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You should find that summer cuttings root and start growing much quicker because the plant is active.
When the growth slows is isually a good indication that the new shoots have started to harden and should be good for cuttings.
Strip leaves from the lower 2/3 of any leafy cutting. You can take off more if leaves are big or cut the remaining leaves in half. The aim is to have some foliage to gather energy but not too much to dehydrate the cutting before it has roots to replace water.
Leafy cuttings need to have high humidity so they don't transpire too much and dehydrate. Misting is used in commercial propagation but won't work if you are away for a few hours and don't have automatic control. Small batches can be covered with a clear plastic dome to maintain high humidity. Cut down plastic bottles are good. Plastic bags over a wire or wood frame works well. A clear plastic storage tub can hold several pots of cuttings. Water in the bottom of the tub provides humidity but sit pots of cuttings on a brick or something so they are not sitting in water.

Have fun down here in the rabbit hole of propagation..........
I started an air layer and peeled back the duct tape and I saw roots. When can I chop this guy in half? Started 5 months ago.
 

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Shibui

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It is not about calendar months because some trees grow faster than others. Roots grow better in some locations. I always check how many roots are in the pot before deciding to remove an air layer. More than just a couple of small roots should be fine. From experience I know that they will survive with way less roots than most people expect and Chinese elms are even more resilient than some species.

My instinct says if it has been 5 months in SoCal and you see roots there should be enough to support the tree but I cannot check so you must take responsibility for that.
 
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It is not about calendar months because some trees grow faster than others. Roots grow better in some locations. I always check how many roots are in the pot before deciding to remove an air layer. More than just a couple of small roots should be fine. From experience I know that they will survive with way less roots than most people expect and Chinese elms are even more resilient than some species.

My instinct says if it has been 5 months in SoCal and you see roots there should be enough to support the tree but I cannot check so you must take responsibility for that.
I read an article that the trees should be separated no later than autumn. I’ll post pictures later, just on a quick glance I counted 5-6 decently thick white roots spiraling around.
 

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I read an article that the trees should be separated no later than autumn.
Lots of plant related advice is climate specific.
Here, where winter is not too cold, I can remove layers any time of year. In colder areas you probably need to remove well before autumn so the roots can grow in the new soil before dormancy.
If layers don't have enough roots when winter comes I just leave them on the tree through winter as it does not get cold enough to affect roots in the layer. Not sure whether layers will survive really cold winters.
I have also removed layers with very little root in winter and potted up. They are essentially just large hardwood cuttings but already have the callus and are ready to produce roots when the weather warms so success is still very likely.
As mentioned, layers will often survive with far less roots than most people believe.
 

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For your ginko, I have taken a rather large cutting, a half inch thick branch, in early spring just as I saw a bit of green in the buds. Stuck it in a pot of potting mix and it struck roots.
Last year I took a dozen cuttings of the new shoots after they extended and the new leaves hardened off. Two did not take root. Off the ten survivers one did not wake up this spring and two woke up, but failed after a week or so. Of the seven remaining five are growing strong and and two are struggling, but showing signs of progress.
 
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For your ginko, I have taken a rather large cutting, a half inch thick branch, in early spring just as I saw a bit of green in the buds. Stuck it in a pot of potting mix and it struck roots.
Last year I took a dozen cuttings of the new shoots after they extended and the new leaves hardened off. Two did not take root. Off the ten survivers one did not wake up this spring and two woke up, but failed after a week or so. Of the seven remaining five are growing strong and and two are struggling, but showing signs of progress.
Thanks for sharing. Post pics when you do it again!
 
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Lots of plant related advice is climate specific.
Here, where winter is not too cold, I can remove layers any time of year. In colder areas you probably need to remove well before autumn so the roots can grow in the new soil before dormancy.
If layers don't have enough roots when winter comes I just leave them on the tree through winter as it does not get cold enough to affect roots in the layer. Not sure whether layers will survive really cold winters.
I have also removed layers with very little root in winter and potted up. They are essentially just large hardwood cuttings but already have the callus and are ready to produce roots when the weather warms so success is still very likely.
As mentioned, layers will often survive with far less roots than most people believe.
So if roots are escaping is that a good indicator it can be cut?
 

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So if roots are escaping is that a good indicator it can be cut?
Looks pretty good to me.
Be aware that new roots like these are poorly attached to the trunk. They can just drop off if you try to move them. Probably best to just pot up the entire ball with moss for this summer. I would then sort out the roots and remove moss next spring. By then the roots will be better attached to the trunk and will stand some movement and manipulation.
 
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Looks pretty good to me.
Be aware that new roots like these are poorly attached to the trunk. They can just drop off if you try to move them. Probably best to just pot up the entire ball with moss for this summer. I would then sort out the roots and remove moss next spring. By then the roots will be better attached to the trunk and will stand some movement and manipulation.
Now the question is how the heck do I separate it so I can just pot it up. See and the picture below it.
So I just cut directly below the tupperware? Then once separated I can just slip pot it into a bigger pot.
 
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Looks pretty good to me.
Be aware that new roots like these are poorly attached to the trunk. They can just drop off if you try to move them. Probably best to just pot up the entire ball with moss for this summer. I would then sort out the roots and remove moss next spring. By then the roots will be better attached to the trunk and will stand some movement and manipulation.
Really good to know. Thanks for mentoring me in this process.
 

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