Propagating Birch Trees from Softwood Cuttings

Propagating Birch Trees from Softwood Cuttings

Spring means it’s time to take some cuttings!  Today I took a few cuttings of a birch tree I’m eventually going to have to remove.  I planted it way too close to our house and it has gotten too large.  I didn’t want to lose the tree so I thought I would get a few to root and maybe plant plant one in a better location.

For these birch tree cuttings I wanted the green stem tip growth.  I was looking for cuttings that were between 2-4 inches in length and green.  Here are a few pieces I trimmed off initially.  they still have some of the older wood material from the birch tree.

I trimmed the greenwood off of the old wood and stripped the leaves off to make cuttings with single leaves.    Then I put the cuttings in a jar of water to stay hydrated while I gathered a few other things together.

Next I dipped the birch cuttings in rooting hormone and stuck them in a cup of wet sand.

I covered with a second cup to maintain the humidity and taped them together.  I’ve found that this is an extremely easy way to maintain humidity around the cuttings. I put the container under a set of lights and now I just have to wait for roots to appear.  I’ll keep them closed up until I see roots begin to form.  One advantage of using the clear cups is the ability to see the roots when they appear.

After roots have appeared I’ll take the top cup off and moisten the sand to make it extremely loose.  Then I’ll gently pull the cuttings out and pot them up into pots to grow to a larger size before eventually putting them in the ground.


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Dave, nice read. I'm wondering how the cuttings went as I'm planning to propagate some birches with a similar method.

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