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Which Trees don't root?

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I have been told that certain trees don't root. I have always assumed any tree will root if the right cuttings were taken? If I see a Tree and Like it..I'll cut a piece and root it...LOL I have rooted Pear, Apple, Mimosa, Salix, Sassafras, and others. Are there rules for some trees?

Houston, TX(Zone 9b)

None of the Eucalyptus root (same with Corymbia & Angophora). I don't think you'll see any of them in your area though. I don't think any are hardy to zone 7.

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

Another thing....many 'sports' are difficult to root and/or just not strong (viable), thus they are grafted to hardier root stock. Some may eventually root but fail for lack of strong roots...or disease...or bugs...or.....

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)


St. John's, NL(Zone 5b)

Most maple, ash, oak, elm, linden, horse chestnut and beech cannot be rooted from cuttings....they are grown from seed or, if a named cultivar, from grafting. There is not hard and fast rule as to which will root and which will not.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Therefore..It is possible that I can root whatever I try? Is it that people have tried to root these trees without success or It's a scientific fact? I ask because I have always been able to root whatever I want. Therefore this is all very interesting to me. So I am a little disapointed to here about all these trees that wont root. Didn't know there was a such thing...I thought it was all about the cutting within itself. I have had people send cuttings and I can look and tell which ones will root. If I don't like the cutting I throw it away. Also when I take my cuttings I guess I'm looking for something in particular. Because I am very particular where and which part to cut.

Hi Kim,

I've tried redbud, ginkgo biloba, and mountain laurel with absolutely no success what so ever. I have no doubt there is a biological basis behind this however I never took the time to check it out as all can be grown from seed quite easily and I know people who were able to get them to root. Not that they survived after rooting to be able to be transplanted but they did root. I guess I don't have any knowledge of any plant that allegedly can't be rooted from a cutting. Softwoods are trickier but I was led to believe that even those could be rooted from a cutting if the cutting was taken at the right time of year and handled properly.

Here's a few links you might be interested in-

I suppose if one wants to get real fancy, one can probably root just about anything using hydroponic cellular rooting sponges but about as far as I ever got in that area was using florists foam and inserting cuttings into slits in the foam that I placed in trays of water. It works, but so does rooting in sand and peat moss.

There's a great book out there titled "Making More Plants" by Ken Druse. I have this book and he seems to find a work around for just about any propagation situation. It's sitting there on my shelf and I never thought to go check out what he had to say about Mt Laurel. Maybe some time this winter I'll get to it.

You might want to consider doing an Internet search on Albizia julibrissin before you rooting any more Mimosa. The Silk Tree/Japanese Mimosa Tree is causing many of my friends down south a bunch of headaches.

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

Give it a try Kim.What have you got to loose.LOL. Jody

I'd say go for it too! Worse case scenario is that you end up with a cutting that doesn't root. Try adding a rooting hormone like Rootone or any of the generics out there. More than half of my experiments fail miserably but it doesn't stop me from trying again and again and again. Speaking of which, the lilacs I tried to get to root last year never rooted either. Maybe I'll try those again next year as I have a President Grevy (that's the double flowering blue) and a President Lincoln that I like real well.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I have never tried to root anything that wouldn't root. So it all sounds strange to me :-D Thanks all!

Hmm, can I send you my lilac cuttings next spring and then you can send them back to me? Just kidding but have you ever tried to root lilac and if so what did you do?

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Yesssss...It's all about the cutting you take I think. Dip it in rooting hormone powder. Place in a pot with good seed starting soil. Keep it moist and spritz it often. Do not pull on it at any time. When you see it begin to form buds or leaves..Most likely it has rooted. hope this helps!

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

e-mail me your secrets.LOL.Jody

You rooted lilac in potting soil??? Ok, that's what I'll try next year. I used sand the last time. I have to admit I got over zealous and pulled it out of the sand a few times to check it out. Nothing was happening. Gee, I wonder why. I think I checked on the lilacs at least once every couple of days. Like I said, I was over zealous.

Cleveland, OH

I just happened upon this thread tonight before bed and remembered that I had saved a link on just this subject. I was trying to root cuttings of the weeping redbud that a customer has growing. After reading that they were almost impossible I decided against it. (besides piranha deer love redbuds!)

You might find this helpful:

Ha! impossible never stopped me. After all, I seem to thrive on things dieing around me lately. Ok, I'll try that out on my Eastern White buds next spring so let me save the link to a word document so I don't lose it. There are two of those still alive around here. I really like those trees. Piranha deer? That's a new one on me! I like it though very much! So fitting these days. Around here they refer to them as hooved rats. I remember as a child being all excited to see them when my Dad would take the front of our old station wagon and face it into a field so the headlamps would catch their eyes and we would see them peacefully grazing and hold our breath almost as if to breathe would make them run. Now when I see them in my yard at this time of year I run outside to stop them from rutting my 10-15 year old hickories and I hold my breath and count to ten to avodi throwing something at them. Fortunately, they run from me. All my saplings that survived the floods are in those tree tubes so they should be ok for a few years.

Hey bogman, I had already saved that link! It's the same one I found a few years ago and saved. I'll try his method for rooting the white bud! Why don't you try a red bud cutting. You can't do any worse than me. Besides which, you have a green thumb.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Send the Red bud! I'll make it root! LOL LOL.

Secret #1 NEVER and I mean NEVER pull on something you're trying to root. You will know when it has rooted. Because it starts to grow. If you pull it at least one time..It will never root. Don't ask me why..I have no clue.. But this is what I have learned with my experimants..ha ha

bogman... bogman... bogman... take her up on her offer an send her some of that fancy redbud ;) Then when it roots she can send one back to you and one back to me! Such a deal!

Tee he! Ok ok ok Kim! I know you are right but I was as bad as a little kid looking for any sign of life in those sour cream containers that I had filled with the sand. Patience is not and never has been one of my virtues. I will keep my hands off of my lilac cuttings next spring like a good little gardener. Say, about how long does it take before one should expect to see signs of life on a lilac cutting? Not that I want to be perceived as being overly anxious or anything but it would be nice to know so that I can start panicking that they might not germinate at a more appropriate time! Do you want some Pres. Grevy or Pres. Lincoln lilac cuttings?

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I'm almost positive My Maple and Oak have rooted! Yippie! They are growing and this is a sign of rootes for me. I will keep you updated and show a picture of the roots soon. :-D

Please post photos when they have noticeably rooted so I can steer people to this thread and say, "See, I told ya so!" Thanks, Kim!

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Here's some things rooting..I'll post the pic then the individul pic and give details : I have here..
Pink Honey suckle bush
Salix integra

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

The Phygelius has 2 new leaves at the very top. This gives me indication it has roots now.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

The Brugmansia has 4 new leaves

Thumbnail by Kim_M

Bravo Kim!

Great Work!

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

The Begonia has 4 small leaves (new)

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

The greatest experience you can have is now. Cut any trees in your yard..Look for a ver young nonwoody piece (2-3 inches). Do about 4 or 5 different kind. Wet them and dip in rooting hormone. Place them in store bought (miracle grow) soil in a 2-3 inch pot. Keep it very moist at all times. Spritz once a day..Watch the magic before you eyes! LOL Fun winter experience :-D

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

My lasted experience was Cotinus coggygria. Just rooted in it water..But I'll have to compost it or give it away...I already have the tree..

This message was edited Nov 30, 2004 1:57 PM

Castlegar, BC(Zone 6b)

Kim, I have been watching this thread with fascination. What do you think my chances would be with a Japanese Maple? Any advice?

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Now that I have no clue..But I'll let you know soon..he he he. My Father has this beautiful Japanese maple with the dainty filagree leaves. Also it stays very low to the ground..apparently he paid BIG BUCKS to have it put in. Which I would never do..can't affrord it! LOL. But I will be going over there this weekend to cut on it. Which I hope I can do while I'm sneaking out the side door..he he he. I have watched that tree for 10 years now. Not 1 single seed. So how would one aquire one? Well I'm about to find out! LOL LOL

Castlegar, BC(Zone 6b)

Good Luck! and if it's not too much trouble, please let me know how you make out. I love those gorgeous critters and I have one in my sites now. Similar situation to yours. LOL


St. John's, NL(Zone 5b)

Kim, if you learn the secret to rooting Japanese Maples, you'll make a fortune! Either that, or the Japanese maple producers will send a hencemen to break your knees! The price would bottom out on Japanese maples if they could be produced that easily!

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL LOL Todd! Sooo true!

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

I like rooting too, but I wonderered if anyone had tried one of the hobbist tissue culture kits? I never bought on but it looks fascinating to slice up itty bitty pieces and watch it grow. I think it needed a pretty sterile environment to work.

Wow, very old thread. Are you able to provide a name to any of the hobbiest tissue culture kits you are wondering about? Maybe a link to a photo of the product? Chances are pretty good somebody has experimented with the exact products you have in mind and will be able to share experiences.

For hardwood or evergreen cuttings, you might want to consider trying Hormex #8-

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Some more that are very hard (tho' not totally impossible) to root: cedars, firs, larches, pines, spruces and others in the family Pinaceae


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

You might also try posting about tissue culture on the propagation forum--I think there've been some discussions of it over there, nothing recent but I seem to remember something a year or so ago. You do need to be really careful about keeping things sterile, it's even more critical than it is for cuttings, etc.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Have not successfully rooted Maple...try try try again...Have a new plan...

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