I have some young apple trees that have sprouts coming up around trunk, i'm told to cut these off and other low branches and stick in soil and roots will develop to plant. Will this work? Am I supposed to cut at angle and put in soil as I'm being told?



Success rate for apple tree cuttings is typically very low. Rootstocks are usually produced by a propagation technique called "stooling". This is where young trees are cut off just above the soil line. As suckers sprout and grow from the trunk base, soil or other light-blocking material is layered around the trunk and sucker bases. Because the bottom part of the sprout thinks it is in the ground, it will start growing roots at its base. Then the rooted sprout may be cut away from the parent and planted. This rootstock will later be topworked (grafted) with the desired apple variety.

Good gardening!

Posted on 2 May 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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