Cherry propagation by cuttings

For planting fruit trees, annual or biennial seedlings grown in specialized nurseries and grafted onto a suitable stock are usually used. However, for those summer residents who do not pursue a certain variety of culture, but just want to have a harvest of their own berries, it is enough that an adult tree of this species grows from their plot or from neighbors, from which it would be possible to obtain cuttings. About how cherry propagates by cuttings, we will tell in this review.

What is propagation by cuttings

There are two main methods of plant propagation - seed and vegetative. In particular, you can grow a young cherry tree by planting a seed in the ground, or from a cuttings.

The second method has a number of obvious advantages over the first, because:

  • is faster;
  • allows you to get a tree that is guaranteed to preserve all the signs of the mother plant (seed reproduction, if we are talking about a hybrid, does not give such a result).
However, grafting has its drawbacks. So, this method requires the gardener to have certain experience and skills, in addition, before rooting, the cuttings need very careful care, without ensuring that young plants can be lost after the first winter.

Cherry cuttings are carried out by two methods - ordinary rooting in the ground or grafting on a wild stock.

In the first case, the gardener receives a root-bearing plant, in the second - a cultivar developing on a more powerful, winter-hardy and unpretentious root system of trees such as ordinary cherry, Magaleb cherry (in common people - Antipka) or wild cherries.

Important! For grafting the sweet cherry stalk, you need to choose the right stock, since the upper and lower parts of the resulting tree budding should physiologically fit together. Otherwise, without proper interaction, providing a common rhythm of life, the grafted plant will not be able to develop normally. Propagation of cherries by rooting cuttings without using a rootstock is most often used by those gardeners who want to relatively quickly increase the number of fruit trees of a favorite variety without incurring additional costs for the purchase of seedlings or simply rejuvenate a perennial garden.

Duration of propagation by cuttings at home

You can plant fruit tree seedlings in early spring or late autumn, however, neither one nor the other method is suitable for cuttings.

Most experts recommend rooting cherry cuttings in the second half of summer (July-August), and this is the main difficulty of the method. The fact is that for a short period of time remaining before the start of frost, the shoot cut off from the tree does not have time to acquire a powerful root system (unlike a seedling that already has it).

Even a very experienced gardener of all planted cuttings next spring "wakes up" no more than 10-15%.

In order to at least slightly increase the likelihood of successful rooting, some gardeners begin rooting of stone trees earlier, already in the first decade of June, barely waiting until the most active set of green mass begins to slow down, and the young shoots of the current year's growth will gradually overgrow with wood. If green cuttings are used for propagation, then the procedure can begin in May, although it is generally believed that such planting material is still too tender and weak to give rise to a new tree, in addition, as experience shows, even if successful rooting trees obtained from too young cuttings enter the fruiting phase much later.

Did you know? In English, cherries and cherries are denoted by the same word - “cherry” or “cherries”, however, when specifying “sweet cherries” (sweet cherry), you can be sure that we are talking about sweet cherries. Cuttings for future rooting can be prepared in advance, in late autumn, when the tree has dropped foliage, or in winter, while it is at rest.

Vegetative material is stored wrapped in moist cloth in a cool dark place (in the cellar or refrigerator), and rooting is started in the summer.

The choice of wood material for cuttings

For receiving cuttings are not suitable:

  • too old trees (their shoots are weakened and do not have enough potential to form their own root system);
  • young seedlings (a tree in the growth phase has not yet ripened for vegetative propagation);
  • cherries growing in poor soil and suffering from a lack of minerals, primarily phosphorus and nitrogen;
  • specimens fed with mineral fertilizers;
  • trees affected by pests or fungal diseases.

Find out when and how to cut sweet cherries in the fall, and when and how to cut sweet cherries in the spring.

The tree variety is not critical in terms of the success of vegetative propagation, but the age of the mother plant must be taken into account . The ideal material for getting the cuttings will give the cherry, which has reached full maturity, but still quite young. Determining this moment, you can focus on the period of time that has elapsed after planting a seedling (7–9 years), or the period during which the tree fully bears fruit (2-3 years).

Another good option is to use the shoots that appear on the stump of a tree cut last year for cuttings. Such cuttings are good in that all the power coming from the powerful root system and not wasted on maintaining the missing crown is concentrated in them.

Important! The lower the branch is located to the ground with which the cuttings are cut, the greater the potential for the formation of their own roots. However, it should be used not the old, but the young branch, which appeared in the lower part of the trunk. For cuttings, you need to choose strong and well-developed shoots that grow on absolutely healthy branches and have a thickness of about 7 mm. The optimal shoot length is 30 cm, and the cuttings should have at least three healthy kidneys.

Slices are performed as follows:

  • lower - at an angle of 45 ° with an indent of 30 mm from the nearest (lower) kidney;
  • upper - at an angle of 90 ° at a height of 15–20 mm from the upper kidney.

Cutting cuttings is important to carry out in dry, but not too hot weather, in the early morning or late evening.

Like any work related to pruning trees, it is necessary to carry out the cuttings with a carefully sharpened and treated disinfecting solution with a tool, separating the shoot with one precise movement (it is impossible to pull, break off or unscrew the cuttings in any case - this will not only reduce their vitality, but also harm to the mother plant).

If a freshly cut stalk is not planted immediately, it should be placed in a container with a small amount of water (only the lower kidney should be in a humid environment).

Did you know? The Russian word "cherry" and the English "cherry" are derived from the Latin "cerasi" - fruits from Kerasunt (Giresuna). That was the name of the Black Sea city in Turkey, where the ancient Romans first met cherries.

Preparing the soil for planting

To root the cuttings, you need the soil that is most suitable for an adult tree of this species, however, the requirements for the structure and composition of the soil in this case must be observed even more strictly.

The tree does not tolerate either drying out or waterlogging of the earth. Another important indicator is the high humus content.

Cherry grows best on light and loose soils with a neutral reaction (pH in the range of 6.7–7.1).

In order to reduce the acidity of the soil, a liming procedure is used, which subsequently, as the tree roots and grows, it is advisable to repeat.

Important! Lime not only improves the process of assimilation by the root system of nutrients from the soil, but also “is responsible” for the proper formation of pits, which for cherries, cherries, plums and apricots is a crucial point in the ripening process.

Depending on the initial soil composition per 1 sq. Km. m lime is introduced in such volumes:

  • for sandstone - 300-400 g;
  • for loam - 600–800 g;
  • for alumina - 750–900 g.
It is better to add lime to the soil in advance - in the autumn or, as a last resort, in the early spring, filling the lime additive into the soil by 15–20 cm by deep digging. In the same period, it is useful to enrich the land with rotted manure or humus (10-15 kg per 1 sq. M).

If the soil is too heavy, it should be lightened with sand in advance . However, in too light soil the cuttings will also be difficult to root, moreover, such a substrate does not retain moisture well, so if necessary, a small amount of alumina should be added to the sandy soil.

In order for the soil to retain moisture better, compost or fine foliage is also sometimes added to the soil, however, in the latter case, it should be borne in mind that such organic matter is a good medium for the reservation of pest larvae and mycelium of pathogenic fungi. Therefore, if there is any doubt about the quality of the drainage additive, biological fungicidal and insecticidal preparations, for example, Fitosporin M, should be added to the soil together with it. You should also avoid using the leaves of cherry or other stone fruits for drainage, since it is they with the highest degree of probability that can become a source of damage to the seedling by diseases and pests characteristic of this fruit species.

Nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied to the soil before rooting the cuttings. This element is necessary for the plant to gain green mass, while at the stage of vegetative propagation, it is much more important for a seedling to form an underground rather than aerial part. For roots, nitrogen is dangerous because it can cause burns.

But potassium and phosphorus for young cherries are simply necessary. Therefore, before starting the rooting procedure, the prepared area should be dug up and enriched with the two mentioned elements based on 1 square meter. m:

Original soil typePotassium gPhosphorus, g
Black earth10-1520–25

Rules for planting cuttings

When planting cherry cuttings, it is important to observe the following simple rules:

  1. The area where the rooting will take place should be lit as much as possible, but at the same time reliably fenced from the wind from all sides.
  2. Before planting, the prepared shoots should be cut off the leaves, since intensive evaporation of moisture occurs from their surface, and for a plant with an absent root system this is fraught with death.
  3. When cutting leaves, you can not allow damage to the kidney, therefore, in the absence of experience, you can cut off only the upper part of the leaf plate, leaving a small fragment of the leaf and stalk.
  4. Immediately after removing the leaves, the cut surface must be powdered with crushed wood ash or activated charcoal for disinfection.
  5. Before planting, the lower part of the shank should be treated with a biological growth stimulator. The drug “Heteroauxin” works best in this capacity. The concentration of the working solution is 10% (100 mg per 1 liter of water), the processing time is from 14 to 17 hours.

Rooting sweet cherry cuttings

Freshly cut or pre-harvested sweet cherry cuttings are planted in well-dug and loosened soil (the depth of cultivation should be at least 40–45 cm, otherwise young roots simply cannot make their way in a dense environment).

Since the probability of successful rooting does not exceed 10-15%, you need to plant as many cuttings as possible. You can place them in rows, keeping the distance between shoots 15-20 cm in any direction.

You do not need to dig holes for cuttings, just gently deepen the shoot into loose soil so that the top of the three buds remains on the surface, and then densely compact the soil around the seedling, as if squeezing it into an earthen ring. After planting, the soil is abundantly watered and, when the water is absorbed, mulched with peat, humus or sand.

Some gardeners prefer to install cuttings under a slight slope, believing that this increases the likelihood of successful rooting, while others deepen the shoots strictly vertically.

There is another way to land. It involves placing the cuttings in pre-excavated trenches with a depth of 15 to 20 cm. One wall of the trench should be strictly vertical - it will be necessary to lean against the shoot. River sand and peat mixed in equal shares are placed at the bottom of the trench, filling 1/5 of the entire depth of the groove with this substrate. After the shoots are exposed in a trench (the lower part is not buried, but simply placed on a sand-peat substrate, the upper bud remains on the surface), the pit is gradually buried with ordinary fertile sweet cherry soil, periodically tamping. After abundant watering, the recess formed as a result of subsidence of the earth during the absorption of water should be sprinkled with an additional layer of earth or mulched.

Practice shows that both methods have a right to exist, so everyone can decide for himself which of the possible methods he prefers to choose for himself.

The root formation process begins 3–6 weeks after planting the cuttings in the ground . First of all, a growth of new cells (the so-called callus) is formed on the very bottom of the shoot, and then the first roots appear from it. These processes are not visible to the gardener, but when the bud remaining on the surface of the cuttings finally starts to grow, we can conclude that rooting is successful.

Rules for caring for trees after rooting

The rooting of a tree stem is a complicated process mainly because a rootless shoot needs warmth and very high soil moisture to start root formation, because the plant does not yet have a special organ that can extract water from the ground. To ensure a stable microclimate, sweet cherry cuttings for this reason are best grown in closed greenhouses, gradually opening them as root formation. If this is not possible, over the area where the cuttings were planted, it is still better to install a mini-greenhouse, having buried an arch frame made of any flexible material in the ground and covered with a film. If the seedlings are not ensured during the first few weeks, maintaining a stable temperature in the range of + 20 ... + 27 ° C both day and night, cuttings with a maximum probability will not take root.

It is equally important to constantly water the planting, while avoiding waterlogging of the soil, otherwise the lower part of the cuttings will begin to rot and the root formation process will not start. Fungal infections affect young cherry seedlings also after the average daily temperature begins to gradually decrease, which is why the balance of heat and soil moisture must be maintained and one parameter adjusted as the other changes.

Read also articles on this topic:

How to plant sweet cherry seedlings in autumn Planting sweet cherry

Rules for planting sweet cherry seedlings in spring Planting sweet cherry All articles

To prevent seedlings from drying out, from time to time they also need to be sprayed, and only soft and slightly warmed water should be used for both irrigation and sprinkling. For the winter, the cuttings that have begun to take root must be carefully covered with a thick layer of peat or a foliage, and after the snow falls, build a high snowdrift on the site and make sure that it is not covered with an ice crust.

In the spring, so that the awakened seedlings do not die from hypothermia, the earth within the near-stem circle should be tamped, water the planting with warm water and again tightly mulched.

Those specimens that survived their first winter also need to be fed . Over the next season, it is recommended that superphosphate be added to the soil 2-3 times at the rate of 2.2 g of the drug per 1 sq. Km. m of land, be sure to water the soil before this. The rest of the care for one-year-old seedlings involves regular watering and careful shelter for the winter, and next spring, if the tree does not die, it can already be transplanted to a permanent place and wait for the flowering to begin (however, you should not rush to get the first crop, buds that have appeared it is better to remove, this will increase the vitality of the cherries and become the key to good fruiting in the future). Well-rooted cherries can be transplanted in the fall, a year after the start of the grafting process.

Propagation features by green cuttings

As already noted, the rooting of sweet cherry cuttings is a painstaking and unreliable way of tree propagation. However, the likelihood of success can be significantly increased by using a special method of cuttings, familiar to many lovers of indoor plants as propagation by air layers.

Learn About Cherry Disease.

The essence of the idea is that when isolating a shoot fragment, in this part, stem cells are transformed into callus cells or, in simple terms, root cells.

For the formation of layering, it is best to choose green cuttings of the growth of the current year, with 3-4 young leaves. Не отделяя побег от дерева, его нижнюю часть (под третьей почкой) обматывают тёмной плёнкой или изоляционной лентой так, чтобы толщина «повязки» составляла не менее 4 см. Спустя примерно 10 дней побег отрезают на уровне нижнего края плёнки и, сняв обмотку, сразу же, без обработки стимуляторами роста, высаживают черенок в землю описанным выше методом.

Укоренение предварительно «обесцвеченных» (научный термин — этиолированных) зелёных побегов бывает успешным на 30% чаще, чем при использовании обычных древесных черенков.

Нужно, впрочем, сказать, что подобным способом можно укоренить и одеревеневшие черенки, однако в этом случае перед проведением обмотки участок побега необходимо сначала осторожно освободить от коры. Более того, если под тёмную плёнку поместить слой земли, укрытый сверху хорошо увлажнённой тканью, а затем плотно обвязать полученный «мешочек» сверху и снизу, то после снятия повязки на ветке уже можно будет обнаружить зачатки корневой системы. Понятно, что вероятность укоренения в таком случае возрастает на порядок.

Did you know? Интересно, что такой необычный способ размножения деревьев, как формирование почвенной оболочки прямо на ветке, изобрели китайцы, причём произошло это более четырёх тысяч лет назад. Поэтому данный метод до сих пор часто называют китайской отводкой, правда, в Европе его применяют в основном на виноградной лозе. Размножение черешни черенкованием — процесс более сложный и менее предсказуемый, чем посадка уже готового саженца. Его реализация требует от садовода больших усилий, терпения и готовности смириться с возможной неудачей, вероятность которой даже при соблюдении всех правил процедуры всё равно остаётся очень высокой. Однако для тех, кто не боится трудностей, готов экспериментировать и не стремится к получению быстрого и надёжного результата, освоение данной методики может доставить истинное удовольствие, а любые старания рано или поздно всё равно будут вознаграждены.

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