How to sprout an apple tree from a branch?

The apple tree belongs to the category of fruit crops that are difficult to root. That is why it is quite difficult for an inexperienced gardener to grow a new tree from a branch. However, there are special techniques and technologies that will help root the shoot, getting a strong and healthy seedling.

Is it possible to grow an apple tree from a branch

There are many varieties of apple trees, which are characterized by a different tendency to root. Some varieties are easily propagated through the mother branch, some have medium rooting, and there are those that root extremely difficult. Nevertheless, the new tree grown by this method receives all the best qualities of the parent material and retains its features.

The apple trees obtained in this way preserve all the best properties of the mother plants. Experienced gardeners, using effective techniques, successfully grow apple trees from branches, and the survival rate of such seedlings is usually 80–90%. One of the advantages of a plant obtained from a branch is that it sprouts root shoots superficially, which allows the crop to be planted in places inaccessible to other apple trees - for example, near groundwater.

Need to take a broken or cut branch

To breed apple trees from a twig, you must first properly prepare the material. Here the question arises, which is better: to break off a branch or cut. Experienced gardeners agree that it is better to opt for a broken handle, as it can take root faster. It is recommended to break off the shoot in such a way that the so-called “heel” remains in its lower part. To begin with, a branch is cut, and then it is broken off in the same place.

Important! In order to form as many root roots as possible on the branch, the heel is advised to carefully peel, shorten and split into several parts.

When to start harvesting cuttings

The cuttings that will be used for further rooting in order to obtain a new tree must be correctly selected. It requires completely healthy, strong, without damage annual branches; in addition, the material for propagation should have 2-3 internodes. Procurement of material can be carried out in early spring or autumn.

In the spring

In order to harvest in the spring, cuttings are prepared in the winter. For this:

  • a suitable, woody shoot is slightly broken, making a “closed” fracture without damaging the bark;
  • the damaged area is wrapped with electrical tape.

Important! Experts advise choosing branches located on the middle tier of the crown. The upper shoots are poorly rooted, the lower ones grow quite slowly.

With the onset of spring, approximately in the last days of March, the electrical tape is removed, and the branch is completely broken off at the site of the break. During this time, damaged tissues will be able to accumulate the required amount of nutrients required for the full growth and development of nutrients, which will allow the cuttings to quickly adapt to new conditions and take root.


Harvesting cuttings in autumn is carried out in the last months of the season. To do this, choose healthy, woody, without mechanical damage and rotted shoots of one or two years of age, breaking them off by the method indicated above.

Did you know? In English, the word "apple" is written as "apple" and it comes from the name of Apollo. The fact is that in ancient Greece it was the apple tree that was considered the sacred tree of this god.

The cut shoots are stored in snowdrifts, in the refrigerator or in any other cold room. In spring, cuttings are carefully prepared and germinated.

Video: rooting a fruit tree in autumn

How to prepare cuttings for propagation

In order to achieve quick rooting of the handle, it must be carefully prepared in a special way. All sheets located in the lower part are removed. Next, the handle is immersed in a solution of any root formation stimulant, for example, Zircon, Kornerost, or Kornevin, and left for 12 hours.

Seat selection

For planting a seedling at a permanent location, it is preferable to choose a well-lit, sunny area, reliably protected from drafts and cold winds. If possible, it is better to plant an apple tree on a small hill so that the root system of the plant is not exposed to a large amount of moisture. It should also provide for the depth of groundwater, it should be at least 2–2.5 m.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the features of apple growing technology.

Soil preparation

The apple tree prefers light, breathable and nutritious soil with an average degree of acidity. Black earth or loam is considered ideal. When planting crops on hard, clay soils, one year before the proposed work, it is necessary to enrich the soil with peat and river sand, as well as liming. If the earth is characterized by a high content of sand, it is recommended to add clay, humus, minerals to it.

When growing apple trees on “lean” soils, fertilizers should be applied in the form of humus or compost

Dimensions and depth of the landing pit

Immediately before planting a seedling, a seat should be prepared. The size of the pit and its depth will depend on the grade of the plant:

  • for tall apple trees, a pit measuring 80 × 120 cm is suitable;
  • for trees of medium height - 50 × 100 cm;
  • for dwarf varieties - 40 × 90 cm;
  • for column-type crops - 50 × 50 cm.

The technology of rooting cuttings of apple trees

To get a seedling with a full, healthy and strong root system, the cuttings must be germinated. The rooting technology is quite simple and is carried out by two methods: in water and soil.

Important! Planting the cuttings in open ground is carried out when its root roots reach a length of at least 7 cm.

In water

Germination of the cuttings in water is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  1. The top part of a bottle made of dark plastic is cut off, while the height of the bottle should be slightly less than the length of the cuttings.
  2. Cuttings are placed in the container and filled with water so that it covers the lower kidney (about 5-6 cm). Special natural or store root growth stimulants are added to the water - for example, aloe juice or “Cornevir”.
  3. For two weeks, the water is periodically changed to a new one. During this time, a thickening should appear in the lower part of the handle, which is located in the water.
  4. By the end of the third week, root shoots appear on the planting material.

In the ground

Root cuttings can also be in the ground. To do this, in early spring, do this:

  1. A specially prepared substrate, consisting of equal parts of sand, peat and chernozem, is poured into a plastic container.
  2. Before planting in the soil, planting material is placed in a solution of the root stimulant.
  3. Cuttings are deepened into the ground by 5-6 cm, the surface is thoroughly moistened.
  4. To create a greenhouse effect, the container is covered with a plastic film.
  5. When stable warm weather sets in, containers with cuttings are carried out into the open air.
  6. After root processes are formed on the seedlings, they are transplanted into the open ground.

How to grow an apple tree from a branch at home

In the home, you can root an apple tree branch in several ways:

  • using technology of rooting in water;
  • applying the planting of the cuttings in the soil mixture, consisting of one part of the soil intended for flowers, and three parts of straw;
  • germinating planting material with a plastic bag: numerous holes are made in the bag, filled with nutritious soil, and cuttings are placed there. To moisten the plantings, drip irrigation using fabric ropes is organized.

Important! In order for the seedling to form a root system faster at home, the cuttings are cut at the end of winter - at the beginning of spring, that is, until the moment when the sap flow begins at the tree.

How does rooting of green cuttings occur?

Excellent results are shown by the rooting of green cuttings, which is carried out from the end of May to the end of August. For the event, choose healthy, strong branches that are cut in the early morning. Experts advise using the middle part of the shoot, since it is better to root, while the stalk should have a minimum of 3 buds. The lower cut is done directly under the kidney, the lower leaves are completely cut. The upper section is carried out over the third kidney.

Further, the germination procedure is carried out according to the technology:

  1. Nutrient soil is poured into the container where the cuttings will be located, and then moist sand, with a layer of 4-5 cm.
  2. Prepared planting material is deepened into the soil mixture by 1-2 cm.
  3. From above, the container is covered with a plastic film to create the effect of a greenhouse.
  4. Twice a week, the shelter is opened, the cuttings are aired, the soil is abundantly moistened with settled water.

Video: rooting green cuttings

Before the plants take root, a container with them is placed in the shade of trees or from the northern part of the house, where partial shade prevails. Prepared cuttings can be planted directly on the site, using the same technology.

Did you know? The apple tree is the first tree that began to grow humanity. It happened over 6500 BC.

Further care

In order for the cuttings to take root well and be able to easily transfer the winter, they need to organize high-quality, timely care. It should be noted that in the first year of growth, seedlings are very weak, therefore, they need increased care, which consists in holding a number of traditional events:

  1. Watering. Moisturize the plants regularly, preventing the topsoil from drying out. Immediately before watering, the soil of the near-stem circle is loosened, cleaned of weeds. During the summer season, the tree is watered once a week, focusing on the state of the soil. One plant will need about 2-3 buckets of defended, not cold water.

  2. Top dressing. It is very important to feed the seedling in the first two years of life, so that it can quickly take root and enter the fruiting phase. Organic drugs or minerals are used to nourish the tree, but the former are used in very small doses so as not to damage the fragile root system. In the spring, a urea solution or nitrogen-containing preparations are added. Over the summer, they feed the culture several times with a mixture of water, bird droppings, urea and superphosphate.

  3. Protection against pests and diseases. In the first year of growth, the seedling is rather weakened and has low immunity, therefore, it requires protection against ailments and parasites. For preventive treatment, special industrial fungicidal and insecticidal preparations are used, with which trees are sprayed several times a season. For protection, folk remedies are also used, for example, copper sulfate, Bordeaux, garlic solution, etc.

  4. Shelter for the winter. Regardless of the climatic conditions of the apple growing region, in the first two years of life it is carefully sheltered for the winter. For this, before the onset of cold weather, the trunk is whitened and wrapped with a dense, breathable fabric, such as burlap. The soil of the trunk circle is mulched using hay, sawdust, and straw.

If you properly care for the seedling, then after three years it will fully strengthen, take root, and, if necessary, will be ready for further transplantation.

Important! It is not recommended to use needles as mulch.

Growing an apple tree from a branch is a rather painstaking task that requires the gardener to pay attention, patience and competent implementation of basic agricultural techniques. However, if you pay proper attention to the seedlings, after a few years they will be able to thank the owner with a decent harvest of delicious and fragrant apples.

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