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How to grow an apple tree from branch cuttings

Updated February 21, 2017

Branch cuttings are a way to propagate fruit trees. A cutting is like a clone of the tree it was taken from. Once it takes root and grows, it will produce the same kind of fruit and be genetically identical to its parent plant. Cuttings can be taken from young branch wood on apple trees to grow a new tree of the same type.

Mix 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite in a container with four drainage holes. Water the mixture until it leaks out of the bottom.

Select a 1-year-old branch from your apple tree. Choose a healthy branch that is 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) long. Cut the branch from the tree during the winter when the apple tree is dormant.

Remove all leaves from the cutting and dip the cut end of the branch into rooting hormone.

Place the cut end of the branch into the peat moss and perlite mixture about 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) deep. Place the cutting in a dark, humid room with a constant temperature. Keep the rooting medium moist at all times.

Transplant the apple tree cutting to your land in the early spring or autumn when the cutting is 30 to 60 cm (2 to 3 feet) in height. Dig a hole for the transplant as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. Fill the hole with soil. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Container
  • Rooting hormone
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About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.