Back on April 30, I wrote about rooting sea buckthorn from root cuttings. Two of the male cuttings had rooted around April 13. A full month later, just as I was about to call it quits on the remaining cuttings, one of the female cuttings produced a green shoot.
And the sea buck thorn cuttings have been joined by a beach plum cutting and a hazel nut cutting. Earlier this spring, we were potting up some bare root trees that we had purchased. We always pot up rather than plant out small trees and shrubs with bare roots in order to give them controlled growing conditions. Sometimes the roots are a bit larger than the pot will accept. That was the case with a beach plum and hazel. Normally, we toss the cuttings on to the compost pile but after the sea buckthorn experience I decided to pot up the cuttings. One of the two beach plum cuttings and one of the three hazel cuttings took. Unlike the sea buckthorn cuttings, I tented these by putting the pots in plastic bags and tying off the tops with a twist tie.
Most propagation techniques have a seasonality to them – softwood cuttings are taken early in the year while hardwood cuttings are later in the year. Perhaps root cutting seasonality is early spring before the plant has broken dormancy. In the burst of re-growth energy that occurs when a plant breaks dormancy, perhaps the root cutting is more likely to produce shoots.
One thing is for certain – you have to be patient and give what looks like a completely dead piece of wood a goodly amount of time to make new growth. Looking dead is not the same as dead.