One of the techniques of propagating plants is to take cuttings. These cuttings can be either softwood, semi-hardwood, or hardwood. Two variables are used to determine classification of cuttings as softwood, semi-hardwood or hardwood. The first is “timing”, and the second is “juvenility”. They are complimentary. Depending on what time of year you take your cuttings, it helps determine whether the cutting is “new” or “mature” growth.
Semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings are taken in the fall after the plants have become dormant. Softwood cuttings are taken from new growth in the spring or early summer. Some plants do better with softwood cuttings and some do better with hardwood cuttings. Miranda Smith’s book is a good introduction of propagation techniques and which plants respond best to which techniques.
To improve the success rate, cuttings are dipped in a rooting stimulant, Indole-3-Butyric Acid or IBA, applied before being placed in the rooting medium. Rooting products are sold in three different strengths based on their parts-per-million (PPM). The weakest strength is used for softwood cuttings and the strongest for hardwood cuttings. You could end up having all three rooting strengths if you do a lot of propagating.
Periodically you come across a product that makes something you do much easier.
This is not an endorsement of this product (I haven’t tried it yet) but it is very versatile. Nor is it an endorsement of the seller because I’ve never used them and the company is unrated at Dave’s Garden Watchdog. The MSDS sheet shows that it contains Indole-3-Butyric Acid or IBA which is the active ingredient in all commercial root stimulants. Because this product is a concentrate it can be diluted to whatever strength you need including the three commercially sold concentrations – 2500ppm, 5000ppm and 10000ppm.
Treehelp.com is a wealth of information from tree seeds to pest control by pest or product to tools and gadgets. Often sites are neat but not all that useful or useful but not that neat. This site is both neat and useful.
Oh yeah. I stumbled across the site when I was looking for Maclura pomifera seeds in Ontario.