Growing Pines from Cuttings


Authored by Donna Ryan in Gardening 
Published on 01-31-2010

Growing pine trees can present a challenge; however, it’s a worthwhile endeavor if you’re patient and can persevere. By including a pine tree in your yard or garden, you can add a plant to your landscape that you can enjoy all year.

Cuttings typically can be taken in the wintertime when the pine is dormant. Choose a cutting from a healthy branch that you can see is free of disease. The branch should be part of fairly new growth yet mature. It can take quite a while for the shoots to produce roots, sometimes almost a year or more; therefore, patience is a virtue when you’re trying to grow a pine. Snip off a six to nine inch cutting with a knife or secateurs. To properly remove the cutting, make sure you make a cut under a leaf and remove any foliage from the bottom third of the hardwood. The branch can then be placed in rooting hormone gel or powder. Shake any excess substance off if you use powder.

Typically, tip cuttings are the best types of cuttings to make with respect to evergreens such as pines. Such cuttings are best obtained from the main shoot of the plant or from the side branches. While large cuttings result in growth and plant development in a shorter span of time, they also need more care when they’re undergoing the rooting process.

Generally, you’ll receive the best results if you take a cutting in the late autumn or anytime during the winter although some evergreens, besides the pine, root fairly regularly during the year. Insert your cutting in a clay pot with a compost mix of cuttings and peat. Such a mixture should provide good drainage for your pine cutting and help the cutting take root. Place the pine cutting into the medium, covering about 1/3 of it. Make sure though that you remove any needles touching the soil as this can cause the cutting to rot. The medium you select in which to root your pine furnishes the plant with the water, oxygen and structural support it needs to develop successfully. Many types of media can be used, such as the stated compost and peat, perlite and sand. Regardless of the kind of medium you use, just make sure you have good drainage for your cutting as inadequate drainage can pose a threat to the rooting process.

Next, you’ll want to provide your pine cutting with the proper humidity. Therefore, mist the cutting with water and cover it with a plastic bag to maintain a nice level of moisture. Keep the medium you planted your cutting in damp until the pine cutting starts to take root. It’s important to mist the cutting as cuttings that haven’t yet rooted can only absorb small amounts of water. Therefore, make sure the humidity level of the plant is maintained so rooting can take place.

Once the pine cutting begins to root, you can then place the planting in a sheltered area. Make sure that you keep the planting out of the direct rays of the sun. As indicated, this process can take up to a year or more so you’ll have to be extremely patient. Keep the cutting watered during the interim taking care not to over-water the plant. Once it sprouts new growth, you’ll be able to replant the pine into a new container so it can continue to grow and develop.


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