Cherry propagation by cuttings
For planting fruit trees, annual or two-year-old seedlings grown in specialized nurseries and grafted onto a suitable stock are usually used. However, for those summer residents who do not pursue a certain variety of culture, but simply want to have a crop of their own berries, it is enough that an adult tree of this species grows from their plot or from neighbors, from which it would be possible to obtain cuttings. About how cherry propagates by cuttings, we will tell in this review.
What is propagation by cuttings
There are two main methods of plant propagation - seed and vegetative. In particular, you can grow a young cherry tree by planting a seed in the ground, or from a cuttings.
The second method has a number of obvious advantages over the first, because:
- is faster;
- allows you to get a tree that is guaranteed to retain all the signs of the mother plant (seed reproduction, if we are talking about a hybrid, does not give such a result).
Cherry cuttings are carried out by two methods. - ordinary rooting in the ground or grafting onto a wild stock.
In the first case, the gardener receives a root-owning plant, in the second - a cultivar that develops on a more powerful, winter-hardy and unpretentious root system of trees such as ordinary cherry, Magaleb cherry (in common people - Antipka) or wild cherries.
Important! For grafting the sweet cherry stalk, you need to choose the right rootstock, since the upper and lower parts of the resulting tree budding should physiologically fit together. Otherwise, without proper interaction, providing a common life rhythm, the grafted plant will not be able to develop normally.
Duration of propagation by cuttings at home
You can plant fruit tree seedlings in early spring or late autumn, however, neither one nor the other method is suitable for cuttings.
Most experts recommend root sweet cherry cuttings in the second half of summer (July-August), and this is the main difficulty of the method. The fact is that for a short period of time remaining before the start of frost, the shoot cut off from the tree does not have time to acquire a powerful root system (unlike a seedling that already has it).Even a very experienced gardener of all planted cuttings next spring "wakes up" no more than 10-15%.
In order to at least slightly increase the likelihood of successful rooting, some gardeners begin to root stone fruits earlier, already in the first decade of June, barely waiting until the most active set of green mass begins to slow down, and the young shoots of the current year’s growth will gradually overgrow with wood. If green cuttings are used for propagation, then the procedure can be started in May, although it is generally believed that such planting material is still too tender and weak to give rise to a new tree, moreover, as experience shows, even in the case of successful rooting, trees obtained from too young cuttings enter the phase much later fruiting.
Did you know? In English, cherries and cherries are denoted by the same word - “cherry” or “cherries”, however, when specifying “sweet cherries” (sweet cherry), you can be sure that we are talking about sweet cherries.
The choice of wood material for cuttings
For receiving cuttings are not suitable:
- too old trees (their shoots are weakened and do not have enough potential to form their own root system);
- young seedlings (a tree in the growth phase has not yet ripened for vegetative propagation);
- cherries growing in poor soil and suffering from a lack of minerals, primarily phosphorus and nitrogen;
- specimens fed with mineral fertilizers;
- trees affected by pests or fungal diseases.
The tree variety is not of fundamental importance in terms of the success of vegetative propagation, but the age of the mother plant must be taken into account. The ideal material for getting the cuttings will give the cherry, which has reached full maturity, but still quite young. Determining this moment, you can focus on the period of time that has elapsed after planting a seedling (7–9 years), or the period during which the tree fully bears fruit (2-3 years).
Another good option - use for growth the shoots that appear on the stump of a tree cut last year. Such cuttings are good in that all the power coming from the powerful root system and not wasted on maintaining the missing crown is concentrated in them.
Important! The lower the branch is located to the ground with which the cuttings are cut, the greater the potential for the formation of their own roots. However, it should be used not the old, but the young branch, which appeared in the lower part of the trunk.
Slices are performed as follows:
- lower - at an angle of 45 ° with an indent of 30 mm from the nearest (lower) kidney;
- upper - at an angle of 90 ° at a height of 15–20 mm from the upper kidney.
Cutting cuttings is important to carry out in dry, but not too hot weather, in the early morning or late evening.
Like any work related to pruning trees, the cuttings must be carried out with a carefully sharpened and treated disinfecting solution with a tool, separating the shoot with one precise movement (in no case can you pull, break off or unscrew the cuttings - this will not only reduce their vitality, but also harm to the mother plant).
If a freshly cut stalk is not planted immediately, it should be placed in a container with a small amount of water (only the lower kidney should be in a humid environment).
Did you know? The Russian word "sweet cherry" and the English "cherry" are derived from the Latin "cerasi" - fruits from Kerasunt (Giresuna). That was the name of the Black Sea city in Turkey, where the ancient Romans first met cherries.
Preparing the soil for planting
To root the cuttings, you need the soil that is most suitable for an adult tree of this species, however, the requirements for the structure and composition of the soil in this case must be observed even more strictly.
The tree does not tolerate either drying out or waterlogging of the earth. Another important indicator is the high humus content.Cherry grows best on light and loose soils with a neutral reaction (pH in the range of 6.7–7.1).
In order to reduce the acidity of the soil, a liming procedure is used, which subsequently, as the tree roots and grows, it is advisable to repeat.
Important! Lime not only improves the process of assimilation by the root system of nutrients from the soil, but also is “responsible” for the proper formation of pits, which for cherries, cherries, plums and apricots is a crucial point in the ripening process.
Depending on the initial soil composition per 1 sq. Km. m lime is introduced in such volumes:
- for sandstone - 300-400 g;
- for loam - 600–800 g;
- for alumina - 750–900 g.
If the soil is too heavy, it should be lightened in advance with sand. However, in too light soil, the cuttings will also be difficult to root, moreover, such a substrate does not hold moisture well, so if necessary, a small amount of alumina should be added to the sandy soil.
So that the soil retains moisture better, sometimes compost or beautiful foliage is also added to the groundHowever, in the latter case, it must be borne in mind that such an organics is a good medium for the reservation of pest larvae and pathogenic fungal mycelia. Therefore, if there is any doubt about the quality of the drainage additive, biological fungicidal and insecticidal preparations, for example, Fitosporin M, should be added to the soil together with it. You should also avoid using the leaves of cherry or other stone trees for drainage, since it is they with the highest degree of probability that can become a source of damage to the seedling by diseases and pests characteristic of this fruit species.
Nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied to the soil before rooting the cuttings. This element is necessary for the plant to gain green mass, while at the stage of vegetative propagation, it is much more important for a seedling to form an underground rather than aerial part. For roots, nitrogen is dangerous because it can cause burns.
But potassium and phosphorus for young cherries are simply necessary. Therefore, before starting the rooting procedure, the prepared site should be dug up and enriched with the two mentioned elements per 1 sq. m. m:
|Original soil type||Potassium g||Phosphorus, g|
Rules for planting cuttings
When planting cherry cuttings, it is important to observe the following simple rules:
- The area where the rooting will take place should be lit as much as possible, but at the same time reliably fenced from the wind from all sides.
- Before planting, the prepared shoots should be cut off the leaves, since intensive evaporation of moisture occurs from their surface, and for a plant with an absent root system this is fraught with death.
- When cutting leaves, you can not allow damage to the kidney, therefore, in the absence of experience, you can cut off only the upper part of the leaf plate, leaving a small fragment of the leaf and stalk.
- Immediately after removing the leaves, the cut surface must be powdered with crushed wood ash or activated charcoal for disinfection.
- Before planting, the lower part of the shank should be treated with a biological growth stimulator. The drug “Heteroauxin” works best in this capacity. The concentration of the working solution is 10% (100 mg per 1 liter of water), the processing time is from 14 to 17 hours.
Rooting sweet cherry cuttings
Freshly cut or pre-harvested sweet cherry cuttings are planted in well-dug and loosened soil (the depth of cultivation should be at least 40–45 cm, otherwise young roots simply cannot make their way in a dense environment).Since the probability of successful rooting does not exceed 10-15%, you need to plant as many cuttings as possible. You can place them in rows, keeping the distance between shoots 15-20 cm in any direction.
It’s not necessary to dig holes for cuttings, it is enough just to carefully deepen the shoot into loose soil so that the top of the three buds remains on the surface, and then firmly ram the soil around the seedling, as if squeezing it into an earthen ring. After planting, the soil is abundantly watered and, when the water is absorbed, mulched with peat, humus or sand.
Some gardeners prefer to install cuttings under a slight slope, believing that this increases the likelihood of successful rooting, while others deepen the shoots strictly vertically.
There is another way to land. It involves placing the cuttings in pre-excavated trenches with a depth of 15 to 20 cm. One wall of the trench should be strictly vertical - it will be necessary to lean against the shoot. River sand and peat mixed in equal shares are placed at the bottom of the trench, filling 1/5 of the entire depth of the groove with this substrate. After the shoots are exposed in a trench (the lower part is not deepened, but simply placed on a sand-peat substrate, the upper bud remains on the surface), the pit is gradually buried with ordinary fertile sweet cherry soil, periodically tamping. After abundant watering, the recess formed as a result of subsidence of the earth during the absorption of water should be sprinkled with an additional layer of earth or mulched.
Practice shows that both methods have a right to exist, so everyone can decide for himself which of the possible methods he prefers to choose for himself.
The root formation process begins 3–6 weeks after the cuttings are planted in the ground. First of all, a growth of new cells (the so-called callus) is formed on the very bottom of the shoot, and then the first roots appear from it. These processes are not visible to the gardener, but when the bud remaining on the surface of the cuttings finally starts to grow, we can conclude that rooting is successful.
Rules for caring for trees after rooting
Rooting a wood cuttings - the process is complicated mainly by the fact that a shoot devoid of roots needs warmth and very high soil moisture to start root formation, because the plant does not yet have a special organ that can extract water from the ground. To ensure a stable microclimate, sweet cherry cuttings for this reason are best grown in closed greenhouses, gradually opening them as root formation. If this is not possible, over the area where the cuttings were planted, it is still better to install a mini-greenhouse, having buried an arch frame made of any flexible material in the ground and covered with a film. If the seedlings are not ensured during the first few weeks, maintaining a stable temperature in the range of + 20 ... + 27 ° C both day and night, cuttings with a maximum probability will not take root.
Equally important is to constantly water the plantingwhile avoiding waterlogging of the soil, otherwise the lower part of the cuttings will begin to rot and the root formation process will not start. Fungal infections affect young cherry seedlings also after the average daily temperature begins to gradually decrease, which is why the balance of heat and soil moisture needs to be maintained and one parameter adjusted as the other changes.
So that the seedlings do not dry out, From time to time they also need to be sprayed, and for watering and for sprinkling, only soft and slightly warmed water should be used. For the winter, the cuttings that have begun to take root must be carefully covered with a thick layer of peat or a foliage, and after the snow falls, build a high snowdrift on the site and make sure that it is not covered with an ice crust.In the spring, so that the awakened seedlings do not die from hypothermia, the earth within the near-stem circle should be tamped, water the planting with warm water and again tightly mulched.
Those specimens that survived their first winter also need to be fed. Over the next season, it is recommended that superphosphate be added to the soil 2-3 times at the rate of 2.2 g of the drug per 1 sq. Km. m of land, be sure to water the soil before this. The rest of the care for one-year-old seedlings involves regular watering and careful shelter for the winter, and the next spring, if the tree does not die, it can already be transplanted to a permanent place and wait for the flowering to begin (however, you should not rush to get the first crop, buds that have appeared it is better to remove, this will increase the vitality of the cherries and become the key to good fruiting in the future). Well-rooted cherries can be transplanted in the fall, a year after the start of the grafting process.
Propagation features by green cuttings
As already noted rooting of sweet cherry cuttings - A painstaking and unreliable way of propagating a tree. However, the likelihood of success can be significantly increased by using a special method of cuttings, familiar to many lovers of indoor plants as propagation by air layers.
The essence of the idea is that when isolating a shoot fragment, in this part, stem cells are transformed into callus cells or, in simple terms, root cells.
For the formation of layering, it is best to choose the green cuttings of the growth of the current year.having 3-4 young leaves. Without separating the shoot from the tree, its lower part (under the third bud) is wrapped with a dark film or insulating tape so that the thickness of the “dressing” is at least 4 cm. After about 10 days, the shoot is cut off at the lower edge of the film and, having removed the winding, immediately without treatment with growth stimulants, the stalk is planted in the ground as described above.
The rooting of previously “bleached” (the scientific term is etiolated) green shoots is 30% more successful than using ordinary wood cuttings.
It is necessary, however, to say that in this way it is possible to root woody cuttings, but in this case, before the winding, the shoot section must first be carefully removed from the bark. Moreover, if you put a layer of earth under a dark film, covered with a well-moistened cloth on top, and then tightly tie the resulting “bag” on top and bottom, then after removing the bandage on the branch, it will already be possible to detect the rudiments of the root system. It is clear that the probability of rooting in this case increases by an order of magnitude.
Did you know? It is interesting that such an unusual method of tree propagation as the formation of the soil cover directly on a branch was invented by the Chinese, and this happened more than four thousand years ago. Therefore, this method is still often called the Chinese layering, however, in Europe it is used mainly on the vine.