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Northern Plains Regional Reports

Propagating Native Trees and Shrubs Through Hardwood Cuttings

Multiply your garden staples easily with a few expert tips

There is a wide range of trees and shrubs growing in our natural landscape that can be propagated via hardwood cuttings. Here we have cuttings of redtwig dogwood, cottonwood, ninebark, peachleaf willow, and Rocky Mountain juniper. Photo: Chris Schlenker

In the heart of winter, gardening tasks can be somewhat few and far between; however, there are some tasks that can be accomplished during this otherwise dormant time of year. One of these is propagating native shrubs and trees through hardwood cuttings.

Hardwood cuttings are typically taken from older stems that are harvested during the dormant season. Shrubs such as redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea, Zones 3–8), trees such as cottonwood (Populus deltoides, Zones 2–9), and evergreens such as Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum, Zones 3–7) can by propagated with high success using this method. While every propagator prefers a different method, the basics are the same. Cuttings are usually taken from two-year-0old wood and cut to a length of 6 inches or longer, with the terminal growing tip removed. This newer growth from within the past year needs to be removed because it has very little stored carbohydrates and will…

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