From mid-autumn to mid-winter is the perfect time to take hardwood cuttings. It’s a great time to take material that we missed out on in the summer months. This technique is used for deciduous trees, shrubs and, we like to use this method for the propagation of Cornus, Philadelphus, Lonicera, Forsythia and Viburnum.
Here’s how we do it: We pick a strong piece of the current years growth, cut the stem into 15-30cm lengths making sure that at the bottom of the stem you cut straight under a node and at the top of the cutting you cut above the node on a slant. The slant has two purposes, one is to signify the top of the cutting and the other is to help rain drop off the top of the cutting to help prevent rot.
Once you have prepared your cutting, it needs to go into a mix of 50% propagation compost and 50% grit. Or, you can put your hardwood cutting into a trench in a prepared piece of open ground. once you have done these actions, you will need to water your cuttings and if in a pot, place in a sunny sheltered position, like a coldframe, and leave both types of cuttings until the following autumn.
The most important thing is to not let the cuttings dry-out during this time. When rooted in autumn, your cuttings can be potted on or left in the trench to bulk out and be moved at a later date to the desired area.
Charlene Chick – Propagator