How to Start Apple Trees

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Apple trees can be started from seeds or from cuttings. Starting an apple tree from a seed means that your tree has an entire maturation process to go through and several years before it will begin producing apples. Also, since most apples are hybrids, the quality of your apples when grown from seeds will be problematic. Starting your tree from a cutting means that your tree will be further along in its development right from the start and will begin producing fruit more quickly. Also, a tree grown from a cutting will have the same qualities as the parent tree. In this article we will focus on starting your apple tree from a cutting.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple tree cuttings
  • Rooting compound
  • Vitamin B6
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Potting soil
  • Pot
  • Stick taller than cutting
  • Take several cuttings of new growth that are approximately 6 inches long, with a leaf growing just above the cut.

  • Remove leaves at the cut.

  • Dip the cut end of your cuttings into rooting compound powder available at any nursery and most home centers.

  • Push the cut end of the cutting into a pot filled with potting soil. If it is a large pot, several cuttings can be potted in the same pot.

  • Mix 1/2 cup of vitamin B6 into a gallon of water and water your newly-planted cuttings with the B6 mixture.

  • Shove a stick into the pot with your cuttings, making sure that the stick is taller than any of your cuttings. Drape plastic over your pot so that the stick you placed in the pot acts as a "tent pole," creating a simple greenhouse.

  • Put the pot in a warm and sunny area out of direct sunlight for 14 days, watering with plain water only enough to keep the potting soil moist. At the end of 14 days, carefully dig away the potting soil and look for roots on your cuttings.

  • Plant your rooted cuttings in individual pots filled with potting mix that has been dampened with the water and vitamin B6 mixture as described in Step 5. Cuttings should be kept warm (68 to 74 degrees F) in a sunny location, but direct sun should be limited as this can bake the tender roots.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try starting more than one cutting at a time because not all apple cuttings will grow.

References

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