How to Grow a Walnut Tree From a Cutting

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Growing a walnut tree from a cutting is a reliable method of creating saplings from a healthy parent plant. Cutting propagation allows gardeners to create plants with desirable characteristics; a benefit of great value when it comes to growing walnut trees. Exceptional nut production and overall good health are traits greatly desired in walnut trees and cutting propagation ensures those traits are passed on to a new generation of trees. Growing walnut trees from cutting demands little effort, just attention to detail and patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
  • Plastic nursery pot, 1 gallon
  • Potting soil
  • Rooting hormone

Sanitize the blades of the pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Sterilizing the blades helps prevent bacteria from damaging the cutting.

Choose the appropriate type of vegetation for the cutting. Walnut cuttings must be taken from soft twigs no older than one year. The twig must be at least 10 inches in length with a diameter no greater than 5 centimeters. Look for cuttings with numerous leaf buds as they are indicative of health and the potential for vigorous growth.

Open the blades of the pruning shears around the base of the twig. Position the blades so they are flush against the main branch. Cut the twig. Leave a 3-centimeter-long tail of bark and cambium, the layer just underneath the bark, from the main branch attached to the end of the cutting.

Fill a 1-gallon nursery pot with soil. The soil must be sterile and high quality. Garden soil is not appropriate for rooting walnut trees as it may contain harmful bacteria, fungi and mold spores.

Poke a hole in the center of the soil corresponding to half the length of the cutting.

Coat the cut end of the cutting with rooting hormone. Insert the cutting into the potting soil and fill in the hole around it. Firm the soil lightly and moisten it.

Place the nursery pot in a cool yet protected outdoor area with good air circulation for approximately 20 days. Check the cutting for roots by gently wiggling it. If it does not easily move, it has most likely developed roots.

Move the rooted cutting to its permanent planting site after four months, or when it has set a healthy crop of leaves.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place a large, clear plastic bag over the cutting in areas with especially cold weather.
  • Wear gloves when handling garden chemicals such as rooting hormone.

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References

  • "The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture"; Michael A. Dirr; 2006
  • "American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual of Practical Techniques"; Alan Toogood; 1999
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