Bonsai Explained: How to make bonsai cuttings

Now i’m going to talk today about making cuttings, it may seem a simple subject, but it still confuses people a lot and not everyone is very successful with cuttings. Let me show you uh a few cuttings, but before i do that, what prompted me to do it was because this morning i did a youtube.

No, i didn’t do any youtube. I did a one-to-one workshop with a customer working on a huge hinoki, cypress chemistries obtuser. These were the branches that i cut off that tree. It was a big tree and by the way i really uh kicked myself for not showing the video because it turned out to be such an interesting tree with a lot of intricate and complicated decisions.

But the outcome was all this was being thrown away in the rubbish sheep, so i rescued it and i’m going to show you what i do with this, because this is ideal cutting material. Also i went to wizzily yesterday and when i went to wesley i did some trimming and i did some trimming of a mulberry tree that i have at wisley so rather than throw it away, i brought these back, so i’m going to make cuttings with mulberry, and This is a tree that has beautiful red fruit, so i want to propagate this variety.

So what are cuttings cuttings are stem to vegetative propagation. As many of you know, you can grow bonsai from seeds and cuttings and nursery plants. Growing from seed is possible because we produce all our maples from seed.

Quite a few other things we produce from seed, but cuttings are slightly faster than growing from seed. To show you how easy certain subjects are to make cuttings, let me show you these plants. This is a ficus character, edible fig.

These cuttings were made last year exactly a year ago, and i’ve already got a plot that big it was made from these bonsai that we have – and i was about to prune this tree, but i said to myself rather than just prune it i’m going to show You viewers what i do with it, so this tree has gone a bit out of shape, so i need to prune it so i usually prune it back to about here.

I think all the others are okay. Now, even these little shoots, i’m going to prune back to there all these little shoots, even that can make a cutting so they’re not being wasted, but they’re going to be used for making cuttings okay.

So using that one, you can see how interesting these plants are. You see these are the miniature fruit. The fruit will be born on that, so that is all going to be used for cutting material. This is you notice, cyprus.

Now i will show you some examples of the cuttings that i did a couple of years ago. As i said to you, some cuttings are easy to make. Others are not. This is juniper etoygawa. This cutting was made last year and it’s already formed a lot of root.

Junipers are slow to grow. Look at the root of that. So in one year it’s formed all that root, so my cutting so i’ve potted them up. This is a two year old cutting, and this also will have a lot of root in it.

I can feel it it’s quite tight. Look at it two-year-old cutting this is a five-year-old cutting again chinese juniper cutting and i’ve potted it on into a bigger tree. This is a ficus all the ficuses ficus family are very easy to propagate this one i think was made maybe a couple of years ago, and we use quite a thick stem.

So already we have a tree which has a thick stem and it can all almost be ready to shape into a bonsoir. While i’m talking about cuttings, let me show you some more. Certain species are easier to strike than others.

Forsythia, as you know, is very easy to propagate, so these are forsythia cuttings that i put into this flower pot back in early april, i was pruning my forsythia after they flood. Many of you will remember.

I have a huge forsythia with a trunk which is about 18 inches in diameter and the cuttings which i prune off. I just stuck in and i did an experiment. I use a bit of akadama soil here to make the cuttings and look at how prolific they are they’ve all rooted 100 percent success.

That means every cutting are stuck in the soil made root. So this is the result of it. Look at that. That’S one stem. That’S another stem every plant, even that one they’ve all made roots, so i’m going to put them into individual pots because that’s the next stage after they root you put them into separate pots there you are, all of them have struck roots.

So this is foresight here. So i said to you: some are easier than others, so this was using kanuma and a mixture of kanuma and akadama salt, just as an experiment. Now this one in case you don’t know the varieties, viewers who live in the tropics and especially those who live in india, will recognize this tree.

This is a people tree or bodhi tree with the long tail, and this is supposedly the tree under which buddha sat when he gained enlightenment and this particular cutting was made from a tree that was made from a cutting about 30 years ago.

The original tree i do not own, but the original tree was kept at our nursery, maybe about five ten years ago and the owner kept it here because he wanted me to revive it and take care of it, and i pruned the ends off like i pruned The figs and i made a cutting from it, so this is a very famous famous tree.

This poor gentleman has passed away, but he was a very dear friend of mine and he got the cutting when he visited india in bhudgar he’s a practicing buddhist and by the way, this gentleman is such a interesting man.

He is a jewish immigrant to canada, lived in uk most of his life, and not only that, although he is of jewish ethnicity, he is a practicing buddhist. So he gave me this plant and i made cuttings from it, so i will always treasure this plant being a tropical plant.

It doesn’t stand the cold, so i have to protect it in our greenhouses, but it doesn’t grow so well in the uk because it is really a native of the tropics. So much for the introduction. Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and show you how cuttings are made? Okay, what do we do about preparation? There are many ways you can put these cuttings.

You can either grow them in ordinary seed trays, but i’ve got for you here. A variety of sea trees: this is a standard sea tree that you can buy. It’S only about inch and a half or inch and a quarter deep, typical sea tree.

This is almost similar, but black in color, but i prefer not to use these seed trees for a very simple reason. I do not like to make cuttings in shallow seed trees. You need to make the seed trays in trays which are as deep as possible, and i use either these green seed trays, which are much deeper.

You can see the difference in the depth much deeper or better. Still, these are our commercial carrying trays. I also use them as seed trays. They have a lot of drainage. You see that beautiful drainage, you don’t want the water also.

This has good drainage, and i prefer to use this because it is deep. The reason why i like deep sea trees is because the deeper the tray, the more heat it generates and the less quickly will the soil dry out.

Does it make sense? If you have a shallow tray, it dries very quickly, deep tray. It doesn’t dry out and i will show you when we insert the cutting. We insert it as deep as possible. Other things you can use are flower pots like this.

You saw the foresight here. We use the flower pot to root them in so flower pots can also be used, but use them as deep containers rather than shallow containers. So what do we fill as a rooting medium? After all, it’s only routine mediums and i prefer to use just only compost in the days when we used peat.

Now peat is a dirty word in horticulture these days nobody uses pita anymore, but there is compost that you can use. This is only garden compost that you can buy and i think it’s a mixture of bark and composted leaf material, so anything free drinking.

You can add sand to it as well, because sand is very good but there’s no need to outside. I prefer to use just the teeth on its own: i’m not going to advertise your brand because you can use any type of compost, so fill the tray full to the top as deep as possible.

I know that for most of the amateurs they probably will not be able to put too many trays around the house or in the garden i have a greenhouse, so i don’t mind i can put them there, but because we propagate so many cuttings, we do them In these large trays, i will fill it to the top, as i said, because i want the full depth.

Okay, it’s filled to the brim, the top i’m not compressing at all, because i like to keep it fairly loose. Unfortunately, a lot of these proprietary compost these days have got sticks in it. Try to get the sticks out if you can add sharp, tilde sand.

That also helps someone also asked me: can you use sphagnum moss? Yes, if you can afford to buy sphagnum moss, sphagnum moss can also be used. So this is pragmas. You can make cuttings in sprague numbers, but i prefer to keep it for my airlines.

So that is how you prepare the seed tray now when it comes to making the cutting itself always cut below the node, that is called the node below the node, that’s where the roots will come from, and i tried to remove as many leaves as possible.

Now, supposing i was going to make a cutting with this, i will remove. The bottom leaves remove. The bottom leaves remove this one and possibly only half of this. The reason why i removed the leaves is because, if you leave the leaves on the leaves act as like an umbrella, a piece of cloth which will lose moisture.

So you don’t want it to lose moisture because that will dry the cutting out. So the less surface area you have the better, but you need to keep some leaves because that generates the root action and stimulates growth.

So this one for instance, the leaf is too big i’ll cut it in half, but i’ll leave. Some of the leaves that’s another. Cutting below the node, so i remove that and remove that that is sufficient. So i’ve got here three thick cuttings and you can always help it by putting hormone rooting powder.

I don’t know if you can get this. This is a commercial hormone rooting powder and, if i read out what the thing contains it says are ready for use rooting powder containing 0.25 percent of indolyle butyric acid iba.

That’S the active ingredient gradient of all the hormone rooting powders. You don’t have to use your hormone rooting powder, but it certainly helps and speeds up the process, so you dip the ends in hormone rooting powder and insert it as deep as possible.

So if you insert it as slant, you get maximum contact, don’t just insert it at the top. Like that, the deeper you insert it the better. It is because it keeps it warm and it has more surface area to contact with the soil, so just keep the top porking out like that.

Now these are the hinoki cypress that i’ve got now. How do i make cuttings from that? I have explained before with naples and other deciduous plants, how you do nodal, cutting and heel cutting, but with evergreens junipers and hinoki cyprus, for instance.

I prefer to use what are known as heel cuttings. Let me explain to you what a heel cutting looks like now. That’S a fork in the branch, and if i tear this apart, you see how thick the cutting is, that is as thick as a matchstick.

That’S the best way to describe it as thick as a matchstick that is ideal, don’t be tempted to try and make a cutting with something as thick as it that’s thicker than a pencil. You can’t be too greedy.

If you use a thick cutting, it will not work. It’S too old. The wood, if you tear it from there, that’s a heel, cutting that would work, because that is like a toothpick or a matchstick tick, so that is called the heel.

That’S why it’s called a heel. You clean up the heel clean the lower foliage cut the top so that it doesn’t transpire so much that that is ideal. Cutting. Now i was showing you earlier. I pulled out a piece there now that one is forked over there.

So if i pull it apart, that makes a heel cutting you see, that’s what we call the heel, but you got to clean the heel by cutting it back there and that one you cut back there and you clean the bottom of the stem, because that’s going To be inserted in the soil, clean the bottom of the stem and take the growing tip out, so you don’t want to lose too much moisture, but you still stimulate the growth.

So so that’s another you’re cutting there clean that now we’ve got to stick this in the soil now another solid hormone, routine powder and then insert that at a slot, not straight at the slant like so about an inch apart, and that would be a perfect heel.

Cutting how long does it take to loot if you do it well, certain species are quicker than others. Ficus, for instance, will root in maybe three weeks. Hinoki cyprus may root in two to three months, so different species behave differently.

Different species also behave differently in the sense that some are more difficult to root than others. I find that juniper roots quite easily different types of juniper root. Easily pines will never root see.

Now this is as big as a cutter. You want no bigger than that. That’S getting on the big side, in fact, if it was me, i would try and cut it there and make a root cutting here cutting from there. So the thinner, the cutting the better, but i may try this.

It might work i’ll leave a little bit of foliage there and see if it works, add a slant, add a slant and a slant like that. So that is how i make the cutting now what i do with the mulberries. Now, let me show you with the mulberry.

This is a broad leaf tree. Now i can make a heel cutting if you can see what i’m going to do come close see at the junction there i’m not tearing it, but i know that that would be a junction so clean the bottom of the leaves.

Now i can get two cuttings from this. I can stop the tree up to here and get a cutting that long, so the bottom part will make one cutting, but if i make a nodal cutting, this is what we call a node, a leaf node just cut b below that, so that this is a Nodal cutting this is a heel, cutting again stick it into the hormone rooting powder, and that is a cutting.

You see that i’ve mixed it with different species. I usually prefer to keep the same species together because they root at different rates and that’s how we do it. So i hope this repetition of making cuttings, because i’ve talked about it before, will encourage you to make your own cuttings and you will find it is really exciting when they find the the roots going into the soil coming through the bottom of the pot.

And you can see new growth and you get a new plant, so this is how we produce our cuttings. So don’t throw away material like this, but try it. Certain species like pines pines are very difficult to earlier, but this hill is quite easy.

So have a go and you will have a lot of fun: [, Music, ]. You

You May Also Like

About the Author: James

- -