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  • OT Apple cuttings?

    Since it's February, it's time to give the old apple trees in my back yard a haircut. They've not been cared for many years and the branches are thick and unruly.

    So I have the question: Can you root cutting from apple trees the way you can root fig cuttings?

    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

  • #2
    I have heard of crabapple cuttings rooting, but I am not sure about apples. Even with the crabapples a strongly concentrated rooting hormone was needed.


    • #3
      It's possible but not likely. You'll also wind up with standard size trees.
      SE PA
      Zone 6


      • #4
        OK, thanks. The fruit from these trees haven't been anything special, but since I will have so much wood from the pruning I didn't know if there was anything could be done with it other than let the bunny munch on it.
        Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep


        • #5
          Bryant I was wondering the same thing last year and here is what I discovered.. If an apple tree is the type that makes burr knots then you can root the cuttings, but only if the wood you have taken for the cutting is growing directly out of a Burr knot! I did it successfully this past summer I was very excited about this until I realized that most apple trees are grown from scion wood that was grafted onto a particular type of rootstock that is more likely to thrive and resist "invaders" of many types.. It can be done though!

          Oh here is another trick I learned that works on even non-burr knot types many times. In the month of August, go through your apple orchard and gently bend down young branches until they slightly break but leave them attached so they can callous (the quick upward growing water shoots are great for this). Now walk away from them until Oct/Nov time frame. Go back after the leaves have dropped and carefully remove the half broken branch and stick it in a pot of dirt.. Leave it in a cool but not freezing place and it will grow roots by spring! This was really fun & it works! Just don't forget to mark the branches with some flagging tape or you'll never find them in the fall when you go back Yep, been there, done that.. Lol
          My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

          Cuttings Available 2022:


          • #6
            Thanks, Jamie! I'll check to see if there are any burr knots on the trees when I get home.
            Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep


            • #7
              I hear the wood is good for a BBQ--it adds extra flavor to the meat.


              • #8
                Great for the smoker.
                Garden Pics


                • #9
                  Hey Apple and fig lovers,

                  Old Southern apples or old strains of apples are my passion. Figs come second. I am really enjoying this thread. Burr knots are prone to appear on certain root stock. I have a few ugly specimens in my orchard. Unfortunately most apple varieties do not duplicate themselves from seeds. Grafting, the ancient craft of attaching a chosen apple scion(cutting) from new growth to older limbs or a root stock, duplicates an apple variety. Burr knots are found almost entirely on certain root stock - the common M9 root stock produces M9 limbs. Root pruning of apple trees is a new one on me. Apple trees are funny about being messed with, such as transplanting. Burr knots are the root stock tree's attempt to make more roots.

                  This is my "two cents" I hope I added to the discussion. Forums are great for learning. Below is one of the best sources I found online, in the past, that helped me understand burr knots.

                  Peace in the garden,


                  • DBJohnson
                    DBJohnson commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks, Bill! We're practically neighbors! These two trees were here when we bought the place last year. I have no idea what variety they are (other than small to medium green...and they don't taste like Granny Smith). Will post pics after they bloom and start bearing fruit.

                    Check your PM's in a bit...I'll message you some questions I have about apple trees.

                • #10
                  Curiousty is getting the best of me. Jamie got me wondering if the knobs on some limbs is the same as a burr knot. So I went snooping on the internet and found a new page about burr knots.
                  Limb knobs are often woolly aphid or damage caused, plus humidity,etc. Burr knots have not formed on any limbs of my 40+ trees - just on some root stock. Good to know that weakened limbs can form burr knots, too.

                  I always wondered about the knobby growths on the apple trees and have since discovered that there are a couple of things that can cause them. To learn more about what these are, this article will help with information about apple tree burr knots.

                  Thanks everyone for peer class 101.


                  • Jamie0507
                    Jamie0507 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi Bill Glad to have a passionate grower of apples here too! Okay so I know very little about apple trees, and I'm actually pretty new to figs as well but lets just say I got hit pretty hard with the need to grow just about any fruit tree I could get my hands on last summer (but growing fig trees has really taken the cake! Lol) Anyways, my parents bought a home here in pa a few years back that had a small orchard of about 30 trees.. I became very interested in them afterwards, especially after my dad butchered.. Umm I mean pruned them all really hard lol one year. Last summer I started searching for ways to root apple cuttings and found a video on youtube that talked about it working only from trees with burr knots on the limbs.. Now my dad has not maintained his orchard well at all (lack of know how), so maybe that's why he had plenty of trees with burr knots all over the limbs.. Anyhow it sure as heck did work though! I've got one rooted in my garage right now.. It may not grow well, but I just have to try now that I rooted it.. Anyways, I'm glad you decided to say hello! Glad to have someone here who knows their apple trees πŸ˜‰πŸ‘

                • #11
                  Do you have a smoker?
                  Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                  β€œThough the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison


                  • #12
                    No smoker...yet.
                    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep