The successful growing of cuttings of woody trees and shrubs in the open ground is much varied by climatic conditions. In the moister air and warmer soil of the Southern States and in south Europe certain varieties of the apple, pear, plum, and cherry are readily propagated from cuttings of the one-year-old wood. In the island of Chiloe, near the west coast of Patagonia, orchards are started, we are told by Humboldt, by planting large bearing-limbs. The moist air and soil retain the life and moisture of the limbs until roots are developed for their support. In the drier air of the Northern States, especially west of the Great Lakes, the number of varieties and species that can be propagated in the open soil and air is much lessened.

57. When and How to Prepare Cuttings

As the leaves of varieties and species reach in succession the ripening stage they are stripped and the cuttings made if wanted for immediate planting. But the leaves should be so mature that they are ready to part readily in stripping. If wanted for wintering in the cellar or solar hot-bed, or for spring planting, it is better to prepare the cuttings when fully ripened and the leaves have fallen. The recommendation to cut and plant as early as possible in the fall is given, as it has been found that many species will emit roots before winter sets in, as shown in Fig. 25.

Cutting rooted in the fall

Fig. 25. - Cutting rooted in the fall.

It is usual to make all ripe wood-cuttings about eight inches long, cutting quite close to a bud at the lower end and half an inch or more from a bud at the top. Cuttings of the willow and some other species will emit roots at almost any point on the bark, but the rule is that most of our cultivated woody plants root with greatest certainty at the base of a bud. This is specially true of pithy plants like the elder, whicli are filled at the nodes with starchy cells. In preparing cuttings of the grape and other species with varying space between the nodes the length of cuttings cannot well be uniform. The usual grape-cutting has three eyes, as shown in Fig. 26. But the internodes are often longer, when only two buds are used.

 Properly cut grape cutting

Fig. 26. - Properly cut grape-cutting.