The cuttings are kept moist until planted. In fall-planting of cuttings of hardy trees and shrubs it is found best to plant on a shouldered trench, as shown at Fig. 15. In filling in, when the earth is not too moist, the most successful propagators use a pounder, pressing the dirt tightly on the cuttings at the base, filling above with mellow earth.
Prior to severe freezing the line of the nursery rows is covered with coarse manure, half-rotted straw, or other litter not liable to blow off, to prevent heaving out by frost as spring approaches at the North, and to prevent baking and too rapid evaporation at the South. In early spring the mulching is removed, and as the buds begin to start the surface should be raked with a pronged hoe to prevent hardening and baking.
With many of our shrubs and trees considerable time is essential to prepare cuttings for rooting. When planted in the fall the process of callusing and final rooting goes on at a lower temperature than leaves or bud-starting require. Some species, such as the currant and willow, will grow readily from cuttings planted in the spring, but even these will make far more growth the next season if planted in the fall. Long experience has shown that best results would follow if all woody cuttings could be planted in the fall. But in practice it is found that in a few cases the buried buds decay when set deep in fall-planting. The treatment of this class is given in succeeding section.