Propagating dogwoods/Cornus from waste pruning

Well my job this week is pruning back the types of Cornus/dogwoods the delight us all winter with their stunning stem colours. Of course, one the delights from Cornus is that they tend to root petty easy from their stems just touching the ground. This trait means they are pretty easy to propagate from hard wood cuttings. Unlike most hard wood cuttings, an ideal time to to take these hardwood cuttings is just after you have pruned them, some of this waste material makes great cutting material and I have put together an easy step by step guide on how to do it

First of all choose your woody material, I prefer something that is about a year old, pencil thickness and straight. That’s not too say something thinner or thicker doesn’t work, it’s just I have found this size produces more plants

Then I make a cut at the bottom near a set of buds, a square cut us is fine but an angled one maybe better for the last stage

I like to have at least 4 sets of buds on each cutting, so I trim it down to just above the 4th bud and if the material is long enough, I sometimes can get a couple out of it

Next stage is to push the cutting into the ground, this is why an angled cut maybe easier to do. The ground doesn’t need to be too loose and can be even next to the dogwood you have just pruned down.

I push this stem down until it’s half between the 2nd and 3rd bud as per picture above, this leaves 2 buds under the soil and these buds are the areas the roots will grow from

A completed row, they don’t need to be in a row, can be done randomly around the area you require them but they are so easy to do and make such a great use of wood that would be burned or shredded. I would now leave these for a few months and when they are growing away strongly you know they have taken. Sometimes leaves break out and then die, this is the plant using up the stored water and then sadly dying afterwards. This also works with any Salix or willow with coloured stems

Good luck and I hope you get loads of free plants

7 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    I just spend the past three weeks removing thickets of our native red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera, not Cornus sanguineum)! What a mess! We pruned back and left the original plants, but pulled up loads of layered plants! One of the guy we work with took many of them tohis home garden. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted. I think that I will be pulling up the same plants AGAIN next year!
    I think it would be nice to build a fence of them stuck as cuttings and then woven as they grow. however, it would take a lot of maintenance as it grew.

  2. Sophie says:

    That’s so easy! Thanks for this Thomas. I’m going to try this.

    1. thomashort says:

      Good luck and I hope they grow away well

  3. Ann Smreciu says:

    I teach a course on revegetation of disturbed sites and am looking for pics of hardwood cuttings, any chance I could use some of your pics of dogwood cuttings (I of course would attribute them to you). If you send me your email I can give you more information.

    1. thomashort says:

      Hi Ann
      Yes by all means it’s

  4. CAS says:

    Would this work simmilarly well in a pot?

    1. thomashort says:

      Yes it would work really well in a pot, I would use a long Tom pot and a mix of hort sand and john innes no1 in about 70/30 ratio

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