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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Sciadopitys verticillata, Conifers--Propagation

How can I propagate a Japanese umbrella pine?


Peter Thompson's book, Creative Propagation (Timber Press, 2nd ed., 2005), states that Sciadopitys verticillata can be propagated by seed or by cuttings (the latter method in autumn, early winter, or early spring). Seeds will grow into the form inherited from the parent trees; cuttings vary. On page 153 of his book, Thompson says that the cuttings can be taken from almost any part of the plant, but he recommends using cuttings from the leader shoot in order to get a symmetrical tree with an upright leader.

There is information on propagation which comes from the USDA Forest Service National Seed Lab's profile of Sciadopitys verticillata (no longer available online). Here is an excerpt:

"The seeds should be sown in the fall or stratified for sowing in the spring. Umbrella-pine is not easy to grow and is extremely slow-growing when propagated from seed (Halladin 1991). It has a tendency to form several leaders. Field planting has been done with 3+2 and 4+2 stock (Dallimore and Jackson 1967). Umbrella-pine can also be propagated by layers or by cuttings of half-ripened wood in summer (Bailey 1939). A nursery in Oregon propagates solely by cuttings because of faster results; Halladin (1991) describes the technique in detail."

Date 2017-09-27
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Taxus baccata, Vegetative propagation, Conifers--Propagation

I planted a Taxus baccata fastigiata roughly 10 years ago and it grew to about 1.5m. Unfortunately it was cut down by mistake. Is there any way I could take a cutting from the tree or some way to preserve any part of it, as it holds great sentimental value.


According to The Complete Book of Plant Propagation, edited by Charles Heuser (Newtown, CT: Taunton Press, 1997), your yew can be propagated by cuttings, but it is recommended that the cuttings be taken in fall. It's worth a try to take some now, though, since the tree is already cut. You want upward-growing, semi-ripe cuttings (that is, there should be some bark at the base and some green stem at the tip), and they should be pulled off with a downward motion so that you get a "heel" of bark from the main shoot. Treat them with rooting hormone and place in a pot somewhere where it can remain cool and moist for several months. Take plenty of cuttings to increase your chance that at least one will survive.

American Horticultural Society's Plant Propagation, edited by Alan Toogood (New York: DK Publishing, 1999), has more specific suggestions. They suggest a 4-6 inch cutting from 1-3 year old wood that is still green at the base.

If your yew made seeds, you might try planting them, but it takes a long time for them to germinate and grow from seed. To grow from seed, the AHS Plant Propagation recommends mixing the seeds with damp peat or sand and keeping them at about 68 degrees for 4-6 months, then at 34 degrees for 1 month before planting. If the seeds germinate in late summer, though, they won't be ready to winter outdoors that year. For this reason, the AHS also suggests simply sowing the seeds outdoors and waiting for germination in 1-2 years. If you do this, be careful not to lose your sown seeds while waiting for them to grow!

Date 2017-08-08
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August 01 2017 12:36:01