Ways to propagate apple trees and other fruit trees


There are 4 general methods for creating apple trees and other fruit trees:


Apple trees and other fruit trees are naturally propagated by seeds. Seeds germinate and becomes new trees.


You can get bits of root to sprout and turn into new trees. One method people have used long before grafting was invented.


You can get branches to create roots and becomes new trees.


Grafting is the most widely used method of creating new fruit trees in our day.


1. Apple trees from seeds

Every apple variety is started from a seed. You can create your own apple variety by planting an apple seed. See more.

2. Apple trees from root cuttings

The Adam and Eve Seal, British Museum. 2200BC-2100BC
After examining material from various museums, I found that the motif on the seal above shows a small tree planted so that the top roots hang out over a pot. The roots thus get sunlight and form plant hormones that make sprouts possible.
I have tried the method successfully. Se more" The history of growing and propagating apple trees in ancient times in Mesopotamia".

The Sums have probably discovered that sunlight promotes the ability of root cuttings to germinate.
Inspired by the Sumerians, I have been experimenting with ways to make roots sprout.
Where the sunlight hits the tree, the plant hormone produces cytokinin, which is important for the tree's ability to sprout.

Apple root cuttings in glass with water
Æblerodstiklingerne plantes i potter
Apple root cuttings in glass with water
The apple root cuttings are planted in pots
In 2019 and again in 2020, I put pieces of root from rootstock in glass with water. Here they got a lot of sunlight and they sprouted willingly. Close to 100% sprouted.
An easy and safe way to form new rootstocks.
Rødder fra 10-15 år gammelt æbletræ
Mange spirer fra rødder lagt vandret.
Roots from 10-15 years old apple tree
Sprouts from roots laid horizontally
In 2020 I have tried to get roots from slightly older apple trees to germinate. I managed to germinate roots placed horizontally at the top of a pot.
The roots lay a little buried so that they could be kept moist by the potting soil, but so high that they could get sunlight.

3. Apple trees from rooting: Cuttings, layering, air layering.

Overskydende materiale fra grundstammer
It is difficult for apple cuttings to root, but if in the spring you stick the excess piece of the rootstocks into the soil, some will take root. In the years 2018, 2019 and 2020, Approx. 50% set roots.
It is an overweight of the plant hormone auxin, that can cause cuttings to set roots. Darkness prevents the formation of cytokinin. To create an overweight of auxin in branches that could be used as cuttings, I tried in 2019 to wrap black plastic around branches of M7 rootstocks in the spring.
Plastic is wrapped around a length of 25 cm and fastened with a clamp. By January, roots had formed on many of the branches
Plastic is wrapped around a length of 25 cm and fastened with a clamp.
By January, roots had formed on many of the branches
In 2020 I have made several attempts with black plastic. The plastic is put on in April. It is planned that the branches should be cut first in November and stuck into soil as cuttings.
If you cut a tree down to approx. 15 cm above the ground in springtime, it will create shots. Place a bucket without bottom and fill with soil. Next spring the shots will have created roots. That's the way I make rootstocks. See more.

Air layering (chinese Layering) of apple trees. - See more
Air layering (chinese Layering) of apple trees On a branch, on a pencil's thickness or thicker, the bark of 4 - 5 cm is removed. Auxin can't get any further down than to the top edge.
Air layering (chinese Layering) of apple trees
A plastic bag is pulled over. The plastic bag is tied together around the branch a distance below where the bark is removed.
It is filled with potting material in the bag, which is again tied tightly around the branch a little above where the bark is removed.
Air layering (chinese Layering) of apple trees After 8 - 10 weeks roots are formed and can be seen through the plastic bag.
See more about air layering

4. Apple trees from grafting: Grafting by approach, splice grafting, whip and tongue grafting, chip-budding.

Grafting by approach is an ancient method that probably was invented by the Sumerians 4000 years ago. A rootstock is placed so that the rootstock can be grafted on a branch of the mother tree. The branches are tied together as with normal grafting. After 3 months the new grafted tree can be cut free. This grafted tree is cherry.

Splise grafting are made in springtime. See more.

Whip and tongue grafting are made in springtime. See more.
Chip-budding is carried out in late summer while trees are still growing. See more.


Grafting of apple trees
Grafting of apple trees
step by step

About, apple trees from seed, apple tree varieties, chip budding, grafting, rootstocks, scions, T-budding