I’ve been a bit obsessed with cloning Fruit trees this winter, and I’ve tried many, many methods. Just before trying the method shown in the picture, I tried the exact same setup, with paper cups. The result was gross…. Mold grew all over the cups, and eventually killed the clippings. So, I’m trying it again, with steril plastic cups, and a small scale steril greenhouse of sorts. I’m using a brand new plastic shoebox that has been washed out with soap and hot water. The lid of the shoebox is my base, and I’m using the transparent portion to shield the fragile plants from mold spores, and other dangers that might be lurking in the air. I’m treating the whole setup as if it is a microchip in a clean room.
These are all pear clones except the cup with a small piece of blue styrofoam on it. That plant is a plum tree.
So here is the process that I have used to get this far:
1.) I start by pruning the undesired portion of fruit trees. There are many videos on youtube about this.
2.) I “plant” the clippings in Miracle Grow Potting soil, which is compacted around the base of the plants. Then, I take the pot of soil, and the clipping, and place it into about an inch of water.
3.) The clippings buds will open, and begin to grow. Most of the buds will open up around the same time, but I’ve given them a few weeks of time to grow. When one of the buds leaves begin to die, or dry up, I take a very sharp knife, and cut off the small green shoots, taking care to leave about a 1/16 to an 1/8 inch of brown bark on the base. I then dipped this bark portion in water, and then into some heavy duty rooting hormone.
4.) Finally I place the cutting into the plastic cup filled with some Miracle Grow and Peat Moss.
5.) Pour enough water into the plastic cup to keep the plant from drying out.
6.) Cover the plants to keep out…. anything bad. I’m not sure what is killing my previous attempts, but covering them shouldn’t hurt.
If this doesn’t work, maybe I’ll find some root stock, and start grafting trees instead.
Edit: 4/6/10 This attempt did not work, although the trees lived longer with this method. I think this could work if some steps are added, such as a mister or tempurature controlled enviroment.