Rooting Ash Tree Cutting

auri(9)July 26, 2014

I cut a mini tree like piece from an ash tree, it was growing from the bark from the mother plant a couple inches from the ground. There's a name for this type of growth, but I can't remember. Am fairly new to growing & plants.

Made a 90 degree cut, applied rooting hormone, and placed in a 50% sand 50% perlite mix. At first it was covered with a bag & let breathe a couple hours daily. Then I thought the soil may be staying too wet & I noticed an dank smell. For about a week now the back has been off, and I moved it outside to a shady area of the patio for best light. It may have dried out too much, and there are no roots growing yet. It has been almost 1.5 months. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right : )

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what did google tell you???

is it even possible...???? or i should say.. are the odds of success probable??? .. i am sure one in a million will root.. so it would be possible ...


ps: it should have stayed in the bag for months ... a mini greenhouse.. to maintain tissue moisture .. until it may have rooted ...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:10PM
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I actually cut it first, and once I was home I googled the information. if you search "root ash tree cuttings" there are many sites that make it sound so easy, but im guessing I made some mistakes along the way bc it's of course not rooted yet.

The bag for 1, I was worried that mold could cause the plant damage oops. Do you think it's too late to replace it & have success later with more humidity?

Since the cutting is so long, and thankfully still green in color. . . should I remove an inch or so off the bottom to start a fresh cut?

I'm wondering would roots grow from the bottom, like the end of a flower, or would it root from one of those brown knobs that are burried beneath the soil? Should any of the brown knobs be broken off to stimulate growth?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:42PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Dirr's Propagation Book shows no Ash species propagated from cuttings rather shows all propgation of clonal trees via grafting; otherwise ash are grown from seed which will produce different offspring than clonal propagation.

As Ken suggested the odds of rooting an Ash are going to be in the 1:1000 or 1:10000 categories or possibly in the millions.

If you want a vegetative clone, it's going to have to be grafted.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:37PM
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@gardener365 Thanks Dax. I'm not really set that it has to look like the parent plant, not a big deal. Im more experimenting with growing fun trees for my patio or front door area. Although the leaves that were present looked identical to the mother, if that makes any difference. They fell off a few days after the piece was cut though.

I googled "propogate ash tree" and heres one article I remember reading at the start. Theres many others. How do these folks succeed, is it a green thumb & good patience? *bah* it seems like my plant projects dont turn out that great.

Here is a link that might be useful: - 3 Ways to Propogate Ash Tree

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:34PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

That article is vague to anyone w/o a fair amount of knowledge. It suggests taking suckers and potting them... which to me suggests the sucker is sliced away from the parent tree with roots attached and potted up. Then the article states "adding a rooting hormone" could help grow more roots, possibly so, however roots are already there and for me it would be a simple balancing game of how much of the sucker height to keep, including buds, for the amount of roots present. That article is poorly written.

The other half of the story is if the source tree was a grafted tree and a sucker was used for propagation... you'd end up with two differing trees. A grafted tree is: the borrowing of another trees "roots" to produce a clone of a desirable tree. So any suckers that arise are of the borrowed root system.

I'd forget completely about any attempt to root an ash, auri.

Best regards,


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:57AM
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@gardener365 I'm understanding a lot better now how a piece could be properly cut. The tree is not close by, and that was the only growth (or sucker possibly?) its well maintained. It was a spur of the moment adventure thats winding down now : )

I will cut the bottom, replace the bag, and leave it in the same spot & keep the soil moist. It's not really in my way, so I guess it wouldn't hurt. I'll post if it develops any roots.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:14PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Why will you cut the bottom? I doubt it will root anyway but if you cut off the bottom it will have to start all over again. Ash grows easily from seed so if you really want one you could wait for Autumn and start some seeds.

"How do these folks succeed, is it a green thumb & good patience? *bah* it seems like my plant projects don't turn out that great." Take heart. There is no such thing as a green thumb. people who grow stuff successfully can do it because have done a lot of reading, listening and observation. And they've practised. There is no innate magical ability.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:24PM
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Are you aware of emerald ash borer, and it is an issue (or likely to become one) in your area, and for whatever species of ash tree you are trying to propagate?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:14PM
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what floral said...some folks talk about *my* green thumb - but if they knew of all my failures, and how many hundreds of plants/trees I've killed...well...they likely wouldn't have that same feeling of awe or envy...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:18PM
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