Friday, April 21, 2017

CA Coastal Live Oak Cuttings, or Driving down the one o one


What is your favorite part of spring? For me, it's softwood cuttings. I am by no means a cuttings master,  but I have had my share of experience. I have made cuttings throughout the year regardless of the season and the ripeness of the branch. Most cuttings grew a few did not. The failure was not related to species. Usually, what happened os that I would prune a plant. Then I would try to root the cuttings. Most would make it but some would not. Yet, I would never have a 100 percent failure. I attribute this to the very mild climate.

I want to try California Live Oak softwood cuttings. I think that it will be successful. Here in southern California, we had lots of rain this winter. The Oaks have pushed out lots of new growth. I have access to many Live oaks so I can take a few cuttings from each and try my luck.




These branches are new and have not lignified. The branches are very flexible. The leaves have hardened though. I am going to take as much of the branch as possible. I am not going to cut any branch smaller than five inches.


For the planting medium, I am mixing vermiculite and perlite in a ratio of 1:1. I am using a taller pot so that I can bury the ends of the cuttings about three inches.



This is what the cuttings look like. It has too many leaves for it to survive. The leaves would cause all the cutting to lose too much moisture through perspiration.


I removed the growing tip and all of the leaves except for the top two. The top two just underneath where I cut the tip off.



Just before I put them in the pot I shaved an eighth of an inch from the bottom of the cutting. I did do it twice per cutting on opposite sites. Then I added rooting hormone and planted the cuttings and watered.

California coastal live oak softwood cutting


Even if they fail I'll be able to try in the winter one more time.

I am hoping for the best. I am trailblazing (That means I did not find any info on the web). Updates sure to follow. Cheers.

Update 05/01/2017:

it was a fail.