Cherry Tree – Taking a Cutting/Grafting/Rooting


We live in central Toronto and have a mature cherry tree that was planted many years ago in memory of our son. We will be moving to the Midland area in June and would like to take a cutting from this cherry tree to root so that we can still have the tree with us when we move. Can you tell me how to go about this?

Thank you.



Cherry tree can be propagated by stem cuttings or grafting.

Stem cutting

Stem cuttings refer to any stem that is cut to produce a new plant. This new plant will be identical to the “mother plant”. Cherry trees are usually semi-hardwood (summer or fall) or hardwood cuttings (during dormant season when wood is hard and mature).

Maybe your cherry tree is still dormant and I encourage you to try some stem cuttings.

When choosing material for cuttings make sure that it is healthy and vigorous. The cuttings should be 10 to 20 cm  (4 to 8 in.) long and have three to four nodes. Several cuttings can be taken from one long branch, however it is important to remember which is the base. If more than one cutting is taken from a branch, generally the basal cut, the butt end where the roots will develop, is made on a slant and the upper cut is made straight. The basal cut should be made just below a node. Rooting hormone is very useful on hardwood cuttings as they are generally a little more difficult, and often take longer, to root. Tie the cuttings into bundles and keep moist during the rooting period.

These following articles give step by step instructions along with illustrations on how to propagate hardwood cuttings


The basic principle is that a small cutting (the scion) is taken from one plant (your cherry tree) and attached to another plant (the rootstock). The scion can consist of a small bud (bud grafting) or a larger stem (stem grafting). The scion will become the upper part of the mature plant (the trunk, branches, leaves, etc.) and the rootstock will become the root system. This is often accomplished by physically joining the stems of the scion and rootstock; the junction is then wrapped up and, if the graft is successful, the two plants grow together.

The scion should be collected while trees are dormant, but before growth begins in the spring. It is best to graft in the spring, from the time the buds of understock tree are begin to open, until blossom time. The usual time is April or May.

These following articles and video give step by step instructions along with illustrations on how to do a graft on a cherry tree: