I have Magnolia, Japanese Maple, and Japanese Lilac trees that I would like to propagate. Would you point me to a good guide or give me instructions explaining all the details of how to accomplish this, including the best time of year to attempt the project, please.
What an interesting challenge you have set for yourself! And a very long term one, too. But, if you succeed, you should be very proud.
You will want to take your Lilac cuttings from new growth next Spring (softwood cuttings) since they root more successfully than the hardwood cuttings that you would be taking at this time of year. However, both the Magnolia and Japanese Maple can be started from hardwood cuttings taken right now.
Here’s an excellent guide from North Carolina State University on Plant Propagation from Stem Cuttings,
It lists cutting techniques for a wide variety of trees and shrubs, and includes helpful diagrams.
Note the specifics about light and humidity, which will be critically important to your success. Make sure you have your set up ready before taking cuttings.
Typically, it will take several years for your cuttings to grow to the size of the small saplings you might find in nurseries.
Think of it as raising a child from infancy to pre-teen years. Appreciate the joys and manage the inevitable aggravations!