Here’s How To Reroot a Tree Branch

Knowing how to reroot a tree branch can open up a new world of arboreal possibilities for your garden. Imagine that graceful oak you’ve always admired in the park or the cherry blossom that catches your eye every spring, comfortably rooting right in your backyard. You can make it happen with some patience and a bit of green-thumb wizardry!

As the go-to certified arborist in Alexandria, VA, our team at Dos Amigos Tree Service understands the many intricacies of propagating trees from their limbs. Keep reading as we unravel the process step by step for you.

Pick the Right Tree

Set yourself up for success by accounting for these factors when selecting your specimen.


Not every tree makes a good candidate for rerooting. Many deciduous varieties, particularly forsythia, golden bells, and plane trees, fit the bill perfectly. However, evergreens very rarely take kindly to this method. 

Growth Period

Does your tree still sport a full, green foliage? In general, you should only make cuttings after leaves have fallen and the tree has entered dormancy, which usually happens in late fall or winter. This ensures the tree has stored enough energy and nutrients in its branches to support new growth.


Propagating from an infested or infected tree is akin to building a house on quicksand. Any branch you cut may carry the same issues, inevitably yielding unhealthy growth and prematurely withering. That’s why you should always choose vigorous specimens for the best results. 

Making Your Cutting From Tree Twigs

Find a young branch, at least a year old, and make a 45° cut close to the trunk, around six to 10 inches long. It’s important to avoid bad pruning cuts to ensure the health of the remaining tree and the success of the cutting. You should always use a sharp, clean pruner to minimize stress and encourage faster healing.

Next, remove any leaves and buds on its lower half and dip the wound in hormone powder. Many garden stores and online vendors stock it if you don’t already have some on hand. This product contains substances like auxins that kickstart root development.

Plant Your Tree Propagation in the Appropriate Medium

When learning how to reroot a tree branch, you will reach a crossroad — do you stick your cutting into a container with sandy soil or immerse it in water? Each path has its merits.

Soil Method

Sandy soil or peat, favored by many seasoned arborists, closely mimics the natural environment of cuttings. It’s breathable, well-draining, and supports root development beautifully. We recommend covering the setup with a plastic bag to maintain a moist environment, but cut a few small slits to prevent overheating.

Water Method

On the other hand, rooting in water is a cinch to set up and offers a front-row seat to root growth! However, you should frequently replace the water to prevent bacterial growth and introduce more oxygen. Both methods also require a temperate space with indirect light.

Patience Is Key

Growing trees from branches is a game of waiting, observing, and nurturing; it’s not for the faint-hearted or those in search of instant gratification. Once you’ve planted your cutting, it may take several weeks or even months before you see new growth pushing through. Only when they have reached a good size can you transfer your little sapling to a larger pot or directly into your garden.

Our specialists at Dos Amigos Tree Service can always lend a hand if you find the process of planting trees a tad daunting or if you’ve hit a stumbling block. We know how to reroot a tree branch and:

  • Revive a seemingly withered specimen back to its prime
  • Identify and deal with common diseases
  • Safely prune to promote healthier growth
  • And more

Dial (703) 300-6103 today or explore our blog and understand the impact of too much rain on trees.

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