Cloning the Christmas tree 😄

I know conifers are tough to root, but I figured if any part would work it might be the stump. We cut this fir (I think maybe a grand fir? Or fraser?) in the Baker-Snoqualmie NF, and when we got home I cut off the base and lowest branch and dipped it in Clonex and put it in soil under the lights.

Wish me luck! (and feel free to share any experience trying this)

There’s a better chance it will root than winning the MegaMillions lottery…but the odds aren’t good.

To root most conifers, take two to 5 inches of a branch tip from an actively growing twig and remove about 3/4 of the growth, leaving the tip. Dip the stem in hormone treatment and plant in sand/peat and keep shade and damp. Out of a couple dozen, you will get some. I’ve rooted a number of junipers that method. (Often to have them die of neglect 6months or a year later).


I decided to try four branch tips, too. Thanks for the advice!


The jar for controlling humidity leads me to believe this is not your first rodeo. The clonex is something i use as well. You could also wrap a paper towell around the roots soaked in rooting hormone and use a plant heating pad underneath.

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My only heating pad is currently under some stubborn seeds but if they pop soon I’ll try to make room on that tray for these guys.

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This actually fits in with my latest book acquisition. Generally, conifers are considered poor candidates for coppicing. However, if you cut them above the lower branches, what you get are shoots that grow upward from those branches. This book is by a guy who runs a Christmas tree farm by doing this. He selects the best shoots from each stump to continue growing into another tree. So he gets new trees quite a lot faster than pulling stumps and planting seedlings. Without the additional investment. Now, it’s somewhat more complicated than that (isn’t it always?), but so far I am enjoying this book both for it’s specifics about farming Christmas Tress (which I do not intend to do) and making the most of the resources available to you (which I do try to do.)


Ooh, and here is a little video that explains a bit more about coppice Christmas trees. The song is corny, but it does describe the process pretty well.

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Sounds like they are re-growing from water sprouts basically?

In any case, I had forgotten about this post! Probably a good time for an update.

Right after my last post I did one more cutting from the very top of the tree (to put the star on) and decided to just stick that one in a pot outside (stripped most of it and brushed on Clonex first). So far, that one looks too be the most “alive” (though still dormant):

The four branch tips spent a few weeks on the heating pad, and then went out next to the treetop cutting, and while they haven’t dropped their needles they do look a little less lively:

The stump+branch also went outside soon after my last post, and it has lost the most needles, but doesn’t look quite dead yet:

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Take just a few inches…and be sure to keep out of hot sun for sure.

How did your tree cloning go?


Yews seed themself on my property (I think from a neighbors tree). Many of them have much better grow characteristics then the few I purchased years ago.
I put some yew cutting in a pot outside for a full year. None developed roots, not even the ones that still had nice green needles after a full year. If I do it again I’ll try bottom heat.

The tree top one callused nicely after a few months and never lost the needles, but the rest all dried out. I forgot to water it over the summer though, and it went crispy in our record heat wave.

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