How long does it take from scion to two (2) foot tree?

Lets say you have a regular apple tree scion, four inches long.

You root the scion, and cute little roots and leaves sprout.

How long does it take for that little stick to grow into a 1 foot tree?

Next: if that scion were a peach, plum, cherry or any other stone fruit - how long does it take to grow into a one foot tree?

Depends on your ecosystem and environment. Under my care and environment I’d produce a 4’ specimen in six months.


Good luck rooting those scions. You’d be far better off grafting them to an existing tree or purchasing an ideal rootstock and grafting to them like nurseries do. With grafting you can get anywhere bewteen 6" of growth in a season up to 6’ of growth. Although 18" is much more typical. I had several grafts put on 4-5’ last summer and had to cut them back a bit just to protect them from their own weight.

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This thread might be useful to you:

There are different views on the subject- it can be done, but the question is whether it’s worth the effort.

I’m excited to try air-layering hardwoods. I don’t have the need, but I like the idea.

as mentioned,

  1. Time/growth rate varies
  2. Rooting doesn’t work for many fruit scions, at least not well

Also, when folks talk about rooting things which do root fairly well, like pear, they usually use longer sections, 8-12 inches. I assume that’s both to have more mass and nutrient storage, and also more nodes for root/leaf development (many 4" sections might only have a single node to begin with)

I can say in grafting if I have an established rootstock I may be able to get well over 4 feet in the time between May and September, and with a new rootstock I generally get 1-3 feet of new growth in that same timeframe, but that lets your scion use existing roots

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If you want a full sized tree as you would get from rooting a scion, there is an alternative to consider. Rather than using clonal rootstock, I planted some crabapple seeds and grew then out in root pruning containers. They were about 6’ tall and between 1/2" and 3/4" in caliper by the end of my first growing season. I planted them in the fall and grafted an apple variety to them in the spring. The picture above shows the grafted tree in the end of July. The cages is 5’ tall for reference. I did leave a nurse branch to see what kind of apples the seed grown tree would produce. You can see it is weighted down with a rope to keep it from robing the scion of too much energy.

I’m not suggesting this is the best approach or even a fit for most applications, but a seed grown rootstock can be quite vigorous if that is your objective.

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Which types do not root well? Do you think it takes some longer than others, or they just die?

Thanks for the picture. I do have some pear seeds germinating right now.

a lot of apples and stone fruit just don’t like to form root primordia…so they don’t form roots. ever. They may leaf out, then (most of them, say 80% or much greater) die because they never root. Pears tend to root somewhat better, but I don’t have a very solid list–google “rooting hardwood cuttings fruit” and you’ll probably find multiple lists of things that are good and bad candidates for simply rooting.

Is there a reason you don’t want to graft? Because there ARE reasons folks have done it for thousands of years, and maybe you have a completely logical reason not to graft in your case, but at least knowing it would probably help with giving an informed answer.

Going back to your first q:

  1. apples often root poorly, but some do ok w. hardwood cuttings.
  2. 4" is awful small to root…whatever your success odds are (say under 10% for most apples) now halve them because of the amount of wood you have
  3. grafting is probably, by far, your better option unless you have a really compelling reason not to do so (which plays back into the end of the last paragraph–if we know what the underlying issue is, we can do more to help than just give a blanket answer…)
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What markalbob said.

It is possible but definitely not easy. I would also not bother and rather graft.
If you want to try rooting it,I remember @itheweatherman had these “yogurt boxes” that you just stick your scion in and that’s all you need to worry about. He was documenting it here about a year ago (I think it was peach). That might be the easiest way for you. He might be able to tell you more. Good luck

It’s called Rooting Gel. I bought it at

I rooted my peach x almond cuttings.