I may be late to the party and I apologize to the poster who’s ready to get their show on the road, but I’ll show you what I do. Here I just rooted Arborvitaes, recently. When applicable I find the node/branch that is in the middle of the wood that transitions from semi-hardwood (last years growth) and the hardwood (two years ago growth). I’ll remove that branch or bud or buds at that (scar.) A scar is the impression in the wood where the buds grow from. So…
you want to have that scar between the semi-hardwood and the hardwood if at all possible. From there you have to root into something that won’t have the soil in standing water whether you use custom boxes you build yourself for pennies on the dollar, or whether you are rooting in pots. I use pots that are 5" tall and above. Typically anymore I’ve returned to the hundreds and hundreds of Anderson Tree Band pots I’ve had on hand for decades. The pictures will show the process.
Doesn’t matter if an arborvitae or a kiwi or a clematis or fig or anything. You’ll see the mixing proportions for ‘Dip n’ Grow’ rooting hormone on my plastic beaker. That is what determines what kind of wood you are going to root whether readily growing summer green wood or later in the summer semi-hardwood or completely hardwood.
Scrape the cutting(s) on opposite sides of (a) bud scar. The rest you’ll see in pictures.
If you’re rooting deciduous material that’s leafy, you need to cut the leaves back the same. Say you’re summer rooting under shade cloth & mist, or, using an indoor system the same as mine. Here’s these arborvitaes:
one side wounded. You scrape it with a knife back and forth using a fast motion.
flipped stick over and wounded other side:
time to dip and then insert into media whether flats or tall enough containers. A lot of the time we water from below when rooting because the soil(s) aren’t being disturbed and that’s what creates rot and kills cuttings more quickly than you can say “Mother Mary.” (a stem that isn’t high enough above any standing water as well as media that’s excessively wet) rotting either the stem trying to produce callous and roots or the roots that were produced being killed from rot . . .
Best regards. @jcguarneri I would’ve had this posted earlier but I got to doing stuff. I already had the pictures. So hope this helps anyone. Dax