Propagating Flowering Cherry

This is a bit of a stretch for why I’m in the forum, but there were a few threads in a similar deviation when I tried a search first.
I am trying to propagate a clone from an office-mate’s flowering cherry tree that is on her mother’s property. The mother has passed nd the family is going to sell the house. I tried assorted cuttings last summer and fall with no success and we have an air layer from late summer on a large sprout that is still looking good but not pushing any roots.
Any suggestions for something higher success rate? or anecdotes that may point toward when the roots will form? I have several rather young sweet cherries if I need to graft first and then air layer to have more time, but that that seems overkill. I collected some fresh scion today. Buds are forming nicely, but nothing has broken yet.
Zone 6B, with her location likely leaning toward 7. They don’t know who will buy yet, so timetable is unknown, but there are relatives chasing the smell of cash in the picture. The tree is showing its age, with lots of unmanaged suckering, so likely will not be retained by anyone without sentimental reason to do so. It’s still gorgeous when it blooms, though.

Is it grafted?
Some chance it’s on it’s roots…if so, root cuttings (pencil sized piece of root six inches long) should have good success.

Other than that, I’d try grafting. Cuttings are hard to root.

No idea if it’s grafted. I suspect it predates the house. There are no other trees anywhere close to around, so any roots found would likely be connected. But I’m not so sure I could get away with digging in the yard. It’s smack in the middle of family land and surrounded by her family of all perspectives on the sale. That seems likely to start an argument I don’t want to be in the middle of. If it was a field instead of a small front yard, it’d be different. Or if any of them knew enough to collect the roots themselves. I’ll give her the idea for contemplation, though. I’d never even given roots a thought, although I’ve also never worked with roots of any kind beyond eating them, either.

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A much higher % of the roots do take than the scions…but can’t help so far as it a tree on it’s roots or on a rootstock.

My friend is old enough that she may know, but it may even be older than her. It also likely never came up or occured to anyone in the family to want to know such a thing. I certainly can’t recognize a graft union now, only that they did not worry, at least in recent years, about removing suckers or selective pruning for health.

You might dig one of the suckers up and get it to live…maybe if you did 3 one at least might live? If you get some roots, odds are much better of course.

More of the watersprout types of suckers, which would certainly be the right scion. The canopy is full of unnecessary growth in odd places. If anything has been coming up from the ground, the lawnmower has found them. I should be back over at least once more before that starts back up for the season, if anything is making an attempt, I’ll flag it to be missed, at least until we can compare to the desired parts of the mother.
I’m hopeful that entering into the growing season will see roots begin filling the air-layer. Enough moisture is flowing through that it is budding up like the rest of the tree. I can’t recall when it flowered last year, but I’m thinking it was early compared to a lot of my own stuff. I was half expecting to see green or blossoms when I drove over there today.

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Can You Root a Tree From a Japanese Cherry Tree Branch? (

Softwood Cutting

Softwood is new growth taken just as the first buds begin to break open. Take softwood cuttings early in the morning before the mid-day heat causes water loss from the stem. Remove leaves from all but the top one-third of the stem and immediately put them in a plastic bag to reduce water loss. Dip the stem in rooting hormones, plant in a container and keep between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit until roots have developed.