The best way to Root a Plum Tree From a Limb?
Plum trees are of the genus Prunus, and there are lots of species of ornamental and fruiting plums. They are generally propagated from softwood cuttings taken from mature trees, but this system requires rooting hormones and also requires a long time to make a fruiting tree. Another method of propagation that may produce a more mature tree in a shorter amount of time is air layering a limb or branch. The very best time to air layer a limb is in the early spring as sap starts to climb in the tree. The bark is easily eliminated at this time and there’ll be lots of growing season for your limb to create roots.
Soak a ball of sphagnum moss the size of a tennis ball in water overnight.
Find a straight limb on the plum tree that is at least three-eighths-inch thick.
Use shears or a sharp knife to cut through the bark around the circumference of the limb without cutting into the wood. Make an identical cut a distance farther up the limb that is 1 1/2 inches times the width of the limb.
Use pliers to remove the bark between both of these cuts, exposing the wood. Make extra cuts into the field of the bark to be eliminated between the first two cuts to make this easier.
Use a knife to make the border of the cut farthest away from the back neat and clean; this is the place where the new roots will develop.
Use the knife or pliers to scrape away the thin layer of cambium from the surface of the exposed wood. Removing the bark and cambium layers all the way round the limb is called girdling.
Remove the ball of sphagnum moss from the water and then squeeze to remove excess water.
Set the ball of sphagnum moss around the bare wood of this girdled limb and then cover it with plastic sheeting.
Attach the plastic into the limb around the moss utilizing waterproof tape. The plastic should offer enough pressure there are no air gaps between the moss and the wood, but not so much that fresh roots cannot thrust into the ball.
Cut the branch from the tree beneath the new root ball when fresh root tips may be viewed all the way round the ball of moss; this is as soon as 3 months, but no later than the beginning of fall.
Catch the moss attached to the new root ball and plant in a container with soil. Set the new tree in partial shade and maintain it using sulfur and water for at least 6 months before planting in the ground or moving to some other container.