Japanese Acer cuttings

I have a lovely Japanese  Acer that is about 5 ft tall. It just popped up in my garden one day so I just dug it up and popped it somewhere else and it has thrived.

It has got loads of shoots coming from the lower stems - can I just cut a couple of these off and pot up and how?


  • How many years did the acer take to get to 5ft?
    I believe japanese acers are hard to propagate but take best from heel cuttings so if you're going to take the stems off, make sure you get a bit of the skin of the bark where it comes from. I've copied the RHS advice for heel cuttings. They might have more specific advice for you.

    Heel cuttings

    This method is useful for woody plants that have pithy stems, such as Sambucus (elder), or old plants in less than peak condition. It is not very effective on broad-leaved trees.

    Pull away a cutting-sized shoot from the main stem, to retain a small tail of bark, or heel, at the base. The heel contains high levels of growth ‘hormones’ (auxins) that help promote rooting.

    If you're feeling adventurous you could try air layering!
  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535
    First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 7 April 2022 at 9:44AM
    Without putting any dampener on your endeavours I wouldn't hold out too much hope for plain cuttings from acers. It's not an easy and reliable home technique for increasing them. However, air layering is, and although it may result in only a few plants, at the price of choice acers that would still be a good result.
  • moonpenny
    moonpenny Posts: 2,424
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    The Acer is 10 years plus.
    I wanted to attempt to move it as I just stuck it anywhere intended to move at a later date but it got left. 
     It is right next to a tree and is spoiling it so thought I might try and take cuttings first.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,305
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    Cuttings should be done September ish to December which is when roots grow.
    As should moving ie winter.
    But you could pot it up and remove the sideshoots to help it. More will come for autumn.
    If you sink the pot half way in a border it keeps the roots cool and it should be fine.
    Then you can plant it out in autumn where you want it.

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