Cutting Tips and Tricks?

Hi All,
I’ve got a question about cuttings. Mainly what have people had success with? I’ve been taking cuttings of different trees since spring, I’ve had absolutely no success with an elm(only one attempt) and many different types maples(which I repeatedly read are supposed to be easy) but ok success with a few different types of junipers, and great success with two cedars, a dawn redwood, and two giant sequoias.
I’m in northern Ca, zone 9, and we’ve had a few really hot spells, so…?
Any tips and tricks? Both of what types of trees people have had luck with and why?
I’ve been using rooting hormone, soil has been a orchid mulch and Akadama. I’ve tried using a bag to help simulate a greenhouse. They’re never placed in direct sunlight because of how hot it’s been here
Thanks in advance.

Propagation by cuttings is a huge topic! I have found that techniques vary by climatic region. For this reason i would contact nurseries in your area and discuss the types and procedures that work for them. Better yet if you have time go visit some of them and observe their set ups if possible. I have found that to be one of the best way to get valid information for a specific area.
i have also found a good deal of information via google search and textbooks written specifically for Propogation. One of the authors noted in the field is " Dirr" . The list of trees and shrubs that can be propogated by cutting for Bonsai purposes is pretty long. I have had success with Elm, Chojubai, Juniper, Chameocypris, Maple, Hornbeam, Zelkova, Prunus, Azalea, to name a few.
It is a great topic to explore and their are many great bonsai propogators in California. Just check with the local Bonsai clubs and they will point you in the right direction.
Your key issue will be to control the temperature, shade and humidity to get the results initially. Check out the specific requirements for each species before trying a one size fits all approach.
Good Luck!


The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation, by Dirr and Heuser, is a fantastic resource. I check it every time I try a new species.

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Thanks guys, yes it’s truly a broad topic, I probably should have qualified exactly what I meant but I truly just want more knowledge. I’ll take a look at that reference manual, thank you.
I’m in Sacramento and I’ve had a little bit of a hard time getting A hold of the local bonsai club, they’ve got a meeting next week so I’m hoping to just go and learn.
The heat here is truly a hard problem. We just had a couple days of 107 in a row and it was rough On not only my seedlings, cuttings, and the few young bonsai I’ve been learning with, but all of my plants and trees.
Thanks for the advice