In spring, the trees of Beaver Farm blossom, and small water shoots spring up from the base of the trunks of our older trees and shrubs. This new growth is trimmed from the shrubs and the trees, so it doesn’t redirect energy and nutrients from the established branches. These cuttings can be encouraged to sprout roots and be planted to grow into new trees.
Oliver fills planters with potting soil – a quart-sized container with drainage holes is the perfect size for most shoots. The cut ends are cleaned and soaked in water, then Oliver dips them in a powdered rooting hormone. The tips are placed into the prepared pot, and the soil is tamped down evenly on all sides to keep the shoots upright. Right now, we have around 50 cuttings resting in pots as they grow roots that will help them be nice and strong.
These native cuttings will be ready to plant around the farm in the fall! By doing this, we can have beautiful things like Dogwoods and Lilacs all over our campus. As their parent plants begin to fade, their offspring will grow stronger and continue the legacy of beauty for generations to come.