- 1). Select at least five viable dawn redwood twigs for propagation. Choose softwood cuttings in late spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in early autumn. Softwood cuttings have pliable green stems and immature foliage. Semi-hardwood cuttings feature green stems at the foliage but stiff, mature wood where the twig meets the branch.
- 2). Measure 6 to 8 inches from the tip of the foliage. Sever the cutting at a 45-degree angle using a utility knife or other suitably sharp cutting implement. Place the cuttings in water until the rooting pots are prepared.
- 3). Create a soilless potting medium by combining 2 parts milled coir, 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite. Mix the components in a large tub while misting it with water until the mixture is moist enough to bind together slightly when squeezed.
- 4). Fill a 2-gallon nursery pot with the soilless mixture without firming it. Create one 2.5- to 3-inch-deep hole for each cutting. Space four of them equally around the outer 1 inch of the soil surface and one in the center.
- 5). Remove the cuttings from the water and lay them on a flat work surface. Remove any foliage present along the bottom half of the cutting and peel away a 1.5-inch section of bark from the end to expose the vascular cambium.
- 6). Coat the bottom 2.5 to 3 inches of the cutting in rooting hormone. Insert one cutting into each hole and firm the soil around them. Mist it to a depth of 1/2 inch to settle the soil.
- 7). Insert four wooden skewers equidistant around the outer edge of the nursery pot. Install the skewers so they stand at least 2 inches above the tops of the cuttings.
- 8). Wrap plastic wrap around the skewers and over the top to create a greenhouse-like environment for the cuttings. Leave a 1/2-inch gap between the top of the pot and the bottom of the plastic wrap.
- 9). Place the pot where it will receive bright, indirect light. Expose softwood cuttings to temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, and semi-hardwood cuttings to temperatures no lower than 48 and no higher than 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply 1/2 inch of water to the cuttings every week.
Remove the plastic wrap from the softwood cuttings after 30 days and place the pot under a shady tree. Apply 1 inch of water every week throughout the growing season and take the pot into a cool greenhouse during the winter. Plant the sapling outdoors the following spring.
Remove the plastic wrap from semi-hardwood cuttings early the next spring. Place the pot in a shaded location and slowly acclimatize it to sunlight. Apply 1 inch of water every week during the summer. Plant it in the ground in late summer and mulch it heavily.
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