|Seeds and Plant Propagation. Agroforestry Technology Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 105 p.)|
Propagating trees by using cuttings will reproduce the desired exact characteristics (like size of fruits, sweetness) of the trees you want, shorten their maturity period, dwarf their size, multiply them fast over a short period.
Common perennial trees you can propagate by cuttings are citrus (lemonsito, oranges, lime, etc.), guava, rambutan, barbados cherry (aserola), coffee, cacao and black pepper.
A simple way of propagating cuttings is done thru the use of a homemade propagation chamber described in tines sheets. The process detailed here has been tried at the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center and is found practical for a small farm and community nursery project.
Make a propagation chamber.
1. Use a wooden or concrete box with the size indicated in the illustration or according to the number of seedling to be propagated.
2. Line the inside wall with plastic sheet to ensure that moisture is retained for a longer period. Cover the lid with transparent plastic sheet to let in some light.
Fill with river sand.
1. Secure well-washed river sand and stones.
2. Line the bottom of the box with stones to prevent the sand from being washed out.
3. Sterilize the sand either by sun-drying or pouring boiling water over it.
4. Place under shade facing east.
Prepare and plant the cuttings.
General rule. Choose the young stem. Cut at the node and cut half of the leaves off for slower transpiration. Cut root end may be dipped in rooting hormones to facilitate root development.
Citrus and cherries. Cut 10-12 cm from the tip. Choose the green stem, not the yellowish or brown ones. Cut about two cm from the terminal bud. Cut leaf blades in half. Barely touch the node with full strength growth hormones for one second. Plant in the sand inside the chamber.
Coffee. Choose green, young watersprouts. Cut 4-6 cm below the node. Remove lateral branch, cut leaf blades in half, cut stem vertically to produce two planting materials. Dip in rooting hormone as in citrus. Plant
Blackpepper. Choose the runners or the vertical, climbing branches for propagation. Lateral branches do not climb. Cut four to six cm from the node, leave two to three nodes for every cutting. Rooting hormone is not needed. Plant into chamber.
Make the chamber air-tight.
1. Conserve moisture to prevent dehydration or wilting of the cuttings.
2. Open the chamber (about three times a day) to avoid the incidence of fungus attack.
3 Frequency of watering depends on the rate of drying of your chamber. But as a general procedure, water once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
4. Water carefully to avoid toppling the cuttings.
Transfer rooted cuttings.
1. It will take 1.5-2 months before cuttings develop enough roots.
2. Uproot carefully and transfer cuttings into polyethylene bags (6" x 7") with soil mixture of equal parts of sand, compost of manure and soil.
3. Let the potted cuttings remain under shade and wellwatered until they develop new shoots.
4. Harden seedlings for about a week under the sun or partially shaded area before transferring to the field. Place in moist bag when transporting.