If I take a tree cutting for propagation, will the plant live as long as if it were a new plant from seed or does it inherit the age tree which it was taken from?

After a few years of growth, will it be indistinguishable from a tree of the same size grown from seed, or will it always be noticeably different?


  • Good question! If you take a cutting from a new shoot, which is less than a year old, the new tree will be that age I would say. But I haven't tested if it will age in the same manner as a tree grown from seed. – benn Jan 8 '18 at 13:18
  • 1
    What tree do you have in mind? We might be able to search for relevant data if nobody knows from their own experience. – Alina Jan 8 '18 at 16:04

A cutting that you root won't live as long as the original tree as it won't form a tap root which occurs during the juvenile stage. So it will never have as strong a root structure as the parent of the clone.

To get the root structure desired you will need to graft the cutting onto root stock and that host will determine the size of the resulting tree. However, grafted trees are more subject to diseases than an ungrafted tree and that shortens the potential life.

  • 1
    But then there are grafting problems: grafted plants doesn't live as the non grafted plants. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jan 8 '18 at 18:44
  • Yes, that could be mentioned as well. – Graham Chiu Jan 8 '18 at 18:57
  • I"m air layering some fig tree branches at present and I guess I'm going to have to restrict their sizes after I transplant them. – Graham Chiu Jan 8 '18 at 19:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.