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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 12, 2009

From: Cairo, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of woody plants by cuttings in Cairo, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a tree in my yard and I am not sure what it is, it has these gorgeous pink cluster like flowers on it, my friend loves the tree and wants to know the steps to take a piece of my tree so she can plant it in her yard. Can you please help me to understand how that works and what pieces of the tree I would need?

ANSWER:

Your description sounds a little like Lagerstroemia indica, Crapemyrtle, which is native to Asia and therefore out of our range of expertise, but the USDA Plant Profile doesn't show it growing in New York. However, it doesn't really matter; what you are asking is how to propagate a woody plant by cuttings. We have found a website that can give you much better instructions than we could. It will help you decide what time of year to take the cuttings, how to care for them while they are rooting, and how to transplant them. The cuttings will not all "take" so be sure and do several.

North Carolina University Horticulture Information Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener. 

 

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