If you have a beautiful flowering tree or an ornamental bush like a rhododendron, a simple trick this time of year is to take a cutting to grow a new plant from the existing one. Cut off a stem with new growth of several inches and healthy leaves. Shave off a very thin layer of the outer bark of the stem; just a couple inches will do. Dip the shaved portion into a root hormone you can buy at any nursery and put the stem deeply into a hole you made with a stick or pencil into a pot with soil, and squeeze the dirt firmly around the new cutting. Keep the pot outside, but in a rather more sheltered than exposed area. Don’t let the soil dry out. More likely than not, you will have a brand new seedling of a precious new tree or ornamental that survived the winter by next year.

When I’m weeding I also come across little baby seedlings of cedar, fir, and holly trees that popped us like weeds in our flower or vegetable beds. It is so easy to plant them in a pot and let them grow. After they grow for a couple years, it is always fun to plant a tree or give a tree as a gift for someone else to plant.

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