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Rowan Tree Propagation

I know someone here will have an answer to this, I am due to move house over the summer, only over the road into my Father-in-Law's old house, so not far, and can do most of it gradually.  I have a  huge rowan tree in my garden, that is like an old friend, it provides shade in summer, and is home to a cheeky blackbird and his missus, who tells me off every time I go out to the patio.  This year it, and my bird feeder, have kept many birds alive through this awful winter.

I'd like to take a cutting of my old friend, so I can have one of her children in my new garden.  Could someone tell me how to do this?  There are no self-seeded saplings I can see (unlike the holly bush that grows near it and keeps popping up on the patio), there were loads of berries but the birds have had nearly all of them.  So how do I do it?  I'm assuming a cutting would be the way to go?


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,036

    Never heard of anyone getting a cutting to root. Seed is best (if you can beat the birds to it). They need stratifying to get them to germinate. Otherwise if it is a special form then they are normally grafted on to the common Sorbus species.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,984

    I never get seedlings from my rowan. I wonder why that is. All the other native (or introduced a long time ago) trees do. Maybe they don't germinate having been through the birds. But I would have thought they'd have died out by now if that was the case.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • what is ' stratifying ' the seeds mean ?

    as you can I am a complete novice at this, although I am a pensioner.

    My neighbour has a superb Rowen tree that he neglects. He said I could some seeds if I want them. But how do you grow them ? 

  • Rowan seeds require light sandy soil and exposure to a least one winter chilling , they often take 18 months to germinate. I recommend you put the seed tray in the most exposed part of your garden where it will be well frosted.

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Hi oldtimer, stratification means that the seed needs a period of cold before it will germinate.  A seed falling to the ground will need to overwinter before it pops up in the spring (or later).

    I have lived in this house for nearly 30 years and have only had two rowan seedlings. You could try sowing the seeds in a pot of well draining compost and leave in a corner of the garden over winter. Good luck.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,221

    I've got a seedling here - about to plant it out. It had obviously self seeded before I moved in - late winter 2013. Rowans are very common round here - but we certainly don't have sandy soil! It had found a site that suited it well enough though.

    I think I'd try as many seeds as possible to give the best chance - might need to net some off from the birds to achieve that!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I've had two rowan seedlings pop up in one year, which is strange as there aren't any rowan trees nearby and they're popping up under a cherry tree? guess the birds have been making deposits!  image

  • Thanks for the help good people.

    I will try and see if I can some to germinate using your methods. It's such a great tree I really would like to try  and get one in my garden.

    A thought !!!!!!!  maybe it's a such a good tree because he neglects it.image

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