Root a Cutting of a Red Maple Tree

Using softwood cuttings to root a red maple tree is one method of plant propagation. One method to root the softwood cuttings is to grow the cuttings in an enclosed planting chamber.

Growing Cuttings

First, dip the cuttings in rooting hormone before you plant them in a mix of perlite and vermiculite. Make sure you keep the humidity between 90 to 99 percent without getting water droplets on the leaves or the chamber to avoid rotting.  

Second, create lighting conditions that mimic those produced by a large shade tree. Make sure you diffuse the light by placing a 50-percent shade cloth over the greenhouse in which the chamber is located. Use a cool mist humidifier on a timer to keep humidity levels ideal. Aim for 95-percent humidity, realizing it may take a few days or weeks to reach the right humidity level.  


  • The best time to collect cuttings for propagation is between the middle of June and the end of August.
  • Use a root gel dip on the cuttings before placing them in the soil.
  • Spray the plants with an algaecide or fungicide every 2 weeks. Make sure you spray when the temperature is cooler--early morning or late at night--to let the plant dry before closing the chamber.
  • When you water plants, always let the foliage dry completely before closing the chamber.
  • Exchange the air every few days.