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Q: I had a 7-foot maple tree growing by our shed. I was going to dig it up to transplant but it was growing out of the cement, so we cut it off. Now I’m wondering if I could root it so I could save it. I have the bottom wrapped in wet paper towels and newspaper now, and the tree has lots of leaves on it. I cut it off about 4 hours ago, so if there is something I can do to it, it probably should be done tomorrow.
If the tree has a large caliper over 1 to 2 centimetres, then it is best to replace the tree rather than try to re-root.
Unfortunately the rooting hormones will not work on a plant that is set in its ways. Plants retain embryonic tissues in their growing tips only, and once the stem is set it will always remain a stem as the embryonic tissues at the tips take over growth.
Usually maples are grafted at an early age and had to re-root from a mature piece. If the caliper is less than 1 to 2 cm, then grafting would be a possibility with about 10 to 20 percent success.
In my opinion, it would be best to replace than to try to re-root. Otherwise, too much time and too much money will be spent with little or no results. If it was a fig or a willow, then yes, but a maple … not much luck.