I finally broke down and ordered a red Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) off Ebay to reduce to bonsai starts. The only local nurseries which have them want $100-$200 for the same size 4 ft tree I ordered for $20 (hell ova markup!). I realize it will be all long and twiggy and I won't get to bonsai until at least next year with the cuttings I make this year - no matter as I FINALLY will have a blood red maple (and probly plenty to trade) but I was wondering if any of you have made successful cuttings of these or other woody plants and have any tips for me, so to speak.
Are rooting hormones or powders neccesary? I never use them on other plants but I've never tried to root a woody plant. My book on plant propagation says to strip off the outer coat on the part going under the soil and cut all leaves in half to encourage better rooting from the inner flesh on tree cuttings. I already do those things on Nep cuttings. I will be planting the tree cuttings in the fired clay grit I use for cacti & succulents so it will have bonsai ready roots that will fall out of the soil when the time is ready to move them.
To quicken the tree starts for next year (double the growth rate essentially) can I put them under lights indoors overwinter instead of letting them go dormant as they should or will they die? I know they can't be treated that way every year since they need sleep but what about the first year?