Mound Layering

Mound layering (or stooling) can be a useful technique for propagating heavy-stemmed, closely branched shrubs and rootstocks of tree fruits. However it is rarely used by the amateur gardener, and is most often used by commercial growers. This method works well for apple rootstocks, spirea, quince, daphne, magnolia, and cotoneaster. It may also be used for herbs such as thyme and sage, although as herbs tend to root easily, there is no need for them to be cut back before mounding.


  1. In the dormant season, the stems of plant are cut back to 8 cm (3 in) above the soil surface.
  2. When the new shoots that appear in the spring reach about 15-20 cm (6- 8 in), a layer of sandy loam should be mounded over them so that their tips are just showing.
  3. This should be repeated twice before summer.
  4. Roots will develop at the bases of the young shoots, which may be removed in the dormant season to be transplanted or grown on in individual pots.