Starting Cuttings From a Japanese Maples Take cuttings in spring or early summer, after new wood has slightly hardened. Cutting should have a "heel"—a tail of bark from the parent tree—still attached at the base of the cutting's stem. The cutting should contain three leaf nodes. Dip 1" in rooting hormone & tap off. Place in tyricoota pot, fit plast around (greenhouse)leaving some ventilation. Keep moderately moist.