Differences Between Nodal and Sectional Cuttings

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated February 27, 2023)

There are several different kinds of propagation methods that you can use in your gardening efforts, but one of the more effective methods is by doing cuttings. Two of the more effective, and therefor popular, cutting methods are nodal and sectional cutting. But what are they? What are the differences between nodal and sectional cuttings? Keep reading to find out.

  • Nodal cutting basics. In the simplest of terms, nodal cutting is a method for pruning and propagation where the cut is made just below the node of a branch or stem. Perhaps the single greatest attraction of this cutting method is that you can "generate" more propagation material than with other Cutting methods. For example, if you cut just below a node of two or more leafs, you then can split the cutting again between each leaf. Each of those leafs could then be used for propagation methods. Other attractions of this method is that it causes a minimum amount of trauma to the plant, as well as being able to be utilized later in the growing season. In many ways nodal cutting is similar to leaf-bud cutting.
  • Sectional cutting basics. Sectional cuttings are basically what they imply, cut sections of a plant. These are usually accomplished by cutting out a section of the plant, stem, or branch. When you use this kind of cutting, you will want to make sure that the "top" cut is straight, while the bottom is angled. This type of cut can be often used in grafting, though you can also use it in other forms of propagation. This particular type of cutting can also (if done properly) provide more than one source for propagation.
  • Differences. There are really only two differences between nodal and sectional cuttings. The first is that nodal cutting is much less traumatic than sectional cutting. As such this means that you have a much larger timeframe to work with than you would with sectional cutting. If you don't need to worry about how robust a plant is, then this is the one that you want to use. However, sectional cutting allows you to have a much stronger connection when you complete the grafting process.

Considering that there are so few differences between nodal and sectional cuttings, you need to worry more about other factors to help you make your decision. What is the purpose behind your cutting? When are you doing the cutting? Are you working with a small and fragile plant, or are you working more with a robust tree? Finding the answers to these questions will allow you to make your final decision, and help you to make the correct decision for your needs.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Removing Tree Sap from Your Car

Tree sap can be a sticky and annoyingly recurring problem for a car owner. Here is how you can remove this natural ...

Discover More

Dealing with Rust on Concrete

Have you ever noticed how rust stains can usually be pretty annoying, especially when you are trying to remove them from ...

Discover More

Baked Pork Chops

Pork chops are a fantastic, and relatively inexpensive, dish that just about everyone can enjoy. If you are looking for a ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Gardening Services

If you have ever needed the help of a professional gardener, tree doctor, or similar specialist then you know exactly how ...

Discover More

Common Garden Diseases

If you are a gardener, or even thinking of gardening, you will need to be able to identify some of the more common garden ...

Discover More

Gardening in Deep Shade

Shade gardens can be an overwhelming concept if you don't know where to start, but with a guide to which plants are shade ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)