They’ll strengthen over winter for new plants next spring
This is a really easy and satisfying job to do once the leaves have fallen from your cornus bush, and its lovely stems that’ll brighten your winter garden have been revealed. Everyone loves cornus for their pretty leaves, flowers and berries, followed by stunningly bright branches, until the foliage grows back in spring again. And taking a few cuttings of this super plant now will make fantastic gifts next year.
Unless you’ve a bit of room to develop a nursery trench bed for hardwood cuttings, it’s easier to pot them up in containers to grow on, where they’ll grow just as well as in the ground, and will be easier to transplant at a later date. In dry spells just make sure the compost is lightly moist, and firm in stems from frost displacement, or they may not settle and root as quickly. Your cuttings will strengthen over winter, so from spring you can gently check them for signs of rooting. Tentatively tug one and if it more or less stays it’s likely to have rooted and you can pot each one up individually to grow on into larger plants.