Three experiments were undertaken to examine the effect of stockplant etiolation, shading, and stem banding, prior to cutting propagation, on the auxin dose-response of rooting in stem cuttings of Carpinus betulus `fastigiata'. A 2 × 2 factorial of etiolation and banding utilized stockplants forced in a greenhouse, etiolated for 1 week and banded with Velcro™ for 1 month. In a separate study shading was applied up the time of harvesting cuttings. IBA was applied to cuttings as an aqueous ethanol quick dip in concentrations ranging from 0 to 80 mM. Rooting percentage and number were best described, up to a peak response, by a linear function proportional to the logarithm of applied IBA. The inhibition of rooting by supra-optimal IBA was directly proportional to IBA concentration. Cuttings prepared from shoots which had been etiolated or banded rooted better at low IBA and at their respective optimal IBA levels. Cuttings from shoots receiving both etiolation and banding yielded higher rooting percentages and more roots per rooted cutting on average. Etiolation and banding served to increase both initial and maximum rooting capacities, and to reduce the sensitivity of cuttings to supraoptimal auxin-induced inhibition of adventitious root initiation. The auxin dose-response interacted with shading to yield the best rooting at 95% shade and 3.7 mM IBA.