The root system of plants consists of primary, lateral, and adventitious roots (ARs) (aka shoot-born roots). ARs arise from stem- or leaf-derived cells during post-embryonic development. Adventitious root development (ARD) through stem cuttings is the first requirement for successful establishment and growth of planted trees; however, the details of the molecular mechanisms underlying ARD are poorly understood. This knowledge is important to both basic plant biology and because of its necessary role in the successful propagation of superior cultivars of commercial woody bioenergy crops, like poplar. In this review article, the molecular mechanisms that control both endogenous (auxin) and environmentally (nutrients and microbes) regulated ARD and how these systems interact to control the rooting efficiency of poplar trees are described. Then, potential future studies in employing integrated systems biology approaches at cellular resolutions are proposed to more precisely identify the molecular mechanisms that cause AR. Using genetic transformation and genome editing approaches, this information can be used for improving ARD in economically important plants for which clonal propagation is a requirement.