Raw Paper Mill Sludge in A Rooting Medium for Deciduous Woody Cuttings

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  • 1 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario, Vineland Station, Ont. L0R 2E0, Canada

Stem cuttings of seven deciduous landscape shrubs {silky dogwood (Cornus amomum Mill.), coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Moench), Peegee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Siebold. `Grandiflora'), Bridal-wreath spirea [Spiraea ×vanhoutteii (C. Briot) Zab.], spirea (Spiraea ×bumalda Burv. `Goldmound'), fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri Stearn), and weigela [Weigela florida (Bunge) A. DC. `Variegata Nana']} were rooted under mist in 100% perlite (no sludge) medium or in mixtures of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, or 60% (v/v) of raw paper mill sludge and perlite. There was a large linear reduction in percent rooting of viburnum (from 80% to 21% with 0% and 60% sludge, respectively) in response to increasing level of sludge. The mean root count per cutting also was significantly decreased, from 14 to 5. However, the length of longest root was unaffected. In contrast, all the other species ranked good to excellent in rooting, regardless of the level of sludge. Differences, if any, in rooting performance were not of practical significance.

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