Production and Postharvest Treatment of Cut Stems of Eucalyptus L. Hér. Foliage

in HortScience
Authors:
Michelle G. WirthensohnDepartment of Horticulture, Viticulture and Oenology, Waite Agricultural Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

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Margaret SedgleyDepartment of Horticulture, Viticulture and Oenology, Waite Agricultural Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

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Renate EhmerFachhochschule Wiesbaden, Standort Geisenheim, Studiengang Gartenbau, Von-Lade-Str. 4, 65366 Geisenheim, Germany

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Optimum pruning height for cut foliage production was investigated for 3-year-old trees of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. Trees cut at a height of 1.0 m above ground level had most stems resprouting from the trunk, but a pruning height of 0.5 m produced the longest stems. Postharvest trials were conducted to assess the vase life of cut stems, and the effect of pulsing and simulated transportation on vase life. Holding solutions containing 1% or 2% sucrose and 8-HQC at 200 mg·L–1 significantly increased vase life of E. globulus and E. cinerea F. Muell. ex Benth. over the control, but pulsing E. cinerea in 1%, 5%, or 10% sucrose plus 8-HQC for 2 hours at 24 °C or 24 hours at 3 °C had no effect. In simulated transport trials, pulsing overnight in 1% or 5% sucrose plus 8-HQC at 3 °C followed by 1 week dry storage at 3 °C had no effect on the vase life of cut stems of E. sideroxylon Cunn. ex Wools., E. platypus Hook., E. spathulata Hook., E. cladocalyx F. Muell. E. platypus, or E. spathulata E. sargentii Maiden, but a 5% sucrose pulse plus 8-HQC significantly increased the vase life of E. spathulata E. platypus. A long pulse at low temperature (24 hours/3 °C) followed by 1 week dry storage was more effective than a short pulse at high temperature (2 hours/24 °C) for E. albida Maiden & Blakely stems and no sucrose was more effective than 1% or 5%. Thus, a pruning height of 0.5 or 1.0 m was optimum for cut foliage production of E. globulus, and a 2% sucrose holding solution extended vase life. There was no advantage of sucrose pulsing to extend vase life, or to improve vase life following dry storage, except for the hybrid E. spathulata E. platypus. Chemical name used: 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC).

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