105 Propagation of Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma Cypress)

in HortScience
Rolston St. HilaireDept. of Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003

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Indigenous stands of Taxodium mucronatum Ten. are found in North and Central America, but relatively little is known about the propagation of the species. Progeny from one tree in the Mesilla Valley near Las Cruces, N.M., and from two trees in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, were observed to be relatively cold-hardy. I initiated this research to find the best conditions for asexual and sexual propagation of those three trees. Terminal softwood cuttings were collected on 16 Oct. 1998 from a half-sibling of the Mesilla Valley tree, and from two half-siblings from the trees in the Gila National Forest. Cuttings were treated with two concentrations of IBA and rooted under intermittent mist in the greenhouse for 13 weeks. Cuttings taken from the Mesilla Valley source and from one of the half-siblings from the Gila did not root. The other half-sibling plant from the Gila showed 82% rooting when cuttings were treated with 8 g IBA/kg. Fifty percent of cuttings rooted when they were treated with 3 g IBA/kg. Root number and root length were greatest for cuttings treated with 8 g IBA/kg. Replication over time will determine whether stock plant environment and the time of taking cuttings affect rooting. Strategies that optimize seed germination and seedling development of asexually and sexually propagated material are being evaluated.

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