Early Season Softwood Cuttings Effective for Vegetative Propagation of Juglans cinerea

in HortScience

Juglans cinerea L. (butternut) is a hardwood species valued for its wood and edible nuts. Information on the vegetative propagation of this species is currently unavailable. Our objective was to determine the conditions necessary for successful stem-cutting propagation of butternut. In 1999 and 2000, 10 trees (each year) were randomly selected from a 5- and 6-year-old butternut plantation located in Rosemount, Minn. Hardwood stem cuttings were collected in March, April, and May. Softwood cuttings were collected in June and July. K-IBA at 0, 29, or 62 mm in water and IBA at 0, 34, or 74 mm in 70% ethanol were tested for root induction on cuttings. The basal end of cuttings were dipped in a treatment solution for 10 to 15 seconds, potted in a peat: perlite mixture, and placed in a mist bed for 5 to 8 weeks. Rooted cuttings were gradually hardened off from the mist bed, allowed to initiate new growth, over-wintered in a controlled cold-storage environment, and then outplanted to the field. For hardwood cuttings, rooting was greatest for those taken in mid-May (branches flushed out), 22% with 62 mm K-IBA and 28% with 74 mm IBA. Softwood cuttings rooted best when taken in June (current season's first flush of new growth or softwood growth 40 cm or greater) and treated with 62 mm K-IBA (77%) or 74 mm IBA (88%). For 1999, 31 out of 51 rooted softwood cuttings (60.8%) survived overwintering in cold storage and acclimatization to the field. For 2000, 173 out of 186 rooted softwood cuttings (93%) survived overwintering and acclimatization to the field. Chemical names used: indole-3-butyric acid-potassium salt (K-IBA); indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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