This study tested the effects of cutting length and auxin (NAA) concentration on adventitious root formation in softwood stem cuttings from mature eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr., and carolina hemlock, T. caroliniana Engelm. Overall rooting percentage (41%) and percent mortality (22%) were higher for eastern hemlock compared with carolina hemlock (10% rooting and 13% mortality). Rooting percentage of each species responded differently to varying auxin concentrations (0, 1, 2, 4, 8 mm NAA). Maximum rooting (56%) for eastern hemlock occurred at 0 mm NAA; then decreased with increasing auxin concentration. Carolina hemlock rooting percentage increased from the control to a maximum (16%) at 1 mm NAA; then decreased with increasing auxin concentration. For both species, the lowest mortality occurred at the same auxin concentration as maximum rooting. The highest rates of mortality coincided with the same concentrations as the lowest rooting percentages. At all auxin concentrations, eastern hemlock had a higher number of roots and greater total root length relative to carolina hemlock. Mortality among 6-cm stem cuttings was twice that observed for 3-cm cuttings of both species. However, 6-cm cuttings of eastern hemlock that did form adventitious roots had more roots and longer total root length compared with 3-cm cuttings. Chemical name used: 1-naphthalenacetic acid.
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