ADVENTITIOUS SHOOT PROPAGATION AND CULTURAL INPUTS ON NURSERY PRODUCTION OF A PRIMOCANE-FRUITING BLACKBERRY SELECTION

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, 316 Plant Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Studies were conducted from January to November of 2005 to determine the effect of root-cutting length on adventitious shoot yield and the management practices necessary to produce nursery-quality blackberry plants. The first portion of the study measured the average number of shoots produced from 7.6 and 15.2 cm long root cuttings of APF-44 blackberry—a primocane-fruiting clone (not available in commerce) from the University of Arkansas breeding program. Cuttings were forced in a shallow bin containing soilless potting media. The average number of shoots per root cutting from 7.6- and 15.2-cm-long root cuttings averaged 1.6 and 2.7 shoots per root cutting, respectively. Rooting percentage of shoots was near 100% regardless of root cutting length and produced rooted plants of equal quality. The latter part of the study included various treatments on the rooted shoots that might affect the productivity and quality of the final product intended for nursery sales in early fall. With the aim of producing a flowering/fruiting shrub by late September, three treatments were applied: pot dimension, fertilizer rate, and shoot tipping. Fertilizer rate had the greatest impact of all treatments. Above normal summer/fall temperatures may explain lack of fruiting on APF-44 blackberries, but the dimension and size of some plants provided a portion of the intended aesthetic.

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