Pecan is a medium to large, deciduous, monoecious tree and most cultivars are propagated on seedling pecan rootstocks by the patch bud in the summer in China. Pecan seeds are expensive ($0.17 to $0.34 each), contributing to the high cost of pecan trees.
One-year-old pecan seedlings with trunk diameters exceeding 0.6 cm are used as the rootstocks. Trees are patch budded ≈10 to 15 cm above the soil line. The portion of the rootstock above the patch bud site is removed during dormancy to force the patch bud in the spring. The seedling rootstock top normally is discarded when removed to force the patch bud, but it might be used to produce additional rootstocks if successfully rooted.
Successful rooting would make full use of resources that were otherwise discarded. Propagation material could be increased by 2- to 3-fold annually since many of the rootstocks were branched above the patch bud. Pecan has been propagated by tissue culture (Lazarte, 1984; Obeidy, 1993), leafy stem cuttings (Youssef, 1993), and mound layering (Wood and Byron, 1989), but commercially acceptable propagation of juvenile cuttings has not yet been demonstrated. This study was undertaken to investigate the rooting of hardwood cuttings from 1-year-old rootstock treated with varying concentrations of selected auxins and different combinations of media and air temperatures.
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