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  • Author or Editor: Christopher L. Rosier x
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Two experiments were conducted to develop a protocol for rooting stem cuttings from 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] Christmas trees. The first experiment tested the effect of stumping treatments and tree age on shoot production and subsequent adventitious rooting. One auxin concentration [4 mm indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)] and a nonauxin control were tested. Stock plants were stumped to the first whorl (trees in the field 3 and 5 years) or the first, third, and fifth whorls (trees in the field 7 years). Intact (nonstumped) controls were also included for each age. The second experiment was designed to create a quantitative description of the effects that crown (foliage and above ground branches of a tree) position have on the rooting of stem cuttings collected from stumped and nonstumped trees. The exact position was determined by measuring the distance from the stem, height from the ground, and the degrees from north. Crown positions were recorded as cuttings were collected and then cuttings were tested for rooting response. The rooting traits assessed in both experiments included rooting percentage, percent mortality, number of primary roots, total root length, root symmetry, and root angle. In the first experiment, rooting percentage, primary root production, and total root length increased as the age of the stock plant decreased and the severity of the stumping treatment increased. Auxin treatment significantly increased rooting percentage, root production, root lengths, and root symmetry while decreasing mortality. Overall, the highest rooting percentages (51%) and the greatest number of primary roots (8.1) occurred when 3-year-old stock plants were stumped to the first whorl and treated the cuttings with 4 mm IBA. The greatest total root lengths (335 mm) occurred in cuttings from the 3-year-old stock plants. In the second experiment, rooting percentage was significantly affected by the position from which the cuttings were collected. Cuttings collected lower in the crown and closer to the main stem rooted more frequently than cuttings collected from the outer and upper crown.

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Seven concentrations of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), seven concentrations of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), and a nonauxin control were tested over three growth stages to determine their ability to promote adventitious rooting of stem cuttings from 3- and 4-year-old stock plants of virginia pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.). Cuttings were harvested September 2000 (semi-hardwood), February 2001 (hardwood), June 2001 (softwood), and October 2001 (semi-hardwood), treated with auxin concentrations ranging from 0 to 64 mm and placed under intermittent mist in a greenhouse. Rooting percentage, percent mortality, number of primary roots, total root length, root symmetry, root angle, and root diameter were assessed following 16 weeks. Growth stage affected every rooting trait measured except root symmetry and diameter. Auxin type affected total root length and root diameter, while auxin concentration affected every rooting trait except root angle. The highest predicted rooting percentages (46%) occurred when semi-hardwood cuttings were collected in September 2000 and treated with 7 mm auxin. Cuttings collected within the same growing season (2001) exhibited the highest predicted rooting percentage (33%) when softwood cuttings were treated with 6 mm auxin. Semi-hardwood cuttings rooted in 2001 produced the greatest number of roots and root lengths. Root diameter was significantly greater when NAA rather than IBA was applied, especially at higher concentrations.

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Seven concentrations of IBA and seven concentrations of NAA plus a nonauxin control were tested over three growth stages to determine their effectiveness in promoting adventitious root formation on stem cuttings taken from 3- and 4-year-old stock plants of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.]. Cuttings were prepared in March (hardwood), June (softwood), or November (semi-hardwood) 2001, treated with auxin concentrations ranging from 0 to 64 mm, and placed under mist. Rooting percentage, percent mortality, number of primary roots, total root length, root system symmetry, and root angle were recorded after 16 weeks. Growth stage and auxin concentration significantly affected every rooting trait except root angle. NAA significantly increased the number of primary roots and total root length. However, auxin type did not significantly affect rooting percentage or percent mortality. The highest rooting percentages (99%) occurred when softwood cuttings were treated with 5 mm auxin, however, semi-hardwood cuttings also rooted at high percentages (90%) and had no mortality when treated with 14 mm auxin. Regardless of auxin type, the number of primary roots and total root length varied in similar patterns across concentration, although, NAA tended to induce a greater response. To root Fraser fir stem cuttings collected from 3- and 4-year-old stock plants, it is recommended that a concentration of 5 mm NAA should be used on softwood cuttings and 14 mm IBA on semi-hardwood cuttings. Chemical names used: indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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