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Brian K. Maynard and Nina L. Bassuk

Effects of stockplant etiolation, stem banding, exogenous auxin, and catechol on the rooting response of softwood cuttings of paperbark maple (Acer griseum Pax.) were studied. Etiolated cuttings rooted better than light-grown cuttings, while stem banding did not affect rooting percentage (light-grown, 10%; light-grown + banding, 18%; etiolated, 41%; etiolated + banding, 37%). IBA did not promote, but catechol inhibited rooting (control, 31%; IBA, 37%; catechol, 17%; IBA + catechol, 21%). Root number was increased by IBA and unaffected by catechol. The distance from the cutting base to the first emerged root was measured as an indication of auxin toxicity. IBA interacted with etiolation and stem banding to increase this distance, which was greater in catechol-treated cuttings. Chemical names used: 1,2-benzenedio1 (catechol); 1H-indole-3-butanoic acid (IBA).

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Brian K. Maynard and William A. Johnson

Cupric hydroxide formulated as Spin Out™ [7% Cu(OH)2 in a latex carrier] was used to prevent the rooting-out of Taxus × media Rehd. `Densiformis' root balls into surrounding mulch or soil during storage over a 4-month period. Treatments evaluated in one study included: painting the bottom of the root ball with copper-paint, setting the root ball on copper-treated burlap or ordinary copper-treated burlap; rewrapping the root ball with copper-treated burlap before mulching or burlapping with copper-treated burlap, with appropriate controls. All treatments provided good control of rooting-out after 12 to 16 weeks storage. The most effective treatments were setting the root ball on copper-treated burlap (unmulched; 92% reduction in root count after 16 weeks) and rewrapping or burlapping into copper-treated burlap (mulched; 90% and 86% reduction in root count after 16 weeks). A second study used TexR® Agroliner (Spin Out™-treated non-woven fabric), on which root balls were set (unmulched treatments), rewrapped or burlapped (mulched treatments). TexR® Agroliner stopped rooting-out completely without adversely affecting plant quality. Using copper-treated burlap to prevent rooting-out during storage can reduce the incidence of re-balling and root removal prior to shipping and planting B&B nursery stock.

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Brian K. Maynard and Nina L. Bassuk

Three experiments were undertaken to examine the effect of stockplant etiolation, shading, and stem banding, prior to cutting propagation, on the auxin dose-response of rooting in stem cuttings of Carpinus betulus `fastigiata'. A 2 × 2 factorial of etiolation and banding utilized stockplants forced in a greenhouse, etiolated for 1 week and banded with Velcro™ for 1 month. In a separate study shading was applied up the time of harvesting cuttings. IBA was applied to cuttings as an aqueous ethanol quick dip in concentrations ranging from 0 to 80 mM. Rooting percentage and number were best described, up to a peak response, by a linear function proportional to the logarithm of applied IBA. The inhibition of rooting by supra-optimal IBA was directly proportional to IBA concentration. Cuttings prepared from shoots which had been etiolated or banded rooted better at low IBA and at their respective optimal IBA levels. Cuttings from shoots receiving both etiolation and banding yielded higher rooting percentages and more roots per rooted cutting on average. Etiolation and banding served to increase both initial and maximum rooting capacities, and to reduce the sensitivity of cuttings to supraoptimal auxin-induced inhibition of adventitious root initiation. The auxin dose-response interacted with shading to yield the best rooting at 95% shade and 3.7 mM IBA.

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Brian K. Maynard and Nina L. Bassuk

New shoot growth of Carpinus betulus L. fastigiata was subjected to stock plant etiolation and stem banding (a 2.5-cm square of Velcro applied to the shoot base) treatments and sampled for histological study at intervals over a 16-week period of shoot development following etiolation. Effects of partial shading on histology of the stem were also investigated. Numerous histological changes were noted with stem development and stock plant treatment. Among these were a reduction in lignification of the secondary xylem and thickness of the periderm, and an increase in the percentage of sclereid-free gaps in the perivascular sclerenchyma with etiolation. Concomitant propagation studies revealed significant etiolation, shading, and banding effects on rooting percentages and root numbers. Rooting capacity was modelled using linear combinations of the widths of nonlignified secondary xylem, cortical parenchyma and periderm, as well as the percentage of gaps in the sclerenchymatic sheath remaining free of sclereids. It is proposed that the development of sclereids in potential rooting sites reduces rooting potential. The exclusion of light during initial shoot development retards sclereid development by up to 3 months following treatment, which correlates well with observed increases in the rooting potential of etiolated stems.

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Brian K. Maynard and Nina L. Bassuk

In a study of stock plant etiolation and stem banding, stem cuttings of upright European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L. `Fastigiata') were taken at 2-week intervals over 4 months following budbreak and rooted under intermittent mist for 30 days. Percent rooting and root counts declined with increasing cutting age. Stock plant etiolation and stem banding increased percent rooting and root counts throughout the study, with the combination of both treatments yielding the best rooting. In nontreated stems, > 75% rooting was achieved only within 4 weeks of budbreak. Etiolation and stem banding resulted in rooting ≥ 75% up to 3 months after budbreak. In two shading studies, stock plants were grown in a glass greenhouse under 0%, 50%, 75%, or 95% shade, or initially etiolated (100% shade) for 1.5 days. Cuttings were taken after 2.5 and 60 days and treated with IBA concentrations ranging from 0 to 4.9 mm before rooting under intermittent mist for 30 days. Percent rooting increased proportionally to the degree of shading, with a maximum response at 95% shade. Cuttings taken at 60 days were less responsive to etiolation and shading than those harvested at 25 days. Auxin concentration interacted with shading to yield, at 95% shade and 3.7 mm IBA, the highest rooting percentage and the greatest root counts and lengths. Light exclusion by etiolation, stem banding, or shading can extend the cutting propagation season by increasing rooting responses and increasing the sensitivity of stem cuttings to exogenously applied auxin. Chemical name used: 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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Brian K Maynard and Nina L. Bassuk

New shoot growth of Carpinus betulus `fastigiata' was treated with stockplant etiolation and stem banding treatments and sampled for anatomical study at intervals over a 16-week period of greening following etiolation. Shading effects on the anatomy of the stem were also investigated. Numerous anatomical changes were noted with stem age and stockplant treatment. Among these were etiolation effects on the lignification of the secondary xylem, thickness of the periderm, and an increase in the percentage of sclereid-free gaps in the perivascular sclerenchyma, Stem banding increased the widths of the cortex and pith. Concomitant propagation studies revealed significant etiolation, shading, and banding effects on rooting percentages and root numbers. Using multiple linear regression methods rooting capacity was modelled best by linear combinations of the widths of the pith, non-lignified secondary xylem, cortical parenchyma and periderm, as well as the percentage of gaps in the sclerenchymatic sheath remaining non-sclerified. It is proposed that the development of sclereids in potential rooting sites reduces rooting potential. The exclusion of light during initial shoot development retards sclereid development by up to 3 months following treatment, which correlates well with observed increases in the rooting potential of etiolated and/or banded stems.

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Thomas C. Holt, Brian K. Maynard and William A. Johnson

Degraded water quality is a growing concern across the northeast and in many cases may be linked back to agricultural operations as nonpoint sources of nitrate and phosphorous pollution. Constructed wetlands have emerged as effective, low-cost methods of water treatment that have the potential to reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution and contribute to agricultural sustainability. However, the costs of implementing treatment wetlands as a BMP are high, with little opportunity for cost recovery. We have initiated, at a wholesale plant nursery in Rhode Island, an economical solution to treating nursery runoff that incorporates into a treatment wetland the wholesale production of native and ornamental wetland plants. Our goal is to demonstrate how nursery growers may produce a high-demand crop while addressing nonpoint source pollution on their land. Over the next few years, we will evaluate the economic impact of converting nursery production space into treatment wetland production space. We also will research the feasibility of enclosing treatment wetlands in passively heated polyhouses to facilitate the year around treatment of agricultural runoff. Information gathered from both the on-farm demonstration and research sites will be extended to farmers and other agricultural businesses or professionals through outreach programming. The theory, objectives, and construction of the demonstration treatment-production wetland will be presented.

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Thomas C. Holt, Brian K. Maynard and William A. Johnson

We assessed the capacity for nutrient removal of ornamental water garden plants being grown in treatment-production wetland biofilters. Plant biomass, nutrient uptake, tissue nutrient content, and production potential were compared for five popular ornamental water garden plant species: Typha latifolia L., Iris pseudacorus L., Phalaris arundinacea L. `Picta', Canna glauca L., and Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott. Plants were grown in triplicate 0.3 m2 × 0.3 m, deep gravelbed mesocosms fed with 20N-20P-20K Peter's fertilizer (Scotts-Sierra Horticultural Products Co., Marysville, Ohio) reconstituted to 100 ppm N. After 120 days, mean species total biomass ranged from 1.4 to 5.6 kg·m -2, while producing 105 to 206 divisions per square meter. Growth for Canna and Colocasia was greatest, while Typha produced the most divisions. Mean tissue N and P concentrations ranged from 18 to 29 and 2.1 to 3.0 mg·g -1, respectively. Maximum plant accumulation of 144 g N/m 2 and 15.6 g P/m2 accounted for 70% of the N and 15% of the P supplied by fertilizer. Mean removal of total N and P ranged from 42% to 90% and 18% to 58%, respectively, and was positively correlated with plant biomass. Nutrient removal ability was ranked as Canna = Colocasia > Typha > Iris = Phalaris.

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Brian K. Maynard, Richard A. Casagrand and Roberta A. Clark

The development of a manual and database of recommended trees and shrubs was undertaken as a collaborative effort of the University of Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension and regional nursery stock producers. Initial selection was limited to species exhibiting few or no pest and disease problems, and without site requirements or other factors that could lead to higher maintenance in established landscapes. The preliminary list was reviewed by more than 30 representatives of regional arboreta, universities, growers, landscapers and arborists. In its third printing, the manual includes lists of recommended species, excluded species (with explanations), species for particular situations, and a guide to sustainable landscaping. The consortium brought together to create the manual is also developing a point-of-sale logo and poster to advertise recommended plant species and sustainable landscaping. This project has raised important issues about the interface between the industry and academia in promoting new and less readily available plants.

The database is maintained in FileMaker Pro (MAC), and will be made available in several DOS or MAC formats to those supplying a unformatted3.5” DD or HD disk.

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Thomas Holt, Brian K. Maynard and William A. Johnson

Subirrigation is a viable alternative to mist for the cutting propagation of many woody and herbaceous plants. However, poor success has been reported with rhododendron cuttings. This study evaluated the rooting of two Rhododendron cultivars in a subirrigation system maintained at two different levels of substrate pH. Stem cuttings of Rhododendron `PJM' and R. `Catawbiense album' were wounded, treated with Dip `n Grow (1:10 dilution), and rooted in subirrigated perlite subirrigated with tap water (pH 7.5), or tap water adjusted to pH 4.5 with weak sulfuric acid (1N H2SO4). Percent rooting and root ball displacement were recorded after 7 weeks. The pH of the subirrigation system dramatically affected root initiation and development. At pH 4.5 `PJM' cuttings rooted 100% with an average displacement of 7.6 ml; cuttings of `Catawbiense Album' rooted 88% with an average displacement of 12.1 ml. At pH 7.5, `PJM' cuttings rooted 52.5%, with an average displacement of 0.8 ml, while `Catawbiense album' rooted 73% with an average displacement of 2.5 ml. A root ball displacement of ≥3 ml was judged to be commercially acceptable for rooted cuttings of `PJM' rhododendron, ≥4.5 ml for `Catawbiense album'. At pH 7.5 only 15% of the `Catawbiense album' cuttings and none of the `PJM' cuttings produced commercially acceptable rooted cuttings. At pH 4.5, 83% of the `Catawbiense album' cuttings and 93% of the `PJM' cuttings were commercially acceptable. Subirrigation is a suitable method of irrigating rhododendron cuttings during rooting if a low substrate pH is maintained.