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Paul H. Henry and Frank A. Blazich

Two experiments investigated the relationship of light and temperature in seed germination of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.]. Irradiation during the warm portion of 9/15 hr thermoperiod of 20/10C and 30/20C increased germination percentages after 42 days, and the degree of stimulation depended on the timing of the light exposures. A 1-hr exposure was most effective during the latter part of the warm portion of the thermoperiods, and varying the time of irradiation had the greatest effect at 20/10C. The involvement of phytochrome in this photomorphogenic response was ascertained by demonstration of red/far-red reversibility.

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Laura G. Jull and Frank A. Blazich

Cones of six provenances (Escambia Co., Ala., Santa Rosa Co., Fla., Wayne Co., N.C., Burlington Co., N.J., New London Co., Conn., and Barnstable Co., Mass.) of Atlantic white cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B. S. P.], were collected Fall 1994 (Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut), Winter 1995 (Massachusetts), or Fall 1995 (Florida). Cones were dried for 2 months, followed by seed extraction and storage at 4°C. Seeds were then graded and stratified (moist-prechilled) for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days. Following stratification, seeds were placed at 25°C or an 8/16-hr thermoperiod of 30°/20°C with daily photoperiods of 0, 1, or 24 hr. Germination was recorded every 3 days for 30 days. Temperature, stratification, and light had significant effects on germination. However, responses to these factors varied according to provenance. Averaged over all treatments, the Alabama provenance exhibited the greatest germination (61%), followed by the Florida provenance (45%), with the remaining provenances ranging from 20% to 38%. However, there were specific treatments for each provenance that resulted in germination > 50%. The three southern provenances (Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina) required 30 days of stratification for maximum germination. They did not exhibit an obligate light requirement, but photoperiods ≥ 1 hr increased germination greatly over seeds in darkness. In contrast, the northern provenances (New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) had an obligate light requirement. These provenances only required 30 days stratification with continuous light for maximum germination. When subjected to a 1-hr photoperiod, seeds from the northern provenances required longer durations of stratification for maximum germination. Regardless of the length of stratification, the New Jersey provenance required a 24-hr photoperiod to maximize germination. When averaged over all treatments, total germination for each provenance was greater at 30°/20°C than 25°C (43% vs. 31%).

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Laura G. Jull and Frank A. Blazich

Seeds of six provenances (Escambia Co., Ala.; Santa Rosa Co., Fla.; Wayne Co., N.C.; Burlington Co., N.J.; New London Co., Conn.; and Barnstable Co., Mass.) of Atlantic white-cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P.] were stratified (moist-prechilled) for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days at 4 °C. Following stratification, seeds were germinated at 25 °C or an 8/16-hour thermoperiod of 30/20 °C with daily photoperiods at each temperature of 0 (total darkness), 1, or 24 hours. The germination of nonstratified seed did not exceed 18%. Seeds germinated at 25 °C required 60 to 90 days stratification to maximize germination. In contrast, 30 days stratification maximized germination at 30/20 °C. Regardless of stratification duration, germination was generally lower at 25 °C than at 30/20 °C for each provenance. Averaged over all treatments, seeds of the Alabama provenance exhibited the greatest germination (61%), followed by those from Florida (45%), with the remaining provenances ranging from 20% to 38%. However, specific treatments for each provenance induced germination >50%. Germination of seeds not exposed to light was <8%, in contrast with 48% and 55% germination for daily photoperiods of 1 and 24 hours, respectively. Seeds from each of the provenances, except for Alabama, exhibited an obligate light requirement when germinated at 25 °C. At 30/20 °C, the North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts provenances required light for germination, whereas the Alabama and Florida provenances did not.

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Laura G. Jull, Frank A. Blazich and L.E. Hinesley

Cones of two provenances (Wayne Co., N.C., And Escambia Co., Ala.) of Atlantic white cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B. S. P.], were collected Fall 1994. Cones were dried for 2 months, followed by seed extraction and storage at 4°C for 6 months. Seeds were graded and stratified (moist-prechilled) for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days. Following stratification, seeds were placed at 25°C or 8/16 hour thermoperiods of 25°/15°C or 30°/20°C with daily photoperiods at each temperature of 0, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, or 24 h. At the conclusion of a 30-day germination period, the Alabama provenance exhibited greater germination than the North Carolina provenance for all treatments (74% vs. 46%). There were no significant differences between 25°/15°C and 30°/20°C with regard to total percent germination for both provenances. Germination was lowest at 25°C for each provenance. In some cases, however, there were no significant differences in germination of the North Carolina provenance when stratified for 60 or 90 days and germinated at 30/20°C or 25°C (61% vs. 63%). There was a highly significant quadratic response to stratification for cumulative percent germination for both provenances. The North Carolina provenance required 90 days stratification to maximize germination (66%) in contrast to the Alabama provenance, which only needed 30 days (80%). Seeds of both provenances did not exhibit an obligate light requirement. However, photoperiods ≥1/2 h increased germination greatly over seeds in darkness (29% vs. 62%).

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Rebecca M. Cade, Todd C. Wehner and Frank A. Blazich

Two studies were conducted to test the effects of various tissue culture media on somatic embryogenesis from cotyledon tissue of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The two best media for embryo initiation were Murashige and Skoog (MS) salts and vitamins containing either 1 or 2 mg 2,4-D/liter and 0.5 mg kinetin/liter. In the second study, embryos developed more normally. More plantlets developed when tissue was removed from the initiation medium after 3 weeks and transferred to MS containing 1 mg NAA/liter and 0.5 mg kinetin/liter for 3 weeks, rather than leaving the embryos on a medium containing 2,4-D. Histological evidence indicated that the embryos were multicellular in origin. Charcoal in the maturation medium inhibited embryo development. Chemical names used: (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) -acetic acid (2,4-D); N-(2-furanylmethyl)-lH-purine-6-amine (kinetin); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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L. Eric Hinesley, Frank A. Blazich and Layne K. Snelling

Hardwood and softwood stem cuttings of 5-year-old Atlantic white cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P.] were cut to 12-cm (short) or 24-cm (long) lengths, treated with 0 to 15 g IBA/liter in 50% isopropyl alcohol, and rooted in a raised greenhouse bench under intermittent mist. When hardwood cuttings were collected in February, short cuttings survived and rooted better than long cuttings. Survival and percent rooting for softwood cuttings collected in late August was virtually 10070 regardless of cutting length. Long cuttings produced more roots and longer roots with hardwood and softwood material. IBA was unnecessary for rooting, but it markedly increased the number of roots. Chemical name used: 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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Carole H. Saravitz, Frank A. Blazich and Henry V. Amerson

Hypocotyl cuttings were prepared from Ii-week-old aseptically grown seedlings of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] and cultured 18 days on media containing 0 to 40 mg IBA/liter followed by transfer to the same medium without auxin. Greatest rooting (66%) occurred after treatment with 20 mg IBA/liter, whereas the greatest number of roots per rooted cutting (7.4) was noted following treatment with 40 mg·liter-1. Chemical name used: 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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Amy N. Wright, Stuart L. Warren and Frank A. Blazich

Root growth is a critical factor in landscape establishment of container-grown woody ornamental species. Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) often does not survive transplanting from containers into the landscape. The objective of this experiment was to compare rate of root growth of mountain laurel to that of Ilex crenata `Compacta' (`Compacta' holly) and Oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood). Six-month-old tissue-cultured liners (substrate intact) of mountain laurel, 1-year-old rooted cutting liners (substrate intact) of `Compacta' holly (liner holly), 6-inch bare root seedling liners of sourwood, and 3-month-old bare-root rooted cuttings of `Compacta' holly were potted in containers in Turface™. Prior to potting, roots of all plants were dyed with a solution of 0.5% (w/v) methylene blue. Plants were greenhouse-grown. Destructive harvests were conducted every 2 to 3 weeks (six total harvests). Length, area, and dry weight of roots produced since the start of the experiment, leaf area, and dry weight of shoots were measured. Sourwood and liner holly had greater rate of increase in root length and root dry weight than mountain laurel and bare root holly. Rate of increase in root area was greatest for sourwood, followed by (in decreasing order) liner holly, mountain laurel, and bare-root holly. Increase in root length and root area per increase in leaf area was highest for liner holly, possibly indicating why this species routinely establishes successfully in the landscape. Increase in root dry weight per increase in shoot dry weight was lowest for mountain laurel. The slow rate of root growth of mountain laurel (compared to sourwood and liner holly) may suggest why this species often does not survive transplanting.

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Anthony V. LeBude, Frank A. Blazich and Barry Goldfarb

Experiments conducted in January (hardwood cuttings) and June (softwood cuttings) 1998 compared rooting and root dry weight (DW) of stem cuttings of three full-sib families of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) rooted in Jiffy forestry peat pellets and Ray Leach Super Cells. Ray Leach Super Cells (vol.= 162 cm3) served as the control and contained a medium of 2 peat: 3 perlite (v/v). Pellet sizes used were 25-65, 30-65, 36-65, 36-75, 42-65, 42-80, and 50-95 (dry diam.-expanded height in mm). Cuttings were taken from hedged stock plants and rooted for 12 weeks under mist in a humidity-controlled greenhouse. Following evaluation for rooting in the June experiment, ≈500 rooted cuttings in pellets and Ray Leach Super Cells were field-planted in eastern Georgia in December 1998 to study the effect of pellet size and cutting development on first-year field growth. Rooting percentages in January for hardwood cuttings rooted in pellet sizes 42-80 (36%) and 50-95 (57%) were less than the control (83%). Root DW for each pellet size was less than the control. Rooting percentage in June for softwood cuttings rooted in pellet size 36-65 (77%) was greater than the control (64%) whereas rooting percentages for cuttings rooted in pellet sizes 42-80 (50%) and 50-95 (52%) were less than the control. Root DWs for cuttings in pellet sizes 25-65, 30-65, 36-65, and 42-65 were less than the control. Field performance data will be presented.

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Paul H. Henry, Frank A. Blazich and L. Eric Hinesley

Studies were conducted to investigate the effects of season (timing), IBA application, genotype, crown position, type of cutting (straight vs. heel), cutting length, and stock plant age upon adventitious rooting of stem cuttings of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.). Genotype had a strong influence on percent rooting, root count, and root length of 4-year-old trees. With trees of this age, percent rooting was maximized (87%) with hardwood cuttings taken in January and treated with 5000 ppm IBA. Crown position from which cuttings were collected did not influence rooting. Straight cuttings, with or without a light wound, rooted at a significantly higher percentage (78%) than heel cuttings (52%). With 30-year-old trees, cuttings from the lower third of the crown rooted at a significantly higher percentage (67%) than cuttings from the middle third (43%). Better rooting was obtained with straight (68%) than heel (47%) cuttings. Cutting length affected rooting, with root count and length highest in longer cuttings. Increased tree age reduced rooting, although cuttings from 40-year-old trees retained substantial rooting capacity. Chemical name used: 1 H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).