This old axiom certainly holds true for the PGRU's Cryo Technician, Todd Holleran. As noted in the cryo bud storage page it is necessary to cut dormant scion of apple into 35 mm lengths with a single bud centered in each section. As the photo from the bud storage page shows, in the past it has been necessary to individually measure and cut each bud section to length. This old process required visual accuracy in measuring each section, and two separate cuts. Todd designed the device shown here to increase the accuracy of his work as well as his productivity. He also liked the added benefits of eliminating hand cramps from making so many cuts, as well as the increase in time for other projects.
Construction of this device was fairly simple. As can be seen, it is simply two pair of Felco® pruning sheers separated by a wooden spacer. The device is attached to a wooden base to provide stability. Two QuickGrip® clamps are used to hold the cutters, frame and spacer together. A small block of wood is duct taped to the two free handles of the pruners to deliver simultaneous cutting of the scion. Simple, easy to build, inexpensive and yet very functional.
In 1998, Todd's invention went international with the visit of Dr. John Warner of the Canadian Clonal Genebank of Harrow, Ontario. Dr. Warner was visiting the site to learn more about the cryogenic storage and recovery process of Malus budwood. During Dr. Warner's visit he took note of the device, and commented on its functionality and ease of use. Wanting to build a replica upon his return to Canada, we had these photos taken for future construction reference. The National Plant Germplasm System has been housing the Canadian Malus clonal germplasm collection in cyrogenic storage during the move of the entire collection from its old home in Trenton, Ontario to its new permanent location in Harrow, Ontario. Dr. Warner noted that he wished they had this device available when they needed to prepare their collection for storage.