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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Production Management Research For Horticultural Crops in the Gulf South

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Stem Cutting Propagation in Whole Pine Tree Substrates

Authors
item Witcher, Anthony
item Blythe, Eugene -
item Fain, Glenn -
item Curry, Kenneth -
item Spiers, James

Submitted to: Plant Propagators Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2009
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Citation: Witcher, A.L., Blythe, E.K., Fain, G.B., Curry, K.J., Spiers, J.M. 2010. Stem Cutting Propagation in Whole Pine Tree Substrates. Plant Propagators Society Proceedings. 59:594-598.

Interpretive Summary: The increased cost and reduced availability of traditional container substrates has led to increased interest in alternative substrates. Wood-based substrates have been identified as substitutes for pine bark (PB) and peat moss (P) in container production of ornamental crops. Ideally, these substrates would be used for the propagation and production of such crops. An experiment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of processed whole pine trees (WPT) as a substrate for rooting stem cuttings. Four substrates [WPT, WPT:P (1:1), PB, and PB:P (1:1)] were used to evaluate root development of subterminal cuttings of ×Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Murray’ and Salvia leucantha. WPT produced the least total root length and total root volume for both species. However, the addition of peat resulted in greater total root length for S. leucantha. Although the PB and PB:P treatments had similar total root length and total root volume in S. leucantha, the addition of peat to PB had a negative effect on C. leylandii ‘Murray’ root development. The addition of peat altered the substrate physical properties, resulting in decreased air space and increased container capacity in WPT:P and PB:P. S. leucantha and C. leylandii ‘Murray’ cuttings responded differently when peat was added to PB, suggesting ideal physical properties may differ among species. These results will be used to develop protocols for increased root development in WPT substrates.

Technical Abstract: Wood-based substrates have been identified as substitutes for pine bark (PB) and peat moss (P) in container production of ornamental crops. Ideally, these substrates would be used for the propagation and production of such crops. An experiment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of processed whole pine trees (WPT) as a substrate for rooting stem cuttings. Four substrates [WPT, WPT:P (1:1), PB, and PB:P (1:1)] were used to evaluate root development of subterminal cuttings of ×Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Murray’ and Salvia leucantha. WPT produced the least total root length and total root volume for both species. However, the addition of peat resulted in greater total root length for S. leucantha. Although the PB and PB:P treatments had similar total root length and total root volume in S. leucantha, the addition of peat to PB had a negative effect on C. leylandii ‘Murray’ root development. The addition of peat altered the substrate physical properties, resulting in decreased air space and increased container capacity in WPT:P and PB:P. S. leucantha and C. leylandii ‘Murray’ cuttings responded differently when peat was added to PB, suggesting ideal physical properties may differ among species.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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