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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SMALL FRUIT AND ORNAMENTAL GENETIC RESEARCH FOR THE MID-SOUTH Title: Propagation of Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) improved via cutting type

Authors
item Bowerman, Jessica -
item Spiers, James -
item Coneva, Elena -
item Tilt, Kenneth -
item Blythe, Eugene -
item Marshall-Shaw, Donna

Submitted to: International Plant Propagators Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 23, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The objectives of this study were to determine whether cutting type (softwood, semi-hardwood, or hardwood), cutting position (terminal or subterminal), IBA concentration, or the interaction of these treatments influence rooting of V. arboreum stem cuttings. Previous experiments did not specify if the cuttings were taken from juvenile or mature wood. The IBA rate did not influence the rooting percentage of any of the cuttings. Type of cutting greatly affected the rooting success of V. arboreum, with softwood cuttings rooting more readily than hardwood cuttings. The source (RTJ or SCMS) of the cutting influenced the rooting percentage of semi-hardwood cuttings. Semi-hardwood cuttings from SCMS had a similar rooting percentage to softwood cuttings, and the cuttings from RTJ had a low rooting percentage, similar to hardwood cuttings. The greater number of sprouts from the plants that had been cut back at the SCMS location allowed us to be more selective, and the cuttings may have been closer to softwood cuttings than the cuttings from RTJ. Although this may not be a commercially feasible way to propagate V. arboreum, it demonstrates that it is possible to root and that the methods could potentially be improved.

Technical Abstract: The objectives of this study were to determine whether cutting type (softwood, semi-hardwood, or hardwood), cutting position (terminal or subterminal), IBA concentration, or the interaction of these treatments influence rooting of V. arboreum stem cuttings. Previous experiments did not specify if the cuttings were taken from juvenile or mature wood. Previous experiments did not specify if the cuttings were taken from juvenile or mature wood. The IBA rate did not influence the rooting percentage of any of the cuttings. Type of cutting greatly affected the rooting success of V. arboreum, with softwood cuttings rooting more readily than hardwood cuttings. The source (RTJ or SCMS) of the cutting influenced the rooting percentage of semi-hardwood cuttings. Semi-hardwood cuttings from SCMS had a similar rooting percentage to softwood cuttings, and the cuttings from RTJ had a low rooting percentage, similar to hardwood cuttings. The greater number of sprouts from the plants that had been cut back at the SCMS location allowed us to be more selective, and the cuttings may have been closer to softwood cuttings than the cuttings from RTJ. Although this may not be a commercially feasible way to propagate V. arboreum, it demonstrates that it is possible to root and that the methods could potentially be improved. Previous research did not mention whether juvenile or mature cuttings were used in the experiments (Reese, 1992; Stockton, 1976). Only juvenile wood was used in this study, which may explain the greater rooting success. Future research should utilize bottom heat and lower light intensity. Rooting percentages of deciduous azaleas, which are in the same family as V. arboreum (Ericaceae), were improved in response to bottom heat (Knuttel, 1984; Mylin, 1982; Nienhuys, 1980) and lower light intensity (Read and Economou, 1983).

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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