Volume 4

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Author: Roscoe A. Fillmore

PP: 25

Mr. Chairman, members of the Plant Propagators Society, and guests: I wondered when I was asked to talk here just why, and after looking over the exhibits in the other room I still wonder. I am afraid there isn’t anything I can tell. It is true that I live, and grow nursery stock, in a quite different location and environment from that in which most of you are working. I may say that I thoroughly endorse the purposes of this great Society and, therefore, I joined last year. I have always believed that each of us had more to gain through cooperation than through fighting each other and attempting to keep our particular methods secret from our neighbors. Now I don’t know just how much you may know about my location - Nova Scotia. If you will look at the map of North America or of Canada you will find that Nova Scotia sticks out into the Atlantic like a bent thumb. It is connected with the mainland of North America by a narrow isthmus, the Isthmus of Shignecto, some 18 or 20 miles wide…

Author: William Flemer III

PP: 35

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow propagators: You may wonder why I have chosen the subject of Mahonia aquifolium. From Softwood Cuttings, because as is generally known, Mahonia grows very well from seed, almost as well as barbery. You simply level off a piece of land, break up the soil, spread the seed in a suitable manner, cover with sand and wait until spring, when up they will come by the thousands. The reason for vegetative propagation of this variety lies in the tremendous variability of the seedlings and this talk should perhaps better be a talk on selection rather than on propagation. It seems to me one of the most important functions of the propagator in any nursery, because of his peculiar position of working closely with the plants themselves and observing them from day to day in the field, should be that of selecting better strains of each and every kind. As most of the better strains that are selected do not breed true from seed they have to be propagated vegetatively.

Author: Merton L. Congdon

PP: 39

When I was asked to present this talk on the mass production of layers, my first thought was that there are many nurserymen that are much better qualified to present this subject than I. However, at our nursery we have perhaps developed some methods that have speeded up the actual layering process to a point that they may be worth presenting here. In this discussion we are going to touch upon the following topics: History Types of Stock Row Spacing of Beds Soil Type Time of Layering Procedure Follow-up Gathering Costs HISTORY: Some history of my experience is necessary to present this subject properly. Prior to 1940 when my brother and I were operating the H. E. Congdon Nursery we were concerned only with the propagation of small fruits. It was at that time that we were approached by Mr. Ralph Lake and Mr. Bert Lake of the Shenandoah Nurseries, Shenandoah, Iowa about the possibilities of growing deciduous shrubs for them in our favorable climate and soil.

Author: John Bogdany

PP: 45

e usually trim our understock in March, or our stock plants of juniper in March, and it may seem strange to you propagators that we start our cuttings the last week of January - kind of late. In fact we haven't anything in the greenhouse yet. Even the old stand is in there. We use a coarse sand, and we control our hot-water heating system pretty well. I use Hormodin No. 3 on these varieties, and it seems to root the Canaerti well. We use a sweat box and wet it down to within a quarter of an inch from the bottom. We get good results with Canaerti, up to 75 per cent. With Keteleeri we get only 33 per cent, however, I have tried it only twice. I know Jim Wells uses some sort of tripple razor blade to wound the junipers. I haven't tried that, but am going to this year. Over the benches we have laths spaced about an inch and a half apart. We don't use whitewash until almost May. On the west side we have a double row of cheesecloth tacked up. On the east side only one row to keep out the sun.

Author: E. Stroombeck

PP: 48

Like Roger mentioned, the propagation of Pyracantha from cuttings isn't a very difficult proposition. At first I raised my eyebrows a little when he asked me to give a short talk on this subject. On second thought, I realized that while the rooting process itself is simple, we usually get into differences of opinion and some trouble when we get to the point where we have to decide what we are going to do with our rooted cuttings in order to get first-class transplants and later on liners. Last year we decided that a propagators work is not restricted only to the rooting of shrubs and evergreens in the greenhouse, but definitely includes the proper care and handling of the plants during their first year, so I thought that I would put the emphasis of this short talk on the care of the plants following rooting. Now, in short, let's go over the rooting procedure itself. We root our pyracanthas by the end of September. During the beginning of August we take our cuttings from field plants.

Author: Logan Monroe

PP: 51

Forsythia has gained a place of importance in the nursery business mainly because of its early bloom and also because of its brilliant color. It is actually about the first really noticeable deciduous shrub to bloom in the spring, coming in April about the same time as the daffodils. There were two original species of Forsythia - suspensa and viridissima. F. suspensa is the low form which droops, the ends of the branches touching the ground and normally taking root. F. viridissima is just the opposite, a very tall upright form and a strong grower. Years ago the nurserymen wanted an intermediate variety so they crossed these two and came up with Forsythia intermedia. It is from this species that most of the varieties that we know today have come, particularly the two that I would like to talk about tonight - Spring Glory and Lynwood Gold. Spring Glory is a light lemon yellow and was selected because of its prolific bloom and its habit of growth.

Author: George P. Blythe

PP: 54

Tonight we are particularly interested in one species of rose, called Rosa Hugonis. This exotic rose was found in Western China, and is sometimes called "Father Hugo's rose". It is easily grown, and becomes a great and graceful shrub. Early in the season, the large, single, clear yellow flowers cover this species. The propagation of R. Hugonis, from hard wood cuttings, has been a simple procedure with us, for the last 20 years. We tried budding them, but never got a good take. It was hard to remove the thorns. We even tried leaving the thorns on the sticks, but the budders did not appreciate this method. We used Rosa multiflora japonica understock grown from cuttings. We tried soft wood cuttings with only fair results. We have tried growing them from seed, but you can't be sure of a good supply, nor of germination. Our "seed trial" lasted several years, but we had only one good stand, and the seedlings took three years to develop into Number One plants.

Author: A.M. Shammarello

PP: 57

The questionnaire we received this summer asked us to check plants we would be most interested in hearing someone talk about. I checked rhododendrons. Little did I realize at the time that I would be asked to tell you how to propagate rhododendrons by stem cuttings. I had hoped that some successful propagator would enlighten us on the subject. I am seeking information and I am sorry to say I do not have much to contribute. However, I will tell you of my experiences and hope to stimulate some interest and thereby obtain more information from the audience.I have propagated rhododendrons by leaf-bud cuttings and by stem cuttings for the past 15 years. My results have been inconsistent from year to year. Some years I have rooted them easily and on hard varieties had 90 per cent. Some years I only got 10 per cent to root. Therefore, it is quite evident that the conditions and the methods used were not the same. Something was wrong.

Author: Ray A. Keen

PP: 63

Taxus are commonly propagated by seeds and cuttings, a few varieties by grafting, and occasionally an amateur will propagate a plant by layering. Seeds are used to propagate the species of yew and are preferred by many growers, according to Wells (34) and others (12, 21, 28), for producing the excurrent "capitata" form of the Japanese Yew, T. cuspidata. Hatfield (12) and Wells (34) have pointed out that the source of seed is important, since the yews hybridize readily, and seed from a mixed nursery planting may offer many potentially excellent new varieties. However, commercially, a block of such plants must be sold as "mixed seedlings … and do not command a high price on the market", according to Wells (34). It was my privilege to observe several such blocks of stock, of all ages, this past summer. From them plants could be selected to fit the description of almost any of the yews in the literature except, possibly, T. baccata adpressa, the Shortleaf English Yew. Wells (34) prefers domestic seed, from nursery stock plants, to imported seed. The seed should be gathered as soon as ripe and cleaned by "macerating the arils in water and floating away the pulp and empty seed" (35). Yew seed remains viable up to four years if stored in moist peat below 40 deg F.

Author: Laddie J. Mitiska

PP: 69

Taxus are propagated by seed for two reasons. First is to produce the Taxus "capitata" of the trade. The other is to produce seedlings of the clones in a search for new varieties, which, to be reproduced, are propagated by cuttings or, very rarely, by grafting. Although some nurserymen propagate Taxus "capitata" by tip cuttings of upright-growing branches of particularly good strain most plants of this type are grown from seed. Much of the success or failure of growing taxus from seed depends upon the source and viability of the seed. If one is dependent upon a seed house or collector for the procurement of seed, it is important to know that the seed is from the current crop…

Author: John Vermeulen

PP: 76

If you think you know a lot, you know very little. And if you know a little and you keep your ears and eyes open, sometimes, you learn a lot! So I will just make a very brief statement here of what we do in propagating yews from cuttings. I will make it so brief that some questions must be asked. I believe in questions and answers. That is how I learn and I think that is how most of us learn. I am giving a short talk and dividing it into four parts. First, material; second, the time; third, the media; and fourth, the hormones. Selection of material from which cuttings are to be made is a very important matter. If you take a branch from a sick plant, we all know it hasn't an opportunity to grow. If we take it from the plant, it continues on for a period of time in the rooting media, until it has a chance to make its own root or take its own feeding, it has…

Author: Martin Van Hof

PP: 82

About the third week in May we are generally ready for planting out our well hardened taxus cuttings, also by this time all danger of frost is past. Preparing of the soil is, of course, highly important, we at the Rhode Island Nurseries, fertilize our soil at the propagation grounds with one year old cow manure which we apply quite generously. We rotohoe the manure in with a 60" hoe with tractor and power take off, and go over this ground three times with this Rotohoe so that the manure is thoroughly mixed with the soil to a depth of at least 12". After this we proceed to erect temporary frames, 8 or 10" boards are used, and the frames are 5 ft. 10 inches wide as we use 6 foot shades. As soon as a couple of the frames are up one of our men follows this up by tilling the bed again with a 20 inch Rotohoe and of course as soon as one bed is ready two men can start planting. I say two men because our beds are only an average of 90 feet long, but, of course, more men are put to planting as the...

Author: William E. Snyder

PP: 89

Many standard horticultural procedures have developed as the result of years of practical experience. In more recent years, some of these standard horticultural procedures have been found to be unjustifiable on the basis of research and of practical trials, but many have been found to be completely justifiable practices. The plant propagator has long realized that the maintenance of the turgidity of a cutting is essential for rapid and successful rooting. Thus many standard horticultural procedures are followed which are aimed to minimize the loss of water from cuttings. Some of these well known practices are: - Collection of the cutting wood in the early morning when the tissues are fully turgid - Protection of the cutting wood from bright sunlight and from warm, dry wind - Covering the wood with moist burlap or, in some instances, inserting the base of the cuttings in an inch or two of water - Making the cuttings as rapidly as possible and inserting them in the rooting medium.

Author: Charles E. Hess

PP: 104

At this point I feel we are faced with a problem. Almost every report concerning mist propagation reveals outstanding results, results far and above those obtained from other methods of propagating cuttings. Just what can account for these results? Let us start when we first make a cutting and trace the events which follow and see if we can find some of the reasons why mist propagation can be expected to give outstanding results. The first factor to consider is that when we make a cutting, the most important thing we leave behind is the water supply. Almost all of the water the cutting uses during the propagation period must come through the small cut area on the base of the cutting; a very small area when compared with the extensive root system that supplied the twig before it was cut. If we are so concerned with the water supply, just where does the loss of water take place ? The great bulk of the water used by the cutting is lost through the leaves. On the under side of a leaf…

Author: William F. Ward

PP: 109

Members of the Plant Propagators Society, Ladies and Gentlemen. I was very happy when several members suggested to Mr. Fillmore that I present the topic "Mist Propagation in Open Frames", a method of propagation with which we have had two years experience. Since we were dissatisfied with the old closed case or tent house method of propagation it was quite natural for us to attempt to root cuttings during the summer under the new mist technique. At the Shenandoah Nurseries we began investigations in 1953 with a mist bed 6 × 15 feet, expanding those facilities to a bed 6 × 105 feet during the 1954 propagating season. With very few exceptions, we have consistently obtained better results with mist propagation than with our frame method under shaded sash. With two years experience behind us the management has expressed the desire that we expand our mist propagation setup to take care of the largest part of the summer propagation schedule dealing with the rooting of deciduous shrubs and…

Author: Hugh Steavenson

PP: 113

Our system of mist propagation at Forrest Keeling Nursery varies in several particulars from other mist systems I have seen or with which I am acquainted. These variations are not necessarily any better nor any worse than other adaptations. And I think "adaptation" is an appropriate word in this connection. It seems to me that almost all mist systems are adapted to an earlier propagation system or technique that happened to be in use at the nursery in question. And this, if anything, points up the flexibility and adaptability of mist. For example where the propagator has been using a greenhouse, he adds or adapts mist to this structure. Or he will integrate mist into his sash house operation where this type house is in use. If he has been using cold frames or hot beds he will simply remove the sash, install a mist line a few inches above the bed and raise translucent windguards around the frame to keep the mist at home.

Author: Vincent K. Bailey

PP: 121

The discussions you have just heard about mist propagation are an effective method of preventing loss of moisture from the softwood cuttings but there is another method which we have found very effective. I refer to controlled humidity in greenhouses as a means of keeping the cutting in good condition until rooted. We have used this method in St. Paul for the past seven years and we feel that it has some advantages. As an introduction to our discussion of "Controlled Humidity in Greenhouses". I wish to briefly describe our physical plant. This consists of two greenhouses, one 25' x 100' built about 1938 and another 25' x 116' built in 1942. These houses are heated with hot water boilers using oil. Our propagation is primarily for the purpose of supplying lining-out stock for our own field planting. I wish to make it plain that we are not producers on a large scale in the way that many of you are accustomed to.

Author: Henry T. Skinner

PP: 129

A recognition of the principal differences between the classes of azaleas in cultivation here and abroad is prerequisite to a consideration of propagation methods. Morphological and physiological differences between members of these classes are so pronounced as to necessitate quite separate appraisal from the propagation standpoint. The Kinds of Azaleas. By the system of classification employed by Wilson and Rehder in the Monograph of Azalea (29) these plants are of course still botanically maintained as Rhododendrons. Within Rhododendron the azalea subgenus Anthodendron is divided in four sections of which the two largest are Number I and IV. The first, Tsutsutsi, contains the semi-evergreen "Indian" and "Japanese" types with which we are very familiar. Flowers in this section have stamens variable in number to 10. The fourth section, Pentanthera, with stamens in fives, contains the deciduous azaleas including our natives, as well as R. molle, japonicum, luteum and the Ghent and Mollis.

Author: Zophar P. Warner

PP: 137

There are other propagators, several of whom are here, that use essentially the same method of growing azaleas from seed that we use. However, we have had continued success and will offer our procedure in the hope it will be of some value. In addition to the azaleas that are desirable to grow from seed, the following procedure for the most part can be followed in growing Pieris, Rhododendrons, Leucothoe, Kalmia, and similar plants. Our time of sowing the seed is based on the fact that we want to make use of the winter months and that we want a plant large enough to bed out by the last week of May. That is considered to be the frost date around here. Also we have limited greenhouse space and we do not want too large a plant. January 15 is about the right time for azaleas. Rhododendrons and Kalmia should be sown in early December or before. All our flats are 20 × 14" and 2;¾" deep. Only the depth is important.

Author: Roland De Wilde

PP: 143

I am not going to spend too much time on the propagation of the Kurumes and that type of azalea because of the fact that a great many people know how to do it. As a matter of fact, in our part of the country every cross-road farmer has a batch of azaleas and they are as common as weeds, and I am afraid they will be pretty nearly as cheap as that before too many years. However, we like to do things just a little different from the common practices, so I will just briefly explain our method. First with Kurume cuttings and Rhododendron kaempferi-the standard practice is to make the cuttings from wood that has nearly finished growing. It is not important to do that. We stick the cuttings in sand and peat in a cold frame. The cold frame is constructed out of a 4-inch wide concrete box two blocks high and filled up with a medium of half sand and half peat. We try to be a little heavy on the sand, especially if we use the peat dry and the peat swells when it gets wet and increases in volume.

Author: Everett L. Conklin

PP: 148

In this modern age of propagation of azaleas there are very few left which must, or rather, can be grown from grafting. The field is limited primarily to the florist-forcing varieties, of two groups, - the A. rutherfordiana and the indica varieties. These varieties are hardy in practically all of the State of California, that is, the coastal part of California, the immediate Gulf counties and a part of Florida. However, beyond those areas, they are not comparatively hardy anywhere else in the country. There are a few isolated instances where we will find some growing in Washington, I know, that have been there for some years, but we would prefer to say they are not dependably hardy in such areas. Briefly, the history of the grafting of Azalea indica goes back to the early 1800's, reaching a rather large scale in Belgium around 1870, and in this country since quarantine 37 prohibited their importation about 1920.

Author: John L. Creech

PP: 154

Beech and linden are among the deciduous shade trees that generally are propagated from seed. At least in the case of beech, vegetative propagation is very difficult while linden falls into that category of plants for which layering, a practice only occasionally used in this country, can be substituted for seedage. A review of some of the literature pertaining to the vegetative propagation of these two trees has been suggested as an appropriate subject to present to the 4th Annual Meeting of the Plant Propagators Society. Most of the observations were made by European nurserymen and we find that discussions of beech propagation appeared frequently in such periodicals as the Garden's Chronicle of England, and Moller's Deutche Gartner-Zeitung, a German publication. Because some of our earlier colleagues were aware of techniques that may not have been passed down, a discussion of observations made by horticulturists during the past century is worth our consideration.

Author: Harold Crawford

PP: 158

Members of the Propagators Society and visitors: I don't have a lot of scientific information to give you this afternoon in regard to percentages and data of that kind. What I can give here this afternoon is merely our own personal experience in the propagation of this tree. As you know, the Buisman elm, and I am referring to the same thing sometimes called the Boisman elm, was introduced from Europe, I think in the early twenties. It was used there as a tree resistant to the Dutch elm and they later discovered it is also resistant to phloem necrosis. The only way that we can propagate this tree and maintain the resistant qualities is, of course, vegetatively. There are several ways that have been tried with more or less success, such as budding, grafting, top cuttings, hardwood cuttings, and root cuttings. Our own experience has been confined principally to that of root cuttings and softwood cuttings in the greenhouse.

Author: John L. Creech

PP: 164

Cuttings can be made from the roots of a number of species that are difficult to root from stem cuttings. This method is quite frequently applied to the woody legumes but to a lesser extent in other plant groups. According to Priestly and Swingle (4), root cuttings tend to produce adventive shoots more readily than adventive roots just as stem cuttings are prone to regenerate roots, seemingly as if each were trying to replace that portion of the plant which was missing. In addition, the adventive shoots formed on root cuttings are more likely to be found at the upper (proximal) end of the cuttings than at the lower (distal). Thus, the most successful root cuttings will be those obtained as close as possible to the base of the plant. This proximity to the base of the parent plant might also be expressed in terms of the diameter of the root cuttings.