Volume 6

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Author: Aart Vuyk

PP: 24

SOURCE OF THE SEED: Good seed is one of the most important factors in producing a good seedling. Special attention should be given to elevation, climate, and characteristics of the parent trees. Years ago growers didn't care too much where the seeds came from, but we have learned that the source of seeds is of most vital importance, and cannot be overlooked by the serious grower who wants to sell a good product.

We, at Musser's, try to buy or gather the seeds in locations comparable to our own general conditions of climate and elevation. When the harvest is good, we buy seeds for years ahead and keep them under refrigeration. To give you an idea of the importance of good seed, let us take a look at one of the best selling pines in the trade, the Scotch pine. As most of you know, there are few races of Scotch pine, and if you start out with seeds from a race not well adapted to your own location, the results can be disastrous. Irregular and reduced growth, crooked stems, and even late


Author: John J. Sjulin

PP: 73

It is our opinion that Lilacs grown on their own roots are superior to lilacs which are budded or grafted on some other rootstock. We believe they grow into better plants and also the troubles which are experienced from incompatibility and hardiness of rootstocks are eliminated.

However, our early attempts to root lilacs from cuttings were unsuccessful, then about ten years ago we learned from Mr Albert Swanson, now deceased, but at that time head propagator for the Mount Arbor Nurseries, that the time of taking lilac cuttings was the main reason for his success in rooting. This suggestion from Mr. Swanson, plus much work and observation by our propagator, Mr. Charles Woodworth, has brought us more success in rooting lilacs. I would like to say at this point, that we are not always entirely successful in rooting lilac cuttings. Some varieties, such as Firmament and Pres. Falliers, absolutely refuse to root for us.

Our procedure for rooting lilacs is this: we construct cold frames in the


Author: Donald Wedge

PP: 75

I have read many interesting articles on propagation which were written by many of you present today and published in the American Nurserymen. They have stimulated our thinking — many of the ideas presented we have experimented with and some we have put into regular practice. One such fine article on lilac propagation by Mr Wells, spoke of 98 percent stands, which has certainly set a high goal to shoot at and has caused us to do some serious thinking and to run some additional tests. Stands of 91 percent have been the best we have been able to do in the past ten years and that only in two varieties in two different years. Our average of all varieties for a given year, including some rather poor propagating varieties, is considerably below that.

We, at the Wedge Nursery, located at Albert Lea, Minnesota which is 15 miles north of the Iowa border, have grown "own root" French lilac since 1902. In 1935 we jumped up our propagation, growing mainly for other nurseries under contract. My father,


Author: Jack Siebenthaler

PP: 79

While many forms of plant propagation, other than Hybrid Lilacs, produce more satisfaction in terms of financial remuneration or quantity production, I believe there are few which contribute any more toward satisfying the inherent love of growing plants, which we all must share.

The taking of cutting wood from a fine specimen plant of hybrid lilac, which is in full bloom and covered with morning dew, leaves little to be desired in this great feeling of being an integral part in the creation of beauty and form. So much for the aesthetics of lilacs.

Perhaps the one thing to stress more than any other is the inconsistency of results in producing hybrid lilacs from softwood cuttings. It is neither my purpose, nor intent to pretend, that we get anything other than mediocre results in our attempts.

Generally, our percentage of survival from propagation frames to the field is from 20% to 50%. Seldom do we experience a greater success than indicated above. While it is true that with an adequate


Author: Henry Kirkpatrick

PP: 81

French hybrid lilacs, Syringa vulgaris vars., can be successfully propagated by cuttings. Considerable work was done at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc., from 1937 through 1942 on the propagation of hybrid lilacs, and preliminary results of this work were published in April, 1939 (1). Later work substantiated these results and indicated that from 75 to 100 per cent rooting could be obtained. Twenty-four varieties of the hybrid lilacs were successfully propagated from cuttings (Table I) , and no significant differences were noted in the rooting responses of the different varieties. Rooting occurred in from four to five weeks, and the cuttings were ready for potting in approximately two months. Rooted cuttings grew and developed normally.

Propagating methods involved the use of open benches in paint-shaded greenhouses where a minimum temperature of 68° F. was maintained. Temperatures lower than 68° F inactivated or noticeably reduced the effectiveness of the


Author: Roy M. Nordine

PP: 84

This paper will describe our experience over the past three years in rooting and growing lilacs from cuttings. An examination of the literature on this subject revealed a surprising lack of information. Only four references were found, one by a professional, one by an amateur and a mention in two books. In "Plant Propagation Practices" by J. S Wells, a chapter is devoted to Lilacs, one page describes Lilacs from cuttings, while three pages are used to describe his method by grafting. The page that describes Lilacs by cuttings quotes the professional previously mentioned. Wells ends the chapter with a paragraph on the controversal aspect "Cuttings versus Grafts". MacKelveys book, "The Lilac" devotes many pages to the propagation of Lilacs, a host of growers prefer grafting, only two favor growing by cuttings but no directions are given for this method

The professional mentioned above is H Kirkpatrick, Jr. of The Boyce Thompson Institute who writes in the American Nurseryman, April 1, 1939 on


Author: Carl Kern

PP: 88

Recently I became the well-pleased owner of a copy of The Lilac, a monograph by Susan Delano McKelvey. My interest was aroused concerning the most satisfactory method of propagation of the hybrids of Syringa vulgaris, better known to the trade under the term of ‘French Lilacs.’ The work of this author is an outstanding achievement in the annals of writings in horticulture, especially of a genus possessing such complex aspects as the lilac with its many garden forms and varieties.

I have studied the able comments made by many authorities, such as the late E. H. Wilson, E. O. Orpet of California, the late John Dunbar of Highland Park at Rochester, N.Y., the eminent hybridizer of lilacs, Mr. Emile Lemoine, Nancy, France, and many other European and American experts. I am impressed by the many theories as to methods of propagation and as to desirability of suitable understocks. A summary of opinions, however, clearly shows that hybrid lilacs on their own root are the most desirable.



Author: Lela V. Barton

PP: 95

A supply of good seeds is the first requirement of the plant propagator. Since it is seldom possible for him to grow his own seeds, it becomes necessary for him to understand the best techniques for collecting and cleaning seeds, and some of the factors which influence their viability.

Let us consider the collection of seeds of woody plants. This subject is covered very well in the Woody-Plant. Seed Manual prepared by the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Miscellaneous Publication No 654, June 1948. Collection is usually handled by a seed collector who must know where sufficient seed can be found of plants having desirable characteristics. He must know when the seeds are ripe enough to gather and the time period over which it is safe to harvest. He must also know whether the seeds can be collected most easily from the plants, from the ground, or from animal hoards.

The source of the seed has come to be recognized as of prime importance — next to the selection


Author: Wendell H Camp

PP: 107

When your amiable Vice-President some time ago asked me to talk to you about certain items which he had heard me discuss previously I agreed to do so with the understanding that I would not be restricted by the title, but would be permitted to explore certain other things pertaining to the general field of plant propagation and nursery production which would lead into my general topic.

In certain circles there is a growing feeling that the responsibility of the plant propagator ends when he has produced roots on the base of a cutting, gotten the seedling out of its seeds coats, or achieved some sort of union between stock and scion. It is encouraging to note from the program before me that this group still feels it important to get the material established in the field for, when one considers the whole problem, a plant cannot be said to have been successfully propagated until it is established in soil under something approaching natural conditions.

Soil organisms. A single ounce of good


Author: J.P. Nitsch

PP: 122

The subject of "Light and Plant Propagation" is a very broad one, as you well realize, so I will have to limit myself to some aspects only of the effect of light on plants.

Every one of us knows, of course, that plants need light in order to grow. We should also be aware of the fact that plants are much smarter than we are, in that they capture light energy and use it to synthesize many complicated chemicals which the best chemist can possibly obtain only with high temperatures and very complicated apparatus. As a matter of fact, we should realize that, without the plant and without the energy it receives from the sun, life on this planet would be impossible.


Author: John P. Mahlstede

PP: 130

During the meetings last year, as well as on the questionnaire circulated this spring by our program chairman, Mr. Louis Vanderbrook, considerable interest was expressed on the effect of light on plant growth, as it in turn is related to plant propagation. It was because of this interest that your Field Trials Committee, composed of Vincent Bailey, John Roller, Harvey Templeton, John Vermeulen and myself proposed the study as outlined by the NEWSLETTER solicited by Dr. Snyder on April 10th of this year. It was the primary objective of this study to determine what plant type could be maintained in a continuous state of growth by simply interrupting the normal dark period by two hours of light. In addition, by positioning the plants at varying distances away from a primary light source it was also hoped that some information could be obtained about the effect of light intensity on the growth of plants. It was not our intension to develop a program which, at the end of one year would see

Author: Harold E. Hicks

PP: 31

HISTORY. By way of introduction I would like to give a brief history of the tree peony. Its earliest existence has been traced to Asia, where is has been growing in the wild state, in mountainous country, references being made of it back as far as 536 A.D. It was known as "The King of Flowers" and was given the most prominent and sacred place in the gardens of the imperial places.

The Dutch people were the first to write about the tree peonies of China but it was more than 100 years later when English Explorers sent plants home and that a real interest was born. From about the year 1860 Dutch, English and French nurserymen imported tree peonies, propagated them, and made selections.

I might say here that Mr. N. I. W. Kriek has imported many varieties of the Lutea hybrid types to this country, especially those from the famous "House of Lemoine" in France.

TYPES. There are three main types of tree peonies, namely, the European, the Lutea Hybrids and the Japanese.

Because of the greater


Author: R.J. Downs, A.A. Piringer Jr

PP: 134

During 1956 plants of five Viburnum species were grown on various daylengths to determine their effects on growth. The growth measurements reported represent net increases during the treatment period in length of the shoots of main and lateral branches whether due to increased number of nodes, increased internode length, or both of these.

Uniform cuttings, rooted the previous summer and overwintered in the field, were provided by H. M Templeton1. The species were V. burkwoodii, V. juddii, V. chenaultii, and V. plicatum forma tomentosum (V. tomentosum-plicatum). Three replicates of five plants each of the live species were subjected to photoperiods of 8, 12, 14 and 16 hours.

The study was begun March 5, 1956. Plants on all daylength treatments were maintained in the natural light of the greenhouse for a basic 8-hour period, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., after which they were moved into ventilated light-controlled chambers, where they received the necessary supplemental light was 100-watt


Author: F.B. Gorton

PP: 37

Until several years ago, many ornamental plants, that would not come true from seed and could not be propagated successfully from hardwood cuttings, were grafted, budded or layered. A few of these were the Japanese red maple, certain forms of magnolia, pink flowering dogwood, selected forms of Blue Spruce, rhododendrons, lilacs, etc. Since that time, however, tremendous strides have been made in propagating plants from softwood cuttings. In many instances this has eliminated the need for grafting.

The introduction of polyethylene plastic film, misting or fogging, and chemical rooting agents have created a mild revolution in the nursery industry. It has spurred the imagination of many propagators to experiment for new and better ways of propagating certain plants. From these experiments came a large number of new methods for inducing root growth on softwood cuttings. A few of these were the intermittent or constant mist systems, the Burlap Cloud method, the plastic case method, and the


Author: Thomas B. Kyle

PP: 41

First, I would like to say that I have had only three years experience in growing miniature roses in quantity. I do not want to give the impression that our methods are the best. I can say, however, that we have been reasonably successful in the way that we grow them at Tipp City, Ohio.

Plant propagation is a fascinating profession. The urge to try new things and develop new methods is strong in good growers. We are fortunate that our industry has so many well-organized research programs in the hands of capable workers. These men have brought about great improvements which have reduced production costs and added large sums to the value of inventories. I would like at this time to express my appreciation for the privilege of hearing the experiences and significant findings of the research and commercial men at this meeting. It is a great opportunity for more economical operation and helps to keep us all abreast of what is new.

Miniature roses like hybrid tea, climbing, or any other class


Author: Ray E. Halward

PP: 43

Having admired three beautiful upright specimens of Cercidiphyllum Japonicum for sometime and knowing that they were the only three trees of their kind on our property, I decided, to try and propagate them from softwood cuttings.

My first attempt in 1954 encouraged me to try again in 1955. I took the first cuttings on July 12, 1954. The spring and early summer were extremely hot and dry in our section and the new growth was quite firm by this time, which probably accounted for the low percentage of rooting. Of 50 cuttings, only one rooted.

On June 23, 1955 I took 50 more cuttings. They were tip cuttings about 6 inches in length, and cut just below a node and were quite soft when taken, I removed the foliage from the lower half of the cuttings. Having used no treatment the previous year I decided to try them again with no treatment as I had noticed the other cuttings were quite heavily calloused by late summer.

The rooting medium used was one I have used for a number of years with good


Author: William Flemer III

PP: 44

The propagation of Sophora japonica by budding is by no means new to the nursery world. Back in the days of our Victorian ancestors when grotesque horticultural "novelties" were popular no matter how peculiar looking, it was common practice to bud Sophora japonica pendula on six or seven foot stems. This produced a tree similar to the weeping Ash (Fraxinus excelsior pendula) and certainly its equal in ugliness. Two more useful forms, Sophora jap. columnaris which was narrow and pyramidal in form and Sophora japonica violaces with lavander colored flowers, were also budded, but these have long since disappeared from the trade and have apparently been lost.

For many years Sophora was just another rather rare leguminous tree only occasionally used as a lawn specimen, usually on some Landscape Architect's specification. With the arrival of various serious tree diseases on the national scene, most of these lesser known trees were subjected to more careful scrutiny in the search for better shade


Author: H.A. Barnes

PP: 46

In the fifteen minutes which has been allotted for the "Propagation of Roses by Budding", I shall try to cover the most important details. I shall devote the first part of my talk to the actual technical details of the subject and the second part to some of the pitfalls and details which may not be fully understood at the moment.

Present day commercial propagation of roses is done by budding, not by grafting as in years gone by. In the beginning, as with any crop, we must start with the plot of land involved for the crop. Roses, of course, grow best in clay soils, but contrary to this, my first crop of roses was raised on pure sand, and for a beginner, I still consider that first crop a good one.

Roses grow well in a pH of 5.5 to 7.5 which gives the grower a wide tolerance with which to work. As a starting point, wild rose (Rosa multiflora japonica) is planted in the spring just as early as your soil will permit you to do so. Late March is excellent if it is possible to start that early.


Author: Kenneth B. Fisher

PP: 53

Propagation by cold frame method is one of the oldest methods employed by nurserymen. As such it would seem that it is unnecessary to go into the matter to any great extent. Yet methods vary considerably from nursery to nursery and, therefore, it would seem wise to go into these variations as there seems to be no hard and fast rule to go by.

CONSTRUCTION Construction depends upon materials available and the use of the frame itself. Since most of the material we grow in the cold frame is of the more easily rooted items, such as various Euonymus, ours is very simple. We chose a spot at the base of a low bank. By straightening up one side with a spade and leveling off, we obtained an area six feet wide and about fourteen inches deep at the back. We then laid out 1 × 8 inch planks, which had been treated with a wood preservative, the length of the frame and across the ends. On these we placed concrete blocks (8 × 8 × 16 in.) There are two tiers of blocks in the back and one across the front. The


Author: Case Hoogendoorn

PP: 62

This subject takes in a large territory as there are so many different varieties and types of cuttings and seedlings. There are also different ways of accomplishing this and I am going to tell you only about the groups I am acquainted with and the way I try to handle them in my own nursery.

When I first saw this heading, I had a very easy answer. In order to get the best results in planting and transplanting you just plant everything early and on time. It is as simple as that.

But I don't think you people are satisfied with such a simple answer as that. No doubt you have the same problems as I have, that is, you simply can't plant everything early and on time. Now we try to do the next best thing and that is to see how to get around this in order to get a satisfactory stand when we are planting later than we should.

To start with, we have one very good method and that is potting up all your cuttings and seedlings or putting them in bands. To my mind that is an excellent method to insure