Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

April grafting optimal for Fraser fir

Date:
December 30, 2010
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Christmas trees provide a significant source of revenue in southern Appalachia. The most popular species in the region is Fraser fir but they are under attack by a pathogen that causes root rot, kills seedlings, and threatens serious economic losses. To develop planting stock that is resistant to or tolerant of the pathogen, researchers are comparing success rates of the traditional April grafting time with eight summer/early fall grafting dates.

Scientists graft Fraser fir onto rootstock of Turkish fir to produce disease-resistant trees.
Credit: Photo by John Frampton

Christmas trees provide a significant source of revenue in southern Appalachia, resulting in millions of dollars in sales during the holiday buying season. The most popular species in the region is fraser fir, appreciated for its fragrance and consumer-friendly traits such as soft needles, strong branches, exceptional needle retention, and natural Christmas tree shape.

Frasers, indigenous to isolated high-elevation mountains in southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee, are under attack by a pathogen called Phytophthora cinnamom, an insidious adversary that causes root rot, kills seedlings, and threatens serious economic losses for the region's Christmas tree industry.

"Once a growing site is infested, the pathogen is nearly impossible to eradicate. Fir seedlings often die within 2 or 3 weeks from infection", noted John Frampton, a professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. To develop planting stock that is resistant to or tolerant of Phytophthora cinnamomi, some growers in the southern Appalachian Mountains are turning to grafting practices, predominantly grafting fraser fir scions onto rootstocks of resistant momi or turkish fir. To aid growers in the region seeking effective grafting techniques, Frampton and his team designed a study, implemented by graduate student Haley Hibbert-Frey, to compare success rates of the traditional April grafting time with eight summer/early fall grafting dates.

The study, published in HortScience, contains important recommendations for tree growers.

Fraser fir is usually grafted in April when the rootstock and scion are dormant. But spring is a busy time for growers, who would welcome the flexibility of performing grafting at other times of the year (e.g., late summer or early fall). The NCSU study compared success and growth of grafting fresh fraser fir scions onto turkish fir rootstocks during the traditional April grafting window with eight biweekly grafting dates from mid-July through mid-October. The scientists also assessed the effect of shade and irrigation treatments on graft success and growth and evaluated grafting during the mid-July through mid-October season using dormant fraser fir scions collected during April and stored at -1 C.

The team concluded that the effect of grafting date was significant for graft success. Grafting during April when scions were dormant and rootstocks were just becoming active yielded a noteworthy 95% success rate; graft success was significantly lower for the first three summer grafting dates and was unsuccessful from August 24–October 20. "April graft success was 95% but when grafting fresh scions in summer/fall, graft success decreased from 52% in July to 0% in October. To ensure optimal grafting success, grafting should be performed in the late winter or early spring when scions are dormant and the rootstocks are becoming active", recommended Frampton.

The experiment results showed that shade improved summer graft success (52% with shade, 38% without), while irrigation did not significantly affect graft success or subsequent growth. In a supplemental storage study, grafting of stored scion material in summer/early fall was not successful (less than 1%). "Until more successful techniques can be developed, it is prudent to graft fraser fir in early spring with freshly collected dormant scion material", the researchers concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. haley Hibbert-Frey, John Frampton, Frank A. Blazich and L. Eric Hinesley. Grafting Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri): Effect of Grafting Date, Shade, and Irrigation. HortScience, 45: 617-620 (2010) [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "April grafting optimal for Fraser fir." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101230100100.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2010, December 30). April grafting optimal for Fraser fir. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101230100100.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "April grafting optimal for Fraser fir." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101230100100.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins