Does root stock affect scoins genes

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Elton, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Elton

    Elton Member

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    Raleigh NC
    I was reading a thread earlier discussing seed of citrus was geneticly affected by rootstock. It was said that seeds germinated from meyers lemon more closly resembling the root stock. One said it was affected by rootstock buy genes which had made its way through scion to the flower. I have a hard time understanding this. The way I see it is the original genes of the parents of the meyers lemon are still present in a meyers lemon clone or scion. So the seeds that come up has the variablity of producing plants with caracteristics of the both parents, itself or , totaly different characteristics. Not related to the genes of the rootstock but from the genes present in the scion. Also, It was stated that a cutting produced more seeds which which more closly resembled the parent because it was not infuenced buy stock. Could this be due to more vigor not genes. I collect Acers so I'm tring to understand how rootstock could directly infuence a scions genes. A.***. are grafted on A.palm. Seeds are not hybrids? Also use of interstocks. Finally; seeds are a product of genes present in plant/clone and genes present in pollen which pollenates?
    Thanks Elton
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Northamptonshire, England
    A recent scientific study appears to prove the possibility of genetic transfer between rootstock and scion. Here is a link to an article discussing the findings: Unintentional genetic engineering - grafted plants trade genes

    I have seen various claims with regard to Japanese maples in this respect. For example: Red versions of green cultivars were created asexually by repeated grafting over several generations onto certain red rootstocks; and variegated cultivars are less likely to "revert" to a non variegated form if grafted onto variegated rootstocks. I have no way of knowing if these claims are true but they were previously posted in these forums by a seemingly reliable source and not disputed as far as I am aware.

    By the way I am not a biologist or anything, just an interested amateur maple collector, so cannot claim to be an authority on the subject. It's just something I've read up on a little out of a similar curiosity to your own. Hopefully someone can supply more information on the subject.
  3. Elton

    Elton Member

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    Raleigh NC
    If genetic transfer is the case and the stock genes are present inside the clone. If a cutting or layer take from the grafted clone, which now has stock genes present, would the cutting or layer not also carry those same genes. I don't know if possibily chemical differences may have any controling factor with genes selected to be recessive.
  4. Elton

    Elton Member

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    Raleigh NC
    Informative link above very Interesting! Near baffled going to sleep on it...
  5. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    It does sound a little Lysenko-ish, at first glance.
  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Normandie, France
    Interesting link, thanks Maf. The authors do find a certain locality to the transfer, which in itself is puzzling as it suggests some sort of damping mechanism related to propagation over distance. Based on some of the anecdotal evidence we've seen in Maples it's certainly easy to speculate that the damping is different in different species. Perhaps less effective in Citrus or Maples but very sharply defined in some other less polymorphic species?

    If we hypothesize genetic drift from the graft, that means every maple cultivar is nothing but a grex...

    So the only way to propagate successfully would be what: to clone rootstock from the scion in a petri dish (is this even possible?) and then graft to scion to it's genetically identical base?

  7. Noxtra

    Noxtra Member

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    Southwest Missouri
    No expert here but may I offer an opinion. The Scion would contain both a primary or apical meristem which is responsible for shoot growth and secondary meristems which cause growth in the cambium layer. The root stock would only be a suppler of secondary meristem tissue.

    While there might be some swap of genes at the graft fusion what would the final result be at the apical meristem. Would the supply of nutrients affect the apical meristem enough to result in any noticeable change????

    I would think the greatest affect would be to see an increase in the growth rate if a slow growing variety of tree was grafted to a faster growing rootstock. The rootstock is simply supplying nutrients to the scion and the genetic makeup of the scion would be the dominate factor in the final product.

    I think Emory has hit it squarely on the head about the genetic drift. Has anyone seen enough variation occurring through grafting that new varieties are being produced. If so name one???? I'm always game to add to my collection.......

    It is possible to micropropagate Japanese Maples through tissue culture. Would it not be just as easy to root cuttings to achieve nearly the same results.

    Hope there is more discussion on this matter..........

  8. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Southwest France
    Indeed an interested subject, mainly for plant geneticists (of which I do not hink we have many contributing to the forum ;o)), I reckon. We, amateurs, can just observe and comment.

    Observations from propagators could give good insight since those guys may graft hundreds of plants of the same cultivar and, if the scions come from the some mother plant, the rootstocks are all different. So they are well placed to tell if they have seen noticeable differences in their grafted plants which could be attributed to rootstock influence.

  9. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dickson, TN
    I believe Mr. Shep made the post about creating a red cultivar by grafting a green cultivar on red rootstock. The difference, as I recall, is that multiple successive generations were grafted onto red rootstock, such that scions taken from that original plant were then grafted onto red rootstock, then scions from THOSE plants were grafted onto red rootstock again, etc. etc. The eventual outcome after a number of generations was a red plant.

    Conversely, propogation methods employed today typically consist of a "mother plant" that is used for scion production, and each generation of plants produced from that mother plant is grafted onto fresh rootstock each time, so there is normally only one generation from mother plant to grafted plant. This may not be enough to induce the radical changes Mr. Shep saw in his experiment with successivly grafted generations of plants.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  10. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Northamptonshire, England
    Indeed, that was the process I was referring to. Iirc it required eleven successive generations of such grafting to create the red version of the green cultivar, Seiryu in this case, that was stable enough to be grafted back onto green rootstock and remain red. The variety of rootstock, I believe, was specially selected for this experiment, ie not just any old red seedling.

    Once you accept the scientific possibility of limited transfer of genetic material between rootstock and scion, such an incremental change caused by grafting successive generations onto a selected variety of rootstock does not seem that far fetched.

    If these methods, or similar, are used by professional maple propogaters they might be considered "trade secrets" and not a subject they would discuss in an open forum such as this.

    As an aside, I often see examples of the same cultivar that look slightly different to each other, and wonder if different rootstocks may be influencing the appearance. I know many other factors could be in play, such as different mother plants, but I wonder all the same.
  11. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dickson, TN
    There does seem to be some variability. For example, I was comparing notes with another maple addict and we both have 'Hogyoku' with mediocre fall color - not the acclaimed "pumpkin" orange. Is this cultural, climate, or the result of so many scions being grafted onto rather ordinary understock over the generations?

    We will never know the answers until someone with $$$ invests in REAL scientific research about these and other questions on this genus. Has anyone tried to get Bill Gates addicted to maples, per chance?
  12. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    South Carolina, USA
    I haven't spent enough time grafting maples to confirm my suspicions that gene swap may be possible. However, I have seen enough evidence from cultivars coming in from oregon that show some variability in color.

    In this case a certain well known nursery produces large quantities of crimson queen maples, and most of them exhibit poor color retention compared to some crimson queens coming from some other nurseries. I am currently observing this closer after comparing the two "strains" side by side in the same growing conditions.

    I can't say for sure that gene swap is the cause, but I can say that there are distinct color variations amongst groups of same named cultivars (with apparently the same leaf shape). In fact I have seen this with several red cultivars, and I am pretty confident that it is not because there was a mix up of naming or due from selected seedlings getting named improperly, due to the same leaf shape and relative habit.
  13. Elton

    Elton Member

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    Raleigh NC
    It can not be uncommon for a particular rootstock to influence plant characteristics such as growthrate, spring leafout, fall folage, or other visual differences. For instance a chosen cultivar was selected. Two different rootstocks had been selected; one of which show extreme clay and drought tolerance, the other suitable in low wet areas. The choosen cultivar has compatabilities with both stocks and will most likely be happy where the roots are happy. When you put the tree grafted onto water loving stock in the hard dry clay it will most likley show visiable changes. vise>ersa... One reason why I chose ***. maple forum is because of the history of japonese propogators date well over 2000 years ago. Some trees still in cultivation surving hundreds of years being grafted on possibly hundreds of different rootstocks.....
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    I'll come out of veritable hiding for a quick reply.

    I have not looked in the UBC forums for a few
    months. Received a phone call last evening
    in regards to this thread. I must admit I was
    not wanting to come back in to reiterate and
    expand on what has been done in the past.

    I like the article on tobacco. Today we do have
    a better ability to measure if and where in the
    plant that movement has occurred. In years
    past all we could do is let what we see from
    these plants dictate to us if phenotypic changes
    had occurred or not based on a series of progeny
    year after for year for a number of years.

    Citrus people used various rootstocks to induce
    cold tolerance into their production trees. It was
    not immediate that some Lemons and Oranges
    became more cold tolerant over night but over
    time there was some cold resistance built into
    some of those cultivars that seemingly was not
    shown to be so prevalent in colder temperatures
    before. Thanks in most part to the rootstock parent
    or rootstock parents. We know in Pomes (Apples
    and Pears) what dwarfing rootstocks have done
    over time to scale down standard trees in height
    and in overall spread. There are historical records
    that show beyond any doubt that rootstocks can
    and do influence a variety of plants. The question
    that has evaded us is how can we prove genetically
    that the rootstock has influenced the scion parent
    and now we have better techniques to use to help
    us along that we did not have access to back in
    the 70's, 80's and 90's. Now we can show that
    although we can measure change in chloroplast
    DNA, that chromosomal DNA has not yet been
    changed yet, or the induced recessive traits are
    being sloughed off, present during mitosis, in the
    gene prior to meiosis as one example. I still think
    the E.W. Sinnott view on what causes variegation
    in Citrus may still hold truest from cytoplasmic
    DNA, that the devoid green color is not solely
    due to "code" errors in plastid functions but more
    so due to chemical and perhaps genetic changes
    in cytoplasm that the plastids reside in. Then
    again we are still not sure how a plant can yield
    more than one chlorophyll internally anyway such
    as a Lemon or even a variegated Maple or a
    Camellia having both chlorophyll a and chlorophyll
    b in their systems. There probably are more different
    chlorophylls that we have not isolated and identified
    yet but to some of us that have seen the layered
    look of some of the variegated leaves of highly
    variegated Citrus, it makes us wonder if there
    was been a mutation that has occurred to yield
    the dark green and light green shades as well
    as the dark yellow, almost golden colored yellow
    and the cream to almost white colored yellow
    in the same leaf. Now we are into what has
    intrigued people over time about the Goshiki,
    five colored, Maples such as Goshiki shidare,
    Goshiki kotohime and Goshiki kaede. Why
    is it that we do not see the five colors any
    more in these plants? We felt over time
    that continually grafting these cultivars onto
    non select green seedling rootstocks would
    cause these Maples to become more green
    and bronze in color rather than be two-toned
    green with pink or red and cream and white.
    We've seemed to have lost much of the
    cream and white that should be pronounced
    in these plants in the Spring. Even the red
    form of Aka kotohime does not have five
    colors, the most we will see is three - green,
    red and light green. The same has been true
    in more recent years with the Beni kotohime,
    of which many current day plants sold as
    Goshiki kotohime either have been reduced
    to being now or several were Beni kotohime
    all along with the green, pink and lighter shade
    of green. The lighter shade of green may confuse
    us thinking that it will fade to yellow but it is not
    a true yellow in the same coloring of a true
    Goshiki, any of three mentioned above. We
    rarely see the cream and yellow in the Goshiki
    shidare any more. Some of us feel this was
    due to us continually propagating this Maple
    onto green seedling rootstock instead of a
    select form of variegated rootstock such as
    Kagero or even better yet the old form Kingsville
    nursery or Burbank nursery Roseomarginatum.

    Whip (wood to wood branch) grafts in Maples
    has been done for many years by the Japanese
    but grafting scionwood onto rootstocks really
    was in its infancy worldwide as little ago as the
    60's and 70's and then only by very select Maple
    propagators. I never wrote that I was against
    grafting, there are several Maple cultivars that
    would have perished had they not been grafted
    years ago. Filigree and Silver Lace would have
    surely died out in the mid 70's and early 80's
    had they not been grafted. We already know
    that Acer pentaphyllum would have died out
    back in the teens had it not been grafted to
    hold it over until a more universal rootstock
    came along for that particular Maple.

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  15. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    Novato, California
    This is a marvelous topic (thank you, Elton) & genetic questions like this fascinate me so I have
    to read academic monographs and/or talk with very bright friends (like mr shep). The reddening
    'Seiryu' information that mr shep put on this forum in the past and which maf & Kaitain rightly
    recapped for us is downright amazing. A lot of work has been done in academia on fruit & citrus
    and one can access some of these works on Google (like the great link maf put into his post), but
    as Kaitain says because there is no money in maples for academia there has been no genetic
    work done there on our beloved maples although some of our gifted nursery people have vast
    working knowledge in expressed genetics. I have talked this subject with academic friends and am
    struck with how little is definitively known in plant genetics. On this specific topic it is simply not
    known if rootstock chemistry changes nuclear chromosomal, mitochondrial or chloroplastic DNA. It
    is "thought" that hormones like cytokinin and/or brasinolide affect or simulate genetic signals as
    growth regulators as they move up thru the rootstock from the roots into the scion and/or
    whether RNA moving up from the rootstock into the scion is showing effect by regulating gene
    activity. I was talking with a fine academic today who did the definitive studies on the various
    effects of 7 different rootstocks on Gala apple scion & the 1 fact he told me they do KNOW is that
    the different rootstock must be continuously applied to the Gala scion to get the changes they
    were modelling because as soon as they grafted the Gala scion back onto a Gala rootstock, the
    changes they had seen disappeared. I continue to experience this incredible lack of genetics
    knowledge in my pursuit of maple witches broom genetics on which there is no work anywhere.
    As I read and learn more about this rootstock/scion chemistry I will be glad to share what I learn
    in understandable English and I hope others will share their knowledge because this is exciting.
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    I do believe we can change the genetic
    composition of the scion parent plant by
    way of using a rootstock to do it. The
    dilemma has been which rootstock to
    use to help us along. In the olden days
    of grafted Maples palmatum Aureum,
    the same plant as shown in the Vertrees
    second edition book was the rootstock
    of choice to use for both red and green
    scionwood grafts in very select nurseries
    for many years. The feeling was that Aureum
    was a neutral rootstock in that the rootstock
    did not change the coloring of the green scion
    parent and did not lead to reducing the color
    of the red scion parent. In other words in the
    case of a shojo group red like Inaba shidare
    was and still is in some collections and
    perhaps an arboretum or a botanical garden
    or two, we would not see the grafted progeny
    become an atropurpureum over time as readily
    by using Aureum as our rootstock for grafting
    and budding. Even seedlings grown from the
    shojo group red Inaba shidare stayed pretty
    much shojo. This was important to a few
    people that worked with this Maple as a few
    years later many Inaba shidare were grafted
    onto green seedling rootstock which had a
    greater propensity to yield a number of
    atropurpureum seedlings. It stands to
    reason that a mixed blood (red and green
    in its background) can yield wood that may
    not all be identical progeny when grafted
    onto green seedlings. We assume the
    wood from an Inaba shidare or a Crimson
    Queen will look the same when grafted
    onto green seedling rootstock but many
    times the batch group plants may and
    usually do not look the same for color
    as the growing season progresses.
    Just like in seedlings we can see
    variance in the reds for color in that
    some plants will show more green
    coloring either as an overtone or
    an undertone than others do but
    we also can see more of these
    individuals have more green in
    the centers of the lobes which
    may not be undertone at all but
    may indeed be a blending of the
    red and green colors. A modifying
    effect if you will which will only
    become more pronounced over
    time in progeny when we take wood
    that have the modifier color in their
    systems and continue to graft them
    onto non select green seedlings.
    This is precisely why in some
    cultivars we do not assume
    that all wood on a Crimson Queen
    will yield grafted offspring that will
    all be alike to its parent. We need
    to be more selective in which wood
    we take for grafting, note which
    branches have varying color from
    the others on the tree and only
    select wood for grafting or budding
    that more closely matches the color
    we want our grafted youngsters to
    be like from that Maple.

    Now that many to most of our
    once was shojo group red Inaba
    shidare have become atropurpureums
    that we should see much more
    evidence of greening in the leaves
    from various grafted offspring than
    we ever saw from the shojo group
    red Inaba shidare. Either we take
    wood from an old shojo group plant
    to graft onto a green seedling one
    time or we only take cuttings and
    root them to perpetuate the original
    color for this Maple. It is too late
    now to go back in and try to return
    this Maple back to being a shojo
    group red by using a red rootstock
    to do it with so many current day
    plants being an atropurpureum
    but we can create a nigrum form
    of Inaba shidare in the process
    of our grafting. This scenario
    is not so bad a thing as the
    nigrum group Inaba shidare
    may be a better colored
    Maple in many more areas
    than the atropurpureum form
    plants have been. In other
    words the red color retention
    should last longer and show
    less bronzing with less green
    coloration in the leaves if we
    compare a nigrum form red
    to an atropurpureum form red
    in this case. Compare an
    old Ever Red that is perhaps
    25 years old to a batch produced
    five gallon sometime and wonder
    why the five gallon pales in color
    expression year round to the old
    plant over time. Take the 25 year
    plant and use it as your check
    plant and then compare the seven
    year old to it for the next five years
    and tell me or ask yourself if the
    then to be 12 year old ever looked
    as rich in red color during the
    growing season as the specimen
    plant does or perhaps did, if it is
    still alive.

    We have overlooked the fact that
    today we want to graft fast and
    furious but we have also lost a
    lot of our quality control (color
    retention) in our Maple cultivars
    because of it. We do not need
    a genetic read out to know
    that our wood selection process
    probably has lead to faster change
    in these plants than a green
    seedling rootstock has. We
    do not select our best wood
    for grafting. Some nurseries
    take any wood on the mother
    plant, no matter if the wood
    has Tight Bark showing or
    not. This is not a good sign
    for the future at all as all we
    do is advance the likelihood
    of more and more plants
    having Tight Bark instead
    of taking unaffected wood
    and lessening the affects
    of it in our Maples. Today
    we even have Tight Bark
    symptoms seen in one
    and two year old green
    seedlings we want to
    use as a rootstock, which
    in my mind, will be the
    death knell for a host
    of cultivars, especially
    for the known Verticillium
    susceptible cultivars, if
    we do not immediately
    clean up our act from a
    propagators standpoint.
    A well known nurseryman
    in the Pacific Northwest
    is working on just this.
    He is trying to outrun
    Tight Bark by raiding
    new wood for Spring
    and Summer grafting.
    As long as his rootstocks
    are free of Tight Bark,
    in time he will succeed
    in limiting the affects of
    Tight Bark in his plants.
    So that once they get up
    to about 15 years old or
    more and start to go
    stagnant we may then
    see the overall effects
    of Tight Bark. From then
    on selective pruning and
    perhaps some nutrient
    accompany will keep
    the plants alive longer
    in the ground. Whereas
    many other plants from
    other growers may not
    ever get up to the 15
    years and older for age.
    There is no funding for
    that, just a conscientious
    nurseryman that knows
    what it will take to see
    these plants more likely
    become adult plants for
    people. No one has been
    able to guarantee we will
    end up with a mature
    Maple yet and someone
    it seems is working on
    it. There is a nursery or
    two in Holland that may
    be working on it also. My
    hat is off to all of them.

    The genetic equation is
    not very well known but
    we do have other plants
    such as Citrus that have
    had much more scientific
    work done on them. Some
    Hilgardia articles back in
    the mid to late 20's and
    30's produced by the
    California Experimental
    Station at Riverside are
    still considered light years
    ahead of their time. The
    works of Halma and Haas
    in regards to how rootstocks
    affect scion Citrus still may
    be felt to be a treatise on
    the subject. The University
    of California considered
    some of these works and
    the offshoot reference books
    from Walton B. Sinclair on
    the Orange, Grapefruit
    and the Lemon unparalleled
    in their scope. I feel they
    still are, this many years
    later. The Biochemistry
    and Physiology of the
    Lemon and other Citrus
    book from Sinclair
    is second to none on the
    subject in my opinion.

    Go to Plant
    and use a keyword author
    search on Haas, Halma,
    Bartholomew and Sinclair
    and see what you come
    up with for the effects of
    a rootstock on Citrus
    trees and on Citrus fruit.
    While you are at it do
    a keyword search on
    Maples and then locate
    and read some of the
    European, Japanese
    and more recent Chinese
    studies on Maples.

  17. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dickson, TN

    You are a veritable treasure-trove of information! Thank you so much for sharing your vast experience with us newbies. Truly fascinating!
  18. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Northamptonshire, England
    I would also like to thank mr.shep for his contribution to this thread and agree with katsura, K4 and others that this is a fascinating topic worthy of continued discussion, and hope that others may have more information they would like to share. My own knowledge of genetics and biology is superficial at best; I am having to learn the meaning of new words to fully understand some of what is being said here and in the tobacco article I referenced above.

    If I may precis what I think I have learned of the subject, the key seems to be that the genes that are traded between rootstock and scion (or at least those that have been shown to be traded) are limited to chloroplast DNA, which is separate from the main DNA of the plant. Since the chloroplasts contain the light absorbing pigments, such as chlorophyl and carotonoids, it can easily be seen how they affected the colour of the reddened 'Seiryu' without, as far as I am aware, affecting leaf shape or branch structure.

    Going back to the mention of seeds of grafted plants in Elton's original post: Most flowering plants inherit chloroplasts only from the female parent, so a grafted maple could pass on rootstock genes in the chloroplast via its seeds, but not via its pollen.

    As for telling the difference between shojo, atropurpureum and nigrum colouring in 'Inaba shidare', depending on rootstock, it is hard for me to know exactly what colour a shojo should be, having only seen specimens that are more than likely grafted. My understanding is that shojo is the darkest group, almost a black red when opening, but I would one day like to see these colours (shojo, nigrum, atropurpureum, nomura, rubrum) explicitly defined; the maple books I have read are not much help in this respect. I can say that the 'Inaba shidare' I bought from Batsford arboretum about 9 or 10 years ago is darker than the next one I bought from a mainstream garden centre about 6 or 7 years ago. Whether that means it is from a better mother plant or not I do not know, but it would be nice to think the people at Batsford did their own grafting from old trees in the arboretum.
  19. guy

    guy Member

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    Sandy Oregon USA
    This is all very fascinating and brings up some points I had not considered before. Pardon my ignorance but could you explain in greater detail what you mean by tight bark.

    Thanks Guy
  20. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    South Carolina, USA
    Good to hear from you again Jim. I was getting a little worried about ya.

    I think Jim has already gone into some detail somewhere in the forum regarding tight bark...I would suggest trying a search for it if you are interested for a more detailed response (unless he wants to come give another lesson).

    However, here is the skinny: My understanding is that it is a bacterial or fungal canker-like "disease" that spreads on the stems of some maples. I say "disease" because I don't know if that is the best description. It is commonly seen on dissectums and appears as small discolored bumps on the stems.

    Some folks say it is only sunburn, but I think there is more to it than that. Sun burn may be a catalyst to the spread, but I've seen Crimson Queens 25 ft in the shade is covered in it and probably will not survive a couple of more years, the one in the more sun seems to be clean and vigorously growing.

    As Jim will mention it isn't the tight bark alone that can severely hurt a tree, it is the tight bark coupled with verticillium and/or other pathogens that will slowly weaken a tree until it perhaps dies on us.
  21. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Re: O. T. Reds and Tight Bark

    Inaba shidare can exist in all five groups of
    reds - shojo, nigrum, atropurpureum, rubrum
    and even nomura. We tend to want to give
    any new colored Maple a new name, even
    when it existed before as a form of an older
    Maple. Even Red Filigree Lace can exist
    as all five forms but to my knowledge only
    the shojo, nigrum, atropurpureum and the
    rubrum forms have existed. I'd love to see
    a nomura form of Red Filigree Lace but I
    may not live long enough to see one. The
    original Red Filigree Lace plant sent to
    Mr. Goddard from Jean Iseli was a black
    red shojo group red. Years later Bob
    Baltzer in Oregon was credited by some
    people for originating the rubrum form.
    Unfortunately the name for this Maple,
    given the name by another nurseryman,
    already existed in some circles in the
    nursery trade as Ruby Lace. In fact
    Don Kleim had exclusive rights to
    Ruby Lace soon after William Goddard
    got his plant from Jean Iseli which was
    purported to be a sister seedling to
    Red Filigree Lace. Well, the old Ruby
    Lace was a nigrum form dissectum.
    The newer Ruby Lace is a rubrum
    form dissectum. Only the second
    Ruby Lace more closely resembles
    the Red Filigree Lace, while the former
    Ruby Lace was felt to be more of an
    improved 9-lobed Ever Red.

    The red dissectums have been
    troubling to learn for many years.
    A few mistakes have been made
    along the way when some people
    wanted to call a nigrum form of
    Inaba shidare an Oregon Garnet
    when the original Oregon Garnet
    is not even remotely related to
    the great Esveld Garnet Maple.
    Atropurpureum is a major headache
    as years ago even Wada's Nigrum
    was felt to be an atropurpureum
    by people that never had seen the
    Maple. Thus at one time there
    was a Maple called atropurpureum
    Nigrum. The crazy thing is that
    in Europe there was a Maple
    that probably should have been
    called atropurpureum Nigrum
    but the Wada plant was a
    Nigrum form all the way,
    not a black purple red but
    a richly colored purple red.
    Even my Superbum does
    not quite fit the profile of
    the writings on that Maple.
    I still feel that Esveld's
    Attraction probably should
    have been given that name
    as it surely is not the same
    Maple in color as mine is.
    Even through the wood for
    my plant originally came
    from Europe if we want
    to consider England as
    part of Europe.

    The reason why some of
    us came up with the shojo,
    nigrum, atropurpureum,
    rubrum and nomura group
    names was to help us along
    to know what the Maples
    were when we saw them
    when grown elsewhere in
    the ground. If we knew
    which Maples were a
    shojo to us we could
    better spot a Shojo
    Maple when we saw
    it somewhere else.
    The groupings have
    not ever been published.
    I am sure that there are
    some people that feel I
    am "nuts" but it does
    help me when I visit
    them and see their
    Maples as opposed
    to them knowing what
    we have when they
    see supposedly the
    same Maple they have.

    Mr. Vertrees did a great
    thing to list Maples by
    name in their prospective
    groups such as palmate,
    deeply divided, dissectum,
    linearilobum, variegated
    and so on. It was up to
    us to know when someone
    mentioned a Maple by
    name which group it
    resided in. Say the
    name Sotoyama and
    I knew it was a green
    dissectum, thanks to
    the groupings that Mr.
    Vertrees had, even if
    the Maple was listed
    as a synonym name
    for another Maple.
    Sotoyama could
    very well be the
    Japanese equivalent
    plant for the European
    Ornatum. The two
    Maples do not turn
    the same Fall color,
    one has golden tones
    with some red splashes,
    the other can have allover
    scarlet to crimson tones
    in some areas in some
    years but one is a green
    Maple and the other
    is a red dissectum.
    Even when both start
    out red in the Spring.
    The old line thinking
    was that a red dissectum
    had to start out red in the
    Spring and turn red in the
    Fall. Even the deeply
    divided Maple Azuma
    murasaki can start out
    red in the Spring and be
    golden tones with some
    red splashes in the Fall.
    I've always felt Otto's
    dissectum was a green
    Maple even though it
    starts out a rust red
    in the Spring. I've never
    seen one turn red in the
    Fall but I've seen some
    glorious orange tones in
    the Fall from our plant in
    some years. The leaf
    shape is almost identical
    to Ao shidare, a green
    dissectum. Could Otto's
    be a form of Ao shidare?
    I've felt it is and still do.
    I cannot fault people that
    feel that Otto's is a red
    dissectum but it does not
    turn allover scarlet in the
    Fall but in the right location,
    in the right setting it just
    might do it and probably
    has back in Pennsylvania
    and perhaps in northern
    Oregon as well but in
    central to southern Oregon
    it will turn golden to orange
    tones in the Fall. Talon
    might see scarlet Fall
    color in Gaston or Andre
    in Boring but Greer and
    Baltzer won't in and near
    Eugene or will Munn in Salem.

    Tight Bark is a bacterium.
    Will not kill a Maple by
    itself but can be lethal
    in conjunction with
    Verticillium alboatrum
    to a Maple that goes
    stagnant, no longer
    producing vigorous
    new growth. Dieback
    is such that more old
    growth is killed off quicker
    than the tree can replenish
    itself with enough new growth
    to sustain itself. In a matter
    of three years the Maple is
    usually killed off. The
    quick decline form of
    Verticillium is the most
    lethal to palmatum type
    Maples. It does not need
    Tight Bark to help it along.
    It still is the number one
    killer of all juvenile Maples
    all by itself. Generally is
    already in the Maples
    system via propagation.
    The old stock plant that
    we got wood from may
    only show signs of alboatrum
    but in juvenile plants we tend
    to only see the affects of quick
    decline. Here today and dead
    the next, about that quick once
    we see the terminal tips wilt
    and the leaves shrivel. With
    Tight Bark and alboatrum
    we have some time to do
    something about it. May
    not ever correct the condition
    but we can help the plant
    better adapt to that condition
    with some help from us if
    we do not wait too long.
    A hard prune and a nutrient
    boost usually but not always
    helps the plant out. Some
    plants will further their decline
    no matter what we do and the
    thread on Red Filigree Lace of
    my old plant will serve as proof.
    You can see alboatrum in the
    killed off shoots but it was
    Tight Bark that killed the tips
    of those shoots first. It only
    took three years to decimate
    what was a real nice specimen
    plant into nothingness.

    Tight Bark exists as a dry
    lesion. What looks to be
    sunburning to the wood may
    be Tight Bark instead if we
    look closely at the wood to
    separate colored streaks
    seen in the wood as opposed
    to lesions on the wood.

  22. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    Northamptonshire, England
    Thanks for sharing mr.shep, I always find your information fascinating. There are not many people with your breadth and depth of knowledge of Japanese maples who would be willing to put that knowledge in the public domain like this. If you ever decide to publish that book I will be waiting in line to buy it.
  23. guy

    guy Member

    Likes Received:
    Sandy Oregon USA
    Yes many thanks for the follow up information. From reading through this thread it would seem that the initial discussed problem of the rootstock effecting the scion over successive propagation generations & tight bark may require opposite practices to overcome!

    It would seem that to lessen the effects of rootstock modification you would be better to plant a stock plant and always return to this plant for scion material rather than take wood of successive generations of plants that you are producing.

    Tight bark problems on the other hand would seems to be compounded by using old stock plants & helped by taking scion wood from new young generations of plants.

    Over the last 10 years I would say that more & more scion wood has been taken from production crops rather than stock plants as was more common in the past. Several reasons being the market demand for these plants, less land tied up with stock blocks & the fact that generally grafting takes are higher when the correct kind of wood is taken from vigorously growing "production trees".
  24. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Re: O.T. Tight Bark

    "It would seem that to lessen the effects of rootstock
    modification you would be better to plant a stock plant
    and always return to this plant for scion material rather
    than take wood of successive generations of plants that
    you are producing.

    For better quality control of the cultivar, yes this practice
    has been rather widespread in the industry. I must admit
    I am turned off going into a nursery and not seeing any
    viable stock plants on location. It was the stock plants
    from which wood was gathered from is what I wanted to
    see much more than a few one to five gallons that I was
    not sure were ever propagated at or by that nursery.
    Sometimes with certain cultivars the stock plant may
    only be one Maple, more likely 20 years and older in
    age with select wood taken from that plant for grafting
    and perhaps later in the year for budding.

    "Tight bark problems on the other hand would seems to
    be compounded by using old stock plants & helped by
    taking scion wood from new young generations of plants.

    Many of the old stock plants that still show some vigor in
    the new shoots are not so much the problem. The issue
    is much more problematic with juvenile plants that are
    showing signs of Tight Bark that we take wood from to
    use as grafting material. Tight Bark spreads faster on a
    younger plant once it loses its vigor than an old plant
    that has learned to live with the bacterium for a few years.
    Not all Maples that show Tight Bark are a problem for us
    but when we graft infested wood onto a cultivar that is
    known for having issues with Verticillium alboatrum that
    we speed up the likelihood that other progeny will have
    Tight Bark as well. One thing we can certainly expect
    is dieback once the young plant becomes overly stressed
    or after the plant has experienced a series of stresses.
    All we do is exacerbate the problem even more when
    we use any seedling or rooted cutting for a rootstock
    that is showing any signs of Tight Bark on the plant
    for use as a rootstock [What should have been vigor
    in the rootstock has been decimated by the Tight
    Bark. Lift the rootstocks out of the containers and
    see how much or in these cases what little root
    shoot development we have with the Tight Bark
    infested rootstocks].

    We can take wood on one side of the tree in which
    Tight Bark has not spread to yet and hope we do
    not see it in our grafted offspring. We may not see
    any adverse effect of the Tight Bark then until the
    plant goes stagnant or becomes slowed down in
    its growth rate due to unforeseen or induced stresses.
    Then again if we were dealing with quick decline
    form of Verticillium, one stress is all that fungus
    needs to kill a Maple. I've had some two and
    three year old plants in the past come in from
    Oregon via mail order that endured 110 degree
    weather in full sun without any real major problems
    other than some expected wind scorch to the leaves
    and then a week to 10 days later back in the mid
    to high 90's wilt, shrivel up and be dead in one day.
    It makes little sense at times to us that while the
    tree was experiencing and seemingly enduring a
    heat stress that it (they) died soon after we had
    a cooling effect. Lost a fifteen gallon Tsuma gaki
    this year after it endured the hottest part of the
    year unscathed and then wham with temperatures
    back in the 80's for one day decided to die on us.
    The difference is that the much older Maple had
    endured a few stresses in recent years. It was
    after the first major stress a few years ago that
    any signs of Tight Bark was seen on this Maple
    but after another heat related stress the following
    year Tight Bark was seen allover this plant. May
    not have made a difference at all to the older Maple
    if I had it been in the ground or not. Has been rather
    common with Tsuma gaki in very warm areas for
    many years now, at least 30 years. Used to be
    this Maple dropped over dead at the drop of a
    hat many years ago for us here - one reason why
    we never grew it for resale. The two, same aged,
    companion Tsuma gaki to the one we lost are
    still alive and hanging in there but both Maples
    as a result are in the ground now as well.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  25. campbtl

    campbtl Member Maple Society

    Likes Received:
    south Louisiana
    I've been looking all over for the thread where Mr. Shep explains turning a green palmatum red through successive grafting. Please help? Also, how many of you have experience/success grafting on red rootstock? I've had one grafter tell me his success rate went way down, but then he only tried it one year. I was going to suppliment my rootstock order for next year with some red, but that gave me pause. Any input would be appreciated.

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