Weeping Spruce cuttings? When? Redwood National / State Parks

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by M. D. Vaden, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Earlier this year I found a weeping Sitka Spruce in Redwood National and State Parks. Only one I've ever seen among all those parks during the years hiking and exploring there.

    I'm planning to submit a collection permit, hoping to root like a dozen cuttings.

    The tree is in an area where damage or complete destruction is a real possibility. So the near future seems better to attempt propagation, if the parks allow it.

    With a residential location, and possibly a college-owned greenhouse, as options, what would you recommend? It's been quite a long time since I dabbled with propagation.

    Basic step by stem, how would you folks approach this? When is the soonest you would take the cuttings? How far back into the growth would you cut? How would you transport it for a 6 hour drive? What would you do with the cuttings? How would you maintain them in the weeks or months ahead?

    Thanks
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Usual thing would be to take scions and graft, at appropriate time. Details of such can be like cooking recipes, you will probably want to read up on various experiences and recommendations. Stocks to graft onto will have to be lined up beforehand, maintained after grafting is done. Don't know about spruces in particular but with grafting of some kinds of woody plants results are improved by preconditioning the stock in some way, such as holding them in a greenhouse for a time beforehand, to make them be in a more active state than if they were outside.

    One possibility other than handling the whole thing yourself, without any prior experience (I guess) would be to make arrangements with a nursery person or conifer hobbyist who has successfully grafted spruces and supply them with the scions at the right time. If you just want to see the tree replicated maybe you could let a commercial production nursery have your material, name it and sell it if they decide it has sales potential for them. One to try might be Iseli nursery in Boring as they undertook the commercial production and distribution of the golden Haida spruce for instance. As the original material gathered from the wild tree before it was destroyed tended to generate weak, sun-sensitive plants Iseli spent some years improving the stock so that it was possible to grow and sell it under normal circumstances. So their history of bothering with this tree might indicate they would be a good company to talk to about your find.
     
  3. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for the tips.

    I'm curious if grafting onto regular Sitka Spruce would affect the rate of growth. I hope to replicate the characteristics closely if possible.

    The parks won't grant permits for commercial use like eventual distribution. But maybe a grower or nursery would be willing to help out anyway.
     

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