Western Australia’s West Manjimup Nursery and Seed Centre has begun a Pinus radiata cuttings program to ensure the best available genetics are used in Forest Products Commission (FPC) planting programs. Nursery and Seed Centre Manager Jeff Cook said the cuttings program was introduced because the new seed orchard that has been established at West Manjimup wouldn’t produce seed for several years. Source: Timberbiz
“We will take a tip cutting from the best genetic seedlings currently so that we are supplying the best of the best annually, with the plan to do one million cuttings this year,” Mr. Cook said.
The cuttings are taken from the tips of one-year old seedlings and planted directly into root trainer trays without fertilizer and placed outside in the open growing area where they will produce roots around September or October.
“The cuttings are approximately two centimetres in length and have a success rate of around 75%,” Mr. Cook said. “The seedlings that the cuttings are taken from don’t suffer and in some cases the cuttings actually help the seedling to produce a stronger stem.”
The high success rate is due to the age of the seedlings, as after a seedling reaches one-year of age the success rate and initiation of roots decreases.
“This program will take the pressure off seed stocks for future years as pine seed development varies from year to year,” Mr. Cook said.