|Authors: ||D. Naidu, N. Jones|
Clonal asexual propagation by cuttings is an efficient technique for capturing genetic gain in forestry.
However, selected clones (selected for growth, wood properties and stem form) often prove to be difficult to root, thereby limiting the rate of deployment for further field testing and subsequent commercialization.
This constraint will also delay the time taken for new clones to be identified.
It is thus imperative that a propagation system runs efficiently and economically to realize genetic gain.
It is widely hypothesized that rooting ability of clones is under genetic control.
Although true for some clones, this study showed that the sand bed mini-hedge system resulted in improved rooting percentages through rejuvenation, better nutrition and improved climatic control of hedges.
Additional benefits of this system included a more robust root system, faster growth and improved plant quality of mini-cuttings, which are favourable traits to reduce transplant stress when planted in-field.
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