Current issue: 54(2)
The availability of appropriate propagation techniques is a major constraint to the domestication of the forest trees widely used by rural communities; such as Garcinia kola (Heckel). This study tested the ability of root and stem cuttings to regenerate vegetatively when treated with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and set in non-mist poly-propagator within a shaded nursery. It found that G. kola is amenable to propagation by softwood stem cuttings. Attention was given to the effect of cutting age (softwood, semi hardwood) and IBA application with regard to the sprouting and rooting efficiency. Bud and leaf emergence time were also investigated, as was the coppicing ability of the stump. Results revealed that roots and branches from mature forest trees did not sprout under any culture conditions. The highest percentages of rooting (70–85%) were obtained with softwood cuttings set in non-mist poly-propagator, regardless of hormonal treatment. The mean numbers of buds (2.9 ± 0.4) and roots (2.6 ± 0.1) produced by softwood cuttings was significantly greater than those obtained in the Control. The best average emergence time of buds (25.1 days ± 9.3) and leaves (36.8days ± 8.4) was obtained with cuttings treated with IBA and set in non-mist poly-propagator against, 54.4 ± 12.5 and 72.6 ± 3.4 days respectively for the Control. In general, non-mist poly-propagator gave the best propagation results. When coppiced, the shoots emerging from stumps with one node were the most vigorous.
Birches’ (Betula sp.) ability to grow sprouts is low. The stump grows root collar and stump shoots, but the stump shoots are not proper stump shoots that will grow from the space between wood and bark. The buds are situated very low in the base, even under the ground. In this study, no actual root shoots could be found. Also the bushy alpine birches seem to be formed from stump and root collar shoots.
In Southern Finland silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is more common than downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in dry upland forest sites, while downy birch is common in fresh mineral soil forests and peatlands. In Northern Finland downy birch is the dominant birch species. Of the two species downy birch has markedly better capacity to form stump and root collar shoots both in Northern and Southern Finland. In general, birches grow sprouts much more strongly in Northern Finland.
Growth of the shoots is fastest during the first year after the felling of the parent tree and slows down gradually. The stump shoots may get separated from the stump when the stump decays, and the decay may also spread to the shoots. It is common that the shoots have no own roots, and die along with the stump. The shoots may have own root system or use roots of the parent tree that have stayed alive, in the latter case decay spreads almost always from the stump to the shoot. Whether the tree was felled with axe or saw had no effect on sprouting, probably because the sprouting buds are situated in the base of the tree. The larger stumps had usually fewer sprouts than smaller stumps. The fertility of the site seemed to have little effect on sprouting, but more moist sites formed more sprouts.
Forest regeneration using sprouts may be possible in peatlands for firewood production. on mineral soil sites birch does not suit for coppicing. The proportion of trees originating from sprouts decreases strongly by the time. Consequently, in Southern Finland sprouts have little effect on regeneration of birch. In Northern Finland sprouting is the most important way of regeneration.
The PDF includes a summary in German.