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Scion - Root stock interaction

Posted by fotisr 8a (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 19, 12 at 14:29

Well it's that time of the year. I know it's difficult to make scientific experiments on that matter, so I ask the experienced on the matter.

Can I influence the properties of the scion by selecting different root-stocks??? and vice versa, can I change the properties of the roots with different scions?

I'm thinking in terms of drought tolerance (but I wouldn't mind opinions on vigor as well)
For example, if I want to graft a Picea sitchensis cultivar. Can I make it more drought tolerant if I choose Picea pungens root-stock instead of Picea abies? The same grafted on Picea sitchensis will have completely different drought tolerance than the one grafted onto pungens? What about their annual growth then? what about full sun tolerance? I guess Picea pungens roots will drive less sap upwards...?

Please, ones with experience, do share your thoughts whenever you find the time...
Fotis


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

You have it correct.

The scion has to be compatible with your climate as well as its atmospheric needs: water/light/air ... to be very clear and vice-versa for which understock is used. The understock too must be compatible of all your soil conditions/surrounding environment.

So you're question is somewhere in the balance. Just because you're using pungens, does not mean the demand for water of sitchensis can be cut 'drastically'. Common sense will dictate the needs of each, separately, and that is for you to find the correct balance.

I hope that makes sense.

I will make a comparison for you fotis: In very hot climates where firs normally have no chance, people are finding success with Abies firma as the roots. Still, the species/scion attached to firma must have a chance to prosper in situations of extreme heat. So, for compatible success, they must choose species such as Abies koreana which too is heat tolerant. You see?

Using firma as the roots would be impossible in extreme heat if Abies siberica is the option scion. They're too polar-opposite, you see?

Dax
P.s. I don't know the needs of sitchensis in the wild so I am going off of your word.


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Thanks Dax! So what you are saying is that I can make a plant more drought tolerant choosing the appropriate combatible rootstock but I can NOT change it's properties drastically. So for my drought-y zone 8 I can try Picea pungens and Abies cephallonica roots for best adaptation...

Best regards,
Fotis


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

To some degree but not much. The roots will tolerate more dryness. Again though, if too much drought it's possible that your scion will not be able to survive (unless enough water!) So you have to know the limitations of scion and root(s) and your environment.

You cannot just expect correction. That's why I say "to some degree but not much."

I will give you more examples:

1) Chamaecyparis obtusa on it's own roots will not tolerate clay soils and will die, however, when grafted to Thuja occidentalis, it now has the capability to not only survive, but to thrive.

2) Let's say that a soil type has a more alkaline ph. Then let's find a conifer that can tolerate higher ph soils, so we use that conifer as the root-system. If though the scion cannot tolerate higher ph soils, it will still grow very unhappily. The primary sign that will tell you this will be: weak color/chlorosis. The same will happen, in another circumstance, to a conifer that is grafted to a clay-intolerant, root-system. Even if the scion/upward growth of an entire tree is clay-tolerant to begin with, a root system that is intolerant of clay will not be able to supply nutrients and water, as needed, to the upper tree part. And what you will see are signs of weak foliage/off color/disease resistance diminishing/and ultimately death.

I mean... there are literally so many things that can happen. So, a person really needs to know their environment, their soil type, the plants overall needs; and in cases of grafted plants, the knowledge level of the gardener may need to be even more in tune/versed/.

It's a big subject man. A long time ago I referred to this exact question you're bringing when selecting plants for my own climate as: 'Comparing Climates'. Once I understood the concepts of another climate's needs, with my own, it was an epiphany for me. I recall vividly the night it happened, I immediately recognized that arboreta didn't have records for understock's of their plants and I knew, I knew... I had to have records for all of mine! I felt like the hair on my head was standing up from all the thoughts & electricity flowing thru my mind & all at once. All the endless possibilities that could be sought after for further knowledge! ...Grafting the same scion to multiple understocks and planting them all within a close proximity of one another in order to see which one did the best, and, which one would ultimately live the longest. I had reached a plateau that I knew would lead me to more and more understanding and, the ability to seek more, in completely different directions.

Best regards,

Dax


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Fotis, it would be a very good idea to compare one Abies cultivar grafted on two differend understock.
One grafted on a common used one and one on Abies cephalonica.
The quiestion is: were to find Abies cephalonica understock...


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Dax, very clear. Thanks man!

Edwin, I can provide you with some Abies cephalonica root stock, for you to experiment my friend! But they will be ready for ext season. Let me know...

Fotis


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Fotis, this experience is always worth trying.
Next grafting season will start in January ;0)


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Dax et al, I'd be interested in hearing of some of these rootstock/scion interactions, and interactions of same with varying conditions sometime. Very interesting, and I'm not particularly into owning a lot of grafted stuff!

And as is usual for me, especially those findings within the Cupressacea

+oM


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Edwin you know very well that I ment they will be ready in January 2014!! Unless you want me to sent you some young plants now, for you to nurture them until grafting size! let me know. I've pot them up in early October so they are in 3lt pots now and harder to ship them to you but we can work this out...

Fotis


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

I think nurseryfolk should start putting this valuable information on their nametags .It could mean the difference between life or death for a given plant. Nearly all (if not all) nametags give you the name, some comment like "Fantastic plant" and size in ten years .If you buy directly from the actual grower, he will surely provide you with this information upon request;alas, I happen to buy my plants from people who do not actually produce themselves,and,when asked,usually don't have a clue as to what understock they're selling .In fact,I sometimes wonder whether they ever give it some thought.
Thanks for bringing this important subject into the spotlight,Fotis !

PS Didn't know about Chamaecyparis obtusa not doing well on clay; I gather they're easily propagated from cuttings but for here I should get plants grafted on Thuja occidentalis,right? I got one from Clement wich is grafted and is ticking over nicely...hint hint T.


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

I have relatively little to add to this, but Thuja occidentalis has a definite ability to handle clay-based soils. So if the Cham doesn't and if the Cham/Thuja interface is a viable one, then I'd say yes, go with that.

+oM


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Hi +oM

The three most used understock for Cupressus are:
Platycladus orientalis
Juniperus chinensis 'Hetzii'/'Hetzii Columnaris' (rooted cuttings)
and Edwin has stated that Thuja plicata is used for Cupressus nootkatensis. Most growers use Platycladus for nootka but for me they often fail. It's a good understock for the West Coast, but not the midwest or eastern US. For me/you in the midwest, Juniperus chinensis 'Hetzii' cuttings are the best.

Also, Thuja occidentalis can be used for Cupressus but I haven't had high takes when I've tried grafting nootka. I have had some success, however.

I've also had success rooting C.nootkatenis.

That's about all I know on this subject other than if Thuja occidentalis is going to be used, it should be used for something that doesn't grow faster than it does.

One last thing that I heard a decade or so ago is that a fella at that time had an 18 year old nootka grafted to Microbiota decussata. Edwin didn't like that from what I recall. I think that's where he said to go with Thuja plicata.

====

Tunilla- definitely man, you got the idea!

Dax


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Thanks Dax. Most informative. You're going to make a grafter/grower out of me yet! Although some would say, I'm involved in enough graft already.

+oM


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RE: Scion - Root stock interaction

Fotis, you know that I was joking about "next season starts in January" by using the ;0)
Of coarse I know how the situation is...

For me it's ok that you send me some nice Abies cephalonica understock in P9 at the end of 2013.
I'm looking forward to start with this test, I guess that the result will work out fine for your climate circumstances...


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