PROPAGATION OF HYBRID LILACS
PROPAGATION BY GRAFTING
The production of lilac has been our major specialty since 1935. We graft 120,000 to 150,000 each year. In brief, our method of propagating hybrid lilac is to bench graft the lilac scion on green ash root pieces. We use a whip graft and secure the graft with grafting thread. The completed grafts are packed in poly bags, then placed in refrigerated storage, kept at a temperature of 31 to 35°F until we are ready to plant them directly to rows in the field.
Over the years we have made many experiments, 500 to 1000 grafts per trial, to test out a method and repeated it 2 years or more to double check the results. Like a good gambler we play the percentages learned from these experiments. Late years the stands of our lilac grafts have been quite consistent ranging from 70 to 90% per variety.
To raise this percentage closer to the 100% goal, we must look to the men handling the grafting knife. The sign of a good craftsman is a graft with a perfect contact the entire length of the cut, the cambium layers matching and in
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