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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 52

Propagation Methods and Policy for the National Collection of Betula

Kenneth Ashburner

pp: 253-256


Nurserymen everywhere have developed their own high degree of propagation skill. The following are the authorís own experiences which may prove useful to others.

Seed Propagation. The method described may not be the most efficient for commercial propagation but has proved adequate for a collection of a number of species. Seeds are sown in trays in sterile compost, mostly in March and April under glass rather than overwintered out of doors. This avoids the hazard of "seed rain"&mdash the contamination of sown compost with naturally dispersed seed from surrounding birches growing in the nursery or arboretum. It is very demoralising to rejoice over the germination of some rarity, only to discover sooner or later that the seedlings are nothing more than the offspring of local Betula pendula or B. pubescens leaning over the garden boundary.

After tamping the compost lightly with a small board, and then sowing, sieved compost is sprinkled over until the seeds just disappear from

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