Propagation Methods and Policy for the National Collection of Betula
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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