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Article

Ortet Age and Clonal Effects on Growth and Market Value of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Grafts as Christmas Trees

1
Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609, USA
2
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, Box 8008, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8008, USA
3
Smokey Holler Tree Farm, LLC; 3452 Meadowfork Road, Laurel Springs, NC 28644, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040182
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
Grafting provides a means to clonally produce Fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.) Christmas trees that have desirable traits such as faster growth, greater crown density, increased pest resistance, or more desirable foliage attributes than seedling stock. Grafting Fraser fir to disease resistant rootstocks also provides a means to ameliorate the impact of root rot, predominantly caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands. The influence of ortet age on growth and market value of grafts has not been studied for Fraser fir Christmas tree production. A field trial was established in 2004 near Independence, Virginia (USA), with the objectives of assessing (1) the effect of ortet age (stock plants = 6 to 8, 10 to 12, and 18 to 20 years) and (2) shearing regimes (fixed leader length versus variable leader length) on growth, quality, and market value of Fraser fir Christmas trees. Commercial height, Christmas tree grade (based on U. S. Dept. of Agric. standards), and net present value (US dollars) were assessed at the time of harvest. Cone damage to quality was rated after 8 years in the field. Scions from Fraser fir Christmas trees 2 m or taller produced grafts that expressed maturation, resulting in lower tree quality, heavier cone damage, and decreased market value compared to seedling stock. In contrast, the quality and market value of grafts was similar to that of seedlings when scions were collected from young Fraser fir Christmas trees. For Christmas tree production, scions should be collected from the upper whorls of trees no older than 2 to 3 years in the field (6 to 8 years from seed). The effect of age on Fraser fir clones varies so that pre-screening might identify some older selections suitable for use as scion donors. Fixed versus variable shearing regimes had little effect on tree value, although some individual clones responded better to one regime or the other. View Full-Text
Keywords: grafting; ortet; ramet; vegetative propagation; shearing; Christmas tree grade; cone crop; scion material grafting; ortet; ramet; vegetative propagation; shearing; Christmas tree grade; cone crop; scion material
MDPI and ACS Style

Hinesley, E.; Frampton, J.; Deal, B.; Deal, E. Ortet Age and Clonal Effects on Growth and Market Value of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Grafts as Christmas Trees. Forests 2018, 9, 182. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040182

AMA Style

Hinesley E, Frampton J, Deal B, Deal E. Ortet Age and Clonal Effects on Growth and Market Value of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Grafts as Christmas Trees. Forests. 2018; 9(4):182. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040182

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hinesley, Eric, John Frampton, Buddy Deal, and Earl Deal. 2018. "Ortet Age and Clonal Effects on Growth and Market Value of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Grafts as Christmas Trees" Forests 9, no. 4: 182. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040182

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