An international meeting took place in Punkaharju on 10-11 September 2008, where researchers and experts in the field discussed methods of vegetative conifer propagation and their application to forest tree breeding and ornamental tree production. The aim of the meeting was to share knowledge and to create networks between researchers and practical operators in the sector.
Vegetative propagation is a relatively common method of producing young plants of a number of ornamental plants and also some tree species. With conifers, the predominant method of producing young plants is propagation from seed; up to now, vegetative propagation has not been used to any significant extent.
With conifers, methods of vegetative propagation are grafting, propagation from cuttings and tissue culture. As a method, grafting is labour-intensive and unsuitable for mass production. Cutting and tissue propagation are successful when the source material is young. The best multiplication rate is achieved by tissue culture.
In vegetative propagation, the good qualities of the parent tree can be passed on unchanged to the next generation. In sexual propagation implemented through seeds, the resultant plant material is always variable, and the best characteristics of the parents do not necessarily manifest in the progeny. In plant production of ornamental trees, vegetative propagation often plays a decisive role. With this method, a rarity discovered in nature or a speciality achieved through breeding methods, selection and hybridisation, can be reproduced unchanged into millions. In forest tree breeding, vegetative propagation may be used both as an aid to forest tree breeding work and in production of improved forest cultivation material.
The meeting entitled ”Vegetative propagation of conifers for enhancing landscaping and tree breeding”, organised by the Metla Punkaharju Unit, was attended by about 50 people from seven countries.
Homepage of the meeting
Support for organising the meeting was provided by the Foundation for Forest Tree Breeding and GENECAR, the Nordic Centre of Advanced Research in Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding.