Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hazelnuts and pears

The weather turned today.  After five days of temperatures in the mid-70s and low-80s it is back to a more seasonal 58 degrees.  And it is windy.  And it is cloudy.

It is a good day to transplant.

I had outstanding germination on three of the seed-lines that Tom Molnar sent me from Rutgers.

National Arbor Day Foundation #3 and #10 germinated well.  That is not surprising because NADF uses them to produce seedlings for mass distribution. They would have been culled if they were shy germinators.

The other strong germinator was a Russian selection, RUS H3R07P25.  Not only did it come bounding out of the ground but it eagerly produces adventitious roots.  That means it will be easy to propagate by layers and/or cuttings.

Chinese Trazel was an "OK" germinator.  I am still waiting, mostly, for the other seed-lines.

I suspect that the seedlines that did not germinate well, yet, may have needed a longer stratification time.

The vast difference in stratification requirements suggests that one might be able to practice mass selection based on germination rate.  It would be a great convenience to produce vast numbers of hybrid hazelnut seedlings and to be able to cull based on some visible trait from the pollen parent that manifests early in the seedling's development..  Early germination or red leaves are possibilities.

Tying up fruit trees

It is well documented that securing fruit trees to a post hastens fruit bearing.  The presumed mechanism is that wind-whip generates growth regulators that cause the tree to devote more resources, i.e. carbohydrates, to increasing the thickness of the trunk.

Each emerging bud on the tree makes a decision regarding whether to be a fruiting bud or a vegetative bud.  The primary signal for this decision is the Carbohydrate/Nitrogen ratio.  High Carb/Nitrogen ratio tips the bud toward fruiting.  Low Carb/Nitrogen ratio tips bud toward vegetative. 

The carbohydrates that are sunk into the trunk growth become invisible to the bud and increase the likelihood of it "choosing" to be vegetative.

The stem that needs help is on the left side of the picture.  It starts vertically but then the mass of the new shoots and the prevailing winds bent it to the right side of this picture.
It does not take much.  The pole is about 8' long and 2" in diameter at the butt.  In this case, it was a Black Locust sucker culled from a thicket.
This is what it looks like after tied up to the stake.

For the record, this is on a tree that was top-worked with "Tennis Shoe"* pear scion wood donated by frequent commenter "Lucky in Kentucky".  It grew 4' the first year and had no tip die-back.  That is excellent considering the fact that this was another test winter (two-in-a-row!) and "Tennis Shoe" was selected in Harris County, Texas.

*Actual name is Tenousui.


  1. Sounds like you're making some good progress there!

  2. Sounds like you're making some good progress there!

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