Vegetative propagation allows the mass production of selected individual trees with a rare combination of desirable characteristics whether for timber, wood, fruits, nuts, medicines or other uses. To make efficient use of this advantage for improved productivity, quality and uniformity, robust and reliable techniques are needed. In the recent past, the rooting of cuttings has been a green fingered art not well supported by scientific principles. This situation has arisen from confusing research publications which are contradictory. To try to unravel the interacting issues leading to this confusion, Roger and his colleagues have investigated the following Critical Factors:
- Post-severance factors – treatments to the cutting, propagation environment
- Pre-severance factors – within shoot variables, between shoot variable, stockplant environment
The understanding stemming from this suggest a series of principles which can be applied to any species and help to explain clonal variation in rooting ability, genetic variation in rooting, and the effects of phase change and physiological ageing. In addition, this research has specifically been developing simple low-tech approaches appropriate for use in sites without running water and electricity – involving non-mist propagators. Consequently these approaches are especially appropriate for use in remote rural locations in developing countries. The non-mist propagators are also highly appropriate for physiological studies of the factors affecting the rooting process.
See: Leakey, R.R.B. 2004. Physiology of vegetative reproduction. In: Encyclopaedia of Forest Sciences (Eds. J. Burley, J. Evans, and J.A Youngquist), 1655-1668, Academic Press, London, UK.