Rooting Success of Cuttings from Young Picea abies in Transition to Flowering Competent Phase
Abundant flowering occurred in a central Swedish trial with 10-yr-old Picea abies L. (Karst.) cuttings, taken on 4-yr-old seedlings. Large deviations in cone-set between clones were assumed to reflect different stages in transition from juvenile to flowering competent phase. Rooting success and first-yr growth performance (leader length, leader origin and plagiotropic growth) were studied on cuttings originating from the upper and lower parts of the crown in 15 clones with heavy cone-set and 15 clones without cones. Twigs from the lower part of the crown had a significantly higher rooting percentage. Cone-set did not have an effect on any of the variables analysed. The results suggest that flowering ability and rooting capacity are independent age-related processes, implying that selection for high rooting capacity in clonal forestry does not reduce flowering competence. The results will have a great impact on breeding of P. abies, since both early flowering and high rooting ability are important traits for reducing the turnover time of the breeding cycle.