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Cost effective promotion of flowering in a douglas fir seed orchard by girdling and pulsed stem injection of gibberellin a 4 7



Cost effective promotion of flowering in a douglas fir seed orchard by girdling and pulsed stem injection of gibberellin a 4 7



Silvae Genetica 38(5-6): 189-195



Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) grafts of 5 cm to 14 cm diameter received different combinations of partial saw-cut stem girdles and ethanolic solutions of GA4/7 injected into shallow holes drilled around the main stem. Grafts averaged 79 seed-cone buds and 4500 pollen-cone buds each without treatment. Girdling alone increased the tree production of seed- and pollen-cone buds to 325 and 9300, respectively. GA4/7 alone was nearly as effective as girdling alone, the response being marginally greater at the high than low dosage of GA4/7 (3.82 vs. 1.27 mg cm-2 of stem cross sectional area), but independent of whether the total dose was applied all at once or over two or three injections at 2-week intervals. Together, girdling and GA4/7 had an additive effect on flowering, increasing the tree production of seed- and pollen-cone buds to 585 and 18,250. The combined treatment was particularly effective on smaller trees that flowered poorly or not at all without treatment, while also enhancing production significantly on larger trees. The combined treatment was safe and highly cost effective. It cost $63.75 per year to maintain each tree in the orchard, so that without any treatment the cost per seed-cone bud initiated was $0.91. Girdling (at $2.07 per tree) reduced this cost to $0.20, and girdling + GA4/7 (at $7.87 per tree) to only $0.13.

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