The techniques of grafting (cutting and joining plants together) have been used for thousands of years. Doing so permitted humans to produce desired crops in often otherwise unsuitable conditions. Though ancient, we have continuously improved upon the technique over the years. For example, in walnuts, the oldest tree food known in history, improvements in propagation techniques continues to this day, and is the primary objective of this research. Current walnut propagation practices can yield around 80% to 93% budding success (Rezaee et al., 2008) under research conditions. But is often much lower in commercial field production, due in large part to the variability in labor availability, microclimate, material unevenness, and variations in soil, etc.
Current techniques are likely not to remain economically or environmentally sustainable due to increased cost for labor, land, or a result of international competition. Therefore, it is essential for this industry to continue to explore alternative propagation methods to reduce costs, and provide an economically viable path for new farmers to consider this crop.
This study focused only on exploration of novel in-container walnut propagation using both the ancient methods of budding and use of more modern-day Omega grafting tools. Unfortunately, the former technique remains physically and economically challenging, and is not viable in containerized rootstock because of its small size. The results of this current research suggest that the use of the Omega Grafting tool may serve as an ideal replacement for patch budding, especially when matched with the benefits of budding in-container. The limited success in graft union formation in this study does not provide enough evidence to suggest in-container budding of walnuts is an economically viable practice to-date. This was especially evident in the significant loss of plant material observed in trial 3, as such results are not competitive to the current system of bareroot grafted, or potted rootstock grafted in the field.
|Commitee:||Brar, Gurreet, Bahne, Jeremy|
|School:||California State University, Fresno|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/6(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Plant sciences, Labor economics, Sustainability, Soil sciences, Agriculture, Horticulture|
|Keywords:||Walnut propagation, English Walnut grafting, In-container budding, Commercial viability, New farmers, Crop management, Rootstock , Omega Grafting tool|
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