NDSU horticulture study published

Todd West, associate professor of horticulture; Chiwon Lee, professor of plant sciences; and former NDSU horticulture student Samuel DeMarais recently had their research on Japanese tree lilac seedling production published in a national horticultural journal.

“Germination of Nonstratified Japanese Tree Lilac Seeds as Influenced by Seed Capsule Maturity and Moisture Content” was published in the April issue of HortTechnology.

According to West, Japanese tree lilac is a popular ornamental tree in the northern United States because of its flowering characteristics and its winter hardiness.

Grafting is generally performed on seedling rootstocks of Japanese tree lilac, West said. Commercial nurseries produce seedling rootstocks for grafting for propagation, which require a stratification process of moist-chilling or moist-warm conditions to overcome physiological or embryo dormancy for seeding germination. West said seed dormancy is highly variable in Japanese tree lilac.

The study used “green” seeds that were not fully matured and were collected in the fall. The seed did not require stratification to germinate and had a much higher rate of germination than tradition techniques.

The research results could allow commercial nurseries the ability to produce a more reliable crop of rootstocks for grafting Japanese tree lilac, West said.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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