blue spruce color heritability

Dennis G. dennis_goos... at mindlink.net
Tue Sep 30 19:34:00 EST 1997


bae at cs.toronto.edu (Beverly Erlebacher) wrote:

>In article <EHA2uu.BLz at midway.uchicago.edu>,
>William J. Buikema <wjb1 at midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
>>	Does anyone have any ideas about why the seedlings that are planted
>>cannot be derived from sources that will guarantee the strong blue color in
>>less than a random fashion?  Being a geneticist, it seems to me that continued 
>>selection for the color and careful selection of propagation sources should 
>>ensure efficient selection of the desired traits.  Does anyone have a better
>>feel for this?
>
>Spruce trees have a long generation time, and uniformity of color can
>be achieved by grafting, so there isn't much motivation for breeding
>for color in a big way.  There are numerous clones with good color and
>people seem to be willing to pay extra for them if they want the uniformity.
>
>
Good shades of blue are often saleable for double the price of green Picea
pungens. Grafts are expensive to produce and grow and infections in the grafts
can result in loss after years of care. Propagation by cutting is demanding and
specialized, only a few propagators and a few clones make it on their own roots.

This is a good area for investigation. There would be a market for a good blue
from seed if it was developed. I think lots of people have tried because there
is always a new variety of "bluer" spruce being sold - none that are reliable to
my knowledge. 

In the meantime, aluminum sulphate may be your best friend !

dennis



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