‘Shiloh Splash’ River BirchPPAF
(Betula nigra ‘Shiloh Splash’)
PROJECT LEADER(S): Thomas G. Ranney
LOCATION: Propagation and production research was conducted at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Henderson Co. State-wide evaluation trials and on-farm trials were also established.
Our native river birch is one of the most popular trees for southern nurseries and landscapes. It is utilized extensively due to its attractive ornamental features, excellent adaptability (tolerance to heat and clay soils), and it is one of the only birch species with resistance to bronze birch borer. There are currently only a few named cultivars of river birch including ‘Summer Cascade’ PPAF a weeping river birch that was marketed through our program with support from the NC Specialty Crops Program and is now being grown world-wide.
‘Shiloh Splash’ PPAF is a new variegated
selection of river birch that arose as a sport on a tree at Shiloh Nursery in
1. Develop propagation protocols for stem cuttings.
2. Establish local landscape evaluations.
3. Distribute plants nationally for regional landscape evaluations.
4. Propagate and distribute stock plants to
5. Establish propagation stock block at the MHCRS for use by NC Nurserymen.
6. Market through industry meetings.
Propagation studies were
conducted to optimize and refine production protocols. Terminal, softwood, cuttings were collected on 13 July, 2004. Cuttings were pruned to approximately 5” with
the lower leaves removed. The basal 1”
of the stems were dipped for 5 sec. in treatment solutions ranging from
0 to 10,000 ppm auxin formulated as either indole butyric acid (IBA)
dissolved in 50% isopropyl alcohol or the potassium salt of indole butyric acid
(KIBA) dissolved in water. Cuttings were
stuck in a medium of 50% peat : 50% perlite and placed under intermittent mist
in a shaded (~50%) glass-covered greenhouse.
Cuttings were arranged in a completely randomized design with 15
replications. Production demonstrations
were developed for tours and field days.
A stock block of ‘Shiloh Splash’ PPAF was established to provide
Propagation. There was no influence of auxin concentration on percent rooting for either IBA or KIBA (Fig. 1A and 1B); cuttings rooted between 70% and 100% regardless of treatment. However, root number was influenced by auxin concentration. Root number followed a cubic trend in response to IBA concentration with the highest root number between 2,000 and 4,000ppm (Fig. 1B). Root number increased in response to KIBA, but there was no significant trend in root number between 2,000 and 10,000 ppm KIBA (Fig. 2B). Other observations indicated that rooting potential declined considerably later in the season.
Demonstrations and Trials. Container and field production demonstrations have been established at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station. These demonstrations were included in tours for nursery growers. Presentations were also made at the North Carolina Green and Grow’n Show, Southern Region International Plant Propagators Meeting, and numerous county extension programs including over 500 people. Plants are on display at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. On-farm trials have been established with the following growers and most are now producing this plant:
Appalachian Trees, Hollis Wild
Fry Nursery, Richard and Pamela Fry
Hawksridge Farms, Inc., Rick Crowder
Highland Creek Nursery, Brian Upchurch
Fletcher, NC 28732
Meadowbrook Nursery, Jamie Oxley
Silverfox Nursery, Kelly McCartney
Tarheel Native Trees, Sam Allen
Stock block. A stock block of 50 ‘Shiloh Splash’ PPAF has been established at the Mountain
Horticultural Crops Research Station.
These plants will be available as a source for propagation material for
Distribution of Stock Plants. Over 500 plants were propagated and distributed for stock plants and for evaluation. In addition to distributions to NC growers, plants have been sent to institutions (Universities, Arboreta, etc.) around the country for promotion and evaluations.
Promotional materials. Images and slides of ‘Shiloh Splash’ PPAF have been distributed and are available upon request. Posters and flyers have been developed and distributed to producers.