Pg. 35-38 Multiplication of New Litchi Cultivars and Seedling Selections using Novel Propagation Techniques

Air layering in South Africa, as in the rest of the world, is the most widely used method for commercially propagating litchis. It is an easy and simple method, but requires large quantities of plant material. Introduction of new cultivars into the industry and selection of promising seedlings in the breeding programme, stimulated the need for other methods of propagation. The use of cuttings, micro and multiple air layering and grafting onto seedling rootstocks were investigated. Grafting I budding onto juvenile seedlings of selected cultivars appears to hold most promise for accelerating the distribution of new material. A respectable 80% – 90% success rate was obtained when several hundred seedlings of three different cultivars were grafted with the most promising cultivars and seedling selections available in South Africa. Cultivar evaluation and the utilisation of rootstocks for tree manipulation will be carried out simultaneously in future cultivar development programs.

Powered by BetterDocs