Induced Backbudding With Coconut

DaveG

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I did a little experiment a couple years ago with what appeared to be decent success, but I don't have a lot of need for the technique right now, as most of my trees are nowhere near finished. I could wait until I have space to experiment or I actually need it to develop my trees and report on more scientifically-obtained results, but it would be at least another 10 years. I figure I'll go ahead and share it. Any naysayers can feel free to just not try it out themselves.

Basically, sometimes you just want a certain bud to break, one that might not really want to. It might green up a bit in the Spring and then go dormant again, waiting for a time when it's really needed. My elm does this with the lower buds on its trunk every year, then they turn brown again. A couple years ago, after a hard pruning, I wanted some of those buds to sprout out and become lower branches. At the time, I'd been reading about plant growth regulators fairly recently and I'd read that coconut milk has a high concentration of PGRs involved in bud breakage and growth. I don't remember where I read it now, just that I did.

Anyway, we had some fresh shredded coconut in the fridge that was nearing expiration anyway, so I figured I may as well see if it would solve my little bud problem. I mashed a few shreds of it up between my fingers until it was sticky and stuck it to one of the buds that was starting to brown up again. To my surprise, in a few days, that bud was putting out tiny new leaves. So I tried it again on another one that had almost completely gone back to brown. The results were the same; it sprouted. I proceeded to try it on some buds at the base of the trunk and that was unsuccessful, but those buds had already fully turned brown again. I didn't ever expect this to be foolproof.

So my working theory is that with this technique it might be possible, at that moment of decision, to push a bud over the edge to sprout instead of staying dormant. I claim no more, as I've never seen it work when the bud isn't at least a little green. But if this truly works the way it seemed to for me, it's at least a handy little trick. And the awesome part is that if it doesn't work, the only side-effect is a temporary oily spot.
 

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Dave...

It gives new meaning to "magically delicious".............. lol

V
 

DaveG

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It certainly does! Obviously, coconut tastes good for a reason.
 

irene_b

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Kudos to you Dave!!!
I love seeing all you kids experiment!!!
Makes me wonder if it can be used for rootings as well...
Irene
 
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Not to be flip.... but you are making me hungry.... lol

I am an island girl after all... :D

V
 
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Stimmie1

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Could you give me the proceedure as to how you applied it?
Jim Zone 7
 

elroy

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It is coconut water which is used in tissue culture. Coconut water is liquid endosperm. You can also buy it somewhat purified from chemical supply companies like Sigma.

Elroy
 

DaveG

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I have some very large sections of spineless yucca trunks in pots right now that have just started to expand all of their buds at once, meaning hundreds at a time. If you know what I'm talking about, you know how undesirable this is. I'm going to go out soon to buy a coconut. I'll try a little experiment to see if I can select which buds will sprout strongest before they all explode. This may not work, as my attempts to induce buds on my other spineless yucca didn't work out very well. But I figure there's no harm in trying.

Could you give me the proceedure as to how you applied it?
Jim Zone 7

Jim, the procedure is easy. To start with, I used fresh shredded coconut, meaning I bought a coconut and shredded the meat with a grater as opposed to buying the sweetened dried stuff in a bag. (The sweetened dried stuff may work too if used properly, but I just don't know.) When you mash the shreds between your fingers, they'll get a little bit sticky. I just mashed them a little bit and then lightly pressed them against the bud I wanted to induce to break. The pieces will stick if they've been mashed to the proper consistency. They may fall off later, but if you've shredded your own coconut, you'll have plenty more to reapply it. You could probably also wrap something around that part of the tree to fix it in place if you want. But if you do that, check it frequently to make sure you're not crushing the newly sprouting bud, as the advantage with just sticking it is that the bud can push it off.

It is coconut water which is used in tissue culture. Coconut water is liquid endosperm. You can also buy it somewhat purified from chemical supply companies like Sigma.

Elroy

Elroy, it's coconut milk that's the liquid endosperm. Coconut water may have some of the same properties with a reduced effect, but I never tried using it for anything. (Except adding it to drinks. Oddly, once in a while it's good in a Coke.) Most of the nutrients and such that make coconut milk do what it does go into creating the white meat of the coconut as it ripens though. I expected that a lot of it is probably still left over in the meat, which is why I tried what I tried.
 

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