WITCHES BROOM

August44

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I spotted this huge witches broom the other day in a White Fir. It is about 5" in diameter. The bottom of it looks pretty dead, but lots of green around the top area. The tree itself does not look to healthy, so will assume it has a parasite or something attacking it. The needles on the broom growth are tiny and I would love to have a tree or two from cuttings of the broom. Is the only way to do that grafting? What can you graft a cutting to? I'm assuming only fir, maybe Douglas Fir? Anyway, a very cool spotting and thought I'd share. If someone knows a good grafter, I could get some cuttings and send them for grafting. I would pay of course. Thanks!
 

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Pitoon

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Usually you graft onto the same species or compatible species. That broom is pretty high up there. What's your plan on getting cuttings/scions?
 

August44

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Usually you graft onto the same species or compatible species. That broom is pretty high up there. What's your plan on getting cuttings/scions?
If I was a bit younger, I would climb up, but the broom is where I can get a lift up to it, so no problem. Not sure it is worth the $100.00 lit charge though.

PS: No guns allowed where the broom is.
 

Pitoon

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If I was a bit younger, I would climb up, but the broom is where I can get a lift up to it, so no problem. Not sure it is worth the $100.00 lit charge though.

PS: No shot guns of course allowed in town!
Do your research on what you can graft onto first. Then get plenty of healthy rootstock to graft onto. If you do pay for the lift take at least 2 dozen cuttings. The more grafts you do that higher the chance of you getting at least one to take. All you need is one to grow and you have the mutation to carry on.
 

Forsoothe!

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If you can buy and plant the understock this fall, that would give you a leg up grafting next spring.
 

August44

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I have some friends that own a nursery on the West side and deal a lot in grafting, native trees and dwarfs. I'll wait a bit and then get some pieces of the broom and send over to them. I have never grafted and want it done right. They will graft them and I will get some trees of course. They graft in the winter over there. Not sure what they will use for root stock, maybe Doug Fir? I even get to name it they say. Should I be concerned about why the broom was formed in the first place and if it might have parasites, mistletoe or something else? After looking with binoculars, I see that about 60-70% of the bottom of the broom looks dead, but nice green growth on the top.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Should I be concerned about why the broom was formed in the first place and if it might have parasites, mistletoe or something else?
Not really. The question will be whether the genetic aberration is stable. If you get grafts to take, and all the grafts maintain the favorable characteristics of the broom, and you take grafts off those trees, and they remain stable... and you do that about five times, you probably have a good argument that you have discovered a stable new cultivar.

I know a nursery about an hour from my house that currently has about six different 'experiments' in the works involving material from witches' brooms brought in from the wild. They've got a special raised garden bed in the nursery where all they are doing is trying to discover new cultivars.
 

Shogun610

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Idk why you would want to use a graft from a genetic or parasitic origin. Seems like a lot of work.
 

Crawforde

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Tiny needles
Maybe nicer branching?
There is only one way to find out.
 

August44

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Idk why you would want to use a graft from a genetic or parasitic origin. Seems like a lot of work.
I'm sure the folks that I will send the scions to will sort that out and not use anything that is diseased. What do you mean by "genetic" origin? From what little I know, the growth in all true brooms is very different than the parent tree, more dwarfed, and that is what makes them unique and desired. When looking with binoculars, I can see that the needles are tiny and the branches very small. The growth is very tight, like a big green ball.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Idk why you would want to use a graft from a genetic or parasitic origin. Seems like a lot of work.
Because that material might have positive characteristics. The following image is of a witches broom on a Kotobuki Japanese black pine. The witches broom has a brighter green coloration, and the needles are softer than the source plant material, while still maintaining the tight compact growth pattern and profuse back-budding of a kotobuki. Once discovered in a nursery in Japan, this single plant was used to create the yatsubusa cultivar of Japanese black pine. Literally every yatsubusa in existence descended from this single tree's witches broom.

mystery.jpg
 

Shogun610

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Because that material might have positive characteristics. The following image is of a witches broom on a Kotobuki Japanese black pine. The witches broom has a brighter green coloration, and the needles are softer than the source plant material, while still maintaining the tight compact growth pattern and profuse back-budding of a kotobuki. Once discovered in a nursery in Japan, this single plant was used to create the yatsubusa cultivar of Japanese black pine. Literally every yatsubusa in existence descended from this single tree's witches broom.

View attachment 398155
Zeryy Zerry Interestink
 
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Shogun610

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I'm sure the folks that I will send the scions to will sort that out and not use anything that is diseased. What do you mean by "genetic" origin? From what little I know, the growth in all true brooms is very different than the parent tree, more dwarfed, and that is what makes them unique and desired. When looking with binoculars, I can see that the needles are tiny and the branches very small. The growth is very tight, like a big green ball.
Unregulated cytokinin production that auxins don’t regulate due to genetic tRNA transcription during the biosynthesis of the Hormone. The witches broom is sort of in a way a “tumor or a cancer” unregulated growth.
 

August44

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Unregulated cytokinin production that auxins don’t regulate due to genetic tRNA transcription during the biosynthesis of the Hormone.
What are you smokin? We do English here and an explanation that partially smart people can understand!
 

Shogun610

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What are you smokin? We do English here and an explanation that partially smart people can understand!
Cytokinins are hormones (protein) that influence growth and stimulate cell division. Auxin is a hormone that causes elongation of cells and regulates cytokinin influence to where plant growth / cell division should occur. That’s why we pinch… in a normally functional tree , the auxin is at the apex or dominant tips.. when you remove that auxin , cytokinin is less regulated thus which is why back budding occurs.
 

Shogun610

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What are you smokin? We do English here and an explanation that partially smart people can understand!
When the tRNA has a coding error that does not correct itself in the form of antioxidants… the unregulated cell growth /division is left to produce more cytokinin hormones and less auxin at that particular junction in the tree when’re the broom is manifesting.
 

August44

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I appreciate your explanation. So what are you saying here...just burn the broom and not take advantage of what is happening naturally and develop a dwarf tree that could be very cool? There are a whole lot of dwarfs out there that have been developed just this way.
 

Forsoothe!

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Idk why you would want to use a graft from a genetic or parasitic origin. Seems like a lot of work.
Boo Hiss. You are using the word parasite wrong in this case. All chimeras are parasitic only because they have no roots of their own, and they are where a high percentage of interesting cultivars come from.
 

Hartinez

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Idk why you would want to use a graft from a genetic or parasitic origin. Seems like a lot of work.
@_space_bard_ shared this article the other day. Kind of blew my mind but is also not surprising that this is a thing.

 

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