Variation of cutting rooting ability in cultivated and wild species of Macadamia

D.M. Russell, J.M. Neal, R. Mayer, D. Bell, B.L. Topp
In Australia, macadamia trees are commonly propagated by germinating rootstock seed and grafting when seedlings reach a suitable size. The production of grafted trees is a protracted and complex process, however, propagation of macadamia via cuttings represents a simpler and faster method of multiplication. Macadamias have traditionally proven difficult to propagate from cuttings, and while recent developments in the process have improved success rates, substantial variation in rooting ability between cultivars and species has been reported. The cultivar 'Beaumont' (Macadamia integrifolia × M. tetraphylla) is commonly propagated by cutting for use as a rootstock, and is relatively easy to strike while other cultivars are more difficult. There is speculation that Hawaiian cultivars are more difficult to strike from cuttings than Australian cultivars due to species and genetic composition. In this experiment, cuttings of 32 genotypes were evaluated for rooting ability. Each genotype's species profile was estimated using historical data, and used to determine species effects on survival (percentage) and rooting ability (rating 0-2). M. jansenii (100%), M. tetraphylla (84%) and M. integrifolia/tetraphylla hybrids (79%) had the highest success rates while M. integrifolia (54%) and M. ternifolia (43%) had the lowest survival. Rooting ability of M. jansenii (1.75) was significantly higher than M. ternifolia (0.49) but not significantly higher than M. tetraphylla × M. integrifolia with (1.09), M. tetraphylla (1.03) or M. integrifolia (0.88).
Russell, D.M., Neal, J.M., Mayer, R., Bell, D. and Topp, B.L. (2016). Variation of cutting rooting ability in cultivated and wild species of Macadamia. Acta Hortic. 1109, 197-202
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1109.32
Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia tetraphylla, Macadamia jansenii, Macadamia ternifolia, clonal propagation, hybrid

Acta Horticulturae