Title page for ETD etd-04222002-104719

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Musselwhite, Sheri Ruth
Author's Email Address smusselw@vt.edu
URN etd-04222002-104719
Title Overcoming Summer Dormancy of Boxwood
Degree Master of Science
Department Horticulture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wright, Robert D. Committee Chair
Harris, James Roger Committee Member
Latimer, Joyce G. Committee Member
  • woody ornamentals
  • phytohormones
  • nursery crops
  • container-grown
  • defoliation
  • nutrition
  • plant growth regulators
  • pruning
Date of Defense 2002-05-15
Availability unrestricted
The objective of this work was to determine if summer dormancy of boxwood could be removed either through nutritional or hormonal means. Buxus sempervirens L. ‘Suffruticosa’, B. sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’, and B sinica var. insularis (Nakai) ‘Justin Brouwers’ were used for these studies. In the nutrition study, experiments were conducted to examine the effects of various levels of Osmocote 15-9-12 and liquid 10-4-6 on growth of boxwood. Optimal shoot dry weight was achieved at applications of 12 to 16 g Osmocote and 100 – 150 ppm N liquid fertilizer. Leachate EC corresponding to optimal shoot dry weight ranged from 0.5 to 0.7 dS/m for Osmocote and from 0.7 to 1.5 dS/m for liquid fertilizer. While the fertilizer requirements for boxwood optimal dry weight accumulation were determined, additional flushes of growth subsequent to the initial spring flush did not occur for ‘Vardar Valley’ and English boxwood. In the phytohormone study, experiments were conducted that examined the effects of pruning, Promalin (GA4+7 and BA), and defoliation on the growth of three boxwood species. While Promalin applied alone or in conjunction with pruning shows promise of increasing new shoot growth, its response was not consistent from experiment to experiment. In fact, when it was applied in conjunction with defoliation, it dramatically decreased number of new shoots and actually resulted in some shoot mortality. Pruning was also erratic in its promotion of new shoots. Defoliation increased new shoot number dramatically and shows the most promise in overcoming summer dormancy.
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