Comment Vegetative Propagation meeting

This reply is for Sweden, it is not predicted Skogforsk will make an independent reply!

Maybe I write still more later, especially if I get response.

 I note a polarisation. I have evaluated the seed orchard meeting and written about that. North-east Europe has a much more evident seed orchard interest than the South-west.

 None of the three arrangers of the planned vegetative meeting had any participant in the seed orchard meeting. I think they who work with mass-propagation should have interest and competence and see pro and cons for both methods. Thus it seems important to invite those who gave lectures on the seed orchard meeting to make presentations also when discussing VP. I think the risk is high it becomes to much of salesmanship othervice ľ in Sweden less than one permille of forest plants are vegetatively propagated in spite of very large efforts to promote clonal forestry. We talk more about VP and it goes more money in R&D than it is worth. One reason is that the proponents in Sweden has little contact with realities. 

Activity 6
Vegetative propagation and clonal forestry - the scope for Europe
April 2009 (early)
Host: FC, Coillte and INRA


 Objective:  is to collect information on the importance,  current state-of-the-art and the uptake of vegetative propagation (rooted cuttings and micropropagation) of forest tree species (excluding ornamental and fruit tree species) in Europe

Sweden uses 15000 hectars of Salix which is sometimes replanted. It is almost only clonal. The area is probably not expanding. It is grown on agricultural fields and by definition agriculture and not forestry, thus not in the forestry statistics given below!

If No, could you please provide us with an address of a contact person who uses VP in your country?

Several operators. Commercial is neglectable small. Grafts for seed orchards and Norway spruce cuttings for testing and seed orchards is completely dominated by Skogforsk. SLU runs field experiments with clones and have some experience in how to make them. Somatic embryogenesis it is Skogforsk for field experiemts and breeding experiments. Mainly indoor research is done by SLU in Uppsala. There will be set up platforms in Umeň. Swedetreetechnology runs somatic embryogenesis but I am uncertain where, most may not be in Sweden at the moment.        

Dag L work at SLU but I reply for whole Sweden for Scots pine and Norway spruce in actual deployment to seed orchards and operative forestry.

The reason for not responding for other species is that 95% of the plant market is Norway spruce and Scots pine, 4% other conifers and 1% broadleaves, only for a fraction of the broadleaves vegetative pro

 Norway spruce

There may be one per mille of plant market with Norway spruce cuttings. Expansion is not foreseen.

Grafts and to a lesser extent cuttings are major use in seed orchards and clonal archives.

Cutting clones are used for testing genetic materials. R&D is done on somatic embryogenesis

There is basic research with somatic embroygenesis. This is a very big thing at SLU and draws lot of resources. Contact Sara von Arnold, SLU, Uppsala if more information is needed.

Ulrika Egertsdotter may answer about STT actions in Somatic embryogenesis


A rather recent overview of the efforts with clonal forestry was given by Lindgren (in Swedish)

Hopes has been in commercial VP since three decades and Sweden produce a lower amount of semipractical cutting plants now that any time since 1990


But the expected gain has never paid the added effort

There are regulations. but they are not bottlenecks for much more VP. The rules can be considered as an argument against VERY large investments in R&D.


Other (please explain)

Forestry does not trust that the added cost and complication is justified by the added gain. The added gain is now raising for some situations, which could increase the motivation

No nurseries plan expansion. To justify VP investments for a production capacity of some million plants should be made, and the market is too uncertain to justify investments of that magnitude

There are 9 year tests established with somatic embryogenesis and investments in R&D in somatic embryogenesis in the hope that it can be implemented when test results appear 2018. About 40% of forestry is involved in this strategy. IF it succeeds (which is optimistic), it is a possible scenario that 1/3 of the Swedish spruce plants are produced by somatic embryogenesis 2025 raising the production on the concerned area around 10% compared to a world without VP. Even with this optimistic scenario, the impact on forest harvest the coming century will be much smaller that with seed orchard


There is a need for development of calculation and calculation techniques. The continuous raise in VP plants of a clone, the continuous raise in expected gain by time and economy of breeding and propagation and the logistics of the systems should be developed into a decision model to optimise production systems.

R&D needs for SE are not mentioned, there the bottleneck is in the production technology



Scots pine

Grafts are in major use in seed orchards and clone archives.

As cuttings have been successful in spruce breeding, a small part of Scots pine breeding is also carried out with cuttings as a R&D development



Ongoing R&D seem reasonable successful for tree improvement so my guess is that it will be marginally more VP for breeding in five years.



For grafts: With selection forwards you do not have much material to propagate, methods to make many grafts from small trees should be improved

For cutting: Breeding economy requires more symmetric and better success in cutting propagation