"Superelite" Sitka Spruce
Producing plants vegetatively from cuttings ensures that the very best genetic attributes are passed on when the plants are propogated.
- Veg prop plants ('SuperElite' Sitka, or VP) start as tip cuttings 8-10 cm long. Cuttings are hand collected from stock plants in February.
- Cuttings are 'struck' into modular cells in a misted polytunnel forming a root system by late July. Once sucessfully rooted, cuttings are transplanted into the field.
- It is the cost of creating these rooted cuttings which makes 'SuperElite' Sitka more expensive than the seed-based Elite stock. However, by way of compensation, Super Elite stock has a superior genotype and establishes more quickly.
- Our current crops of 'SuperElite' transplants have expected gains of 22% diameter and 18% form, with no loss of timber density.