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Symphoricarpos (albus)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Family Common Name: Honeysuckle family
Scientific Name: Symphoricarpos albus (L.) Blake laevigatus (Fern) Blake
Common Name: Common Snowberry
Species Code: SYMALB
Ecotype: Lodgepole pine forest, West Glacier, 1000m elev., Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT.
General Distribution: S. albus is found from Alaska east across Canada to Quebec, south to California, Nevada, and Utah, and south through the Rocky Mountains to Colorado. It is also found east through the northern Midwestern into New England states.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 3L containers
Time To Grow: 18 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 30 cm<br> Caliper: 8 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 3L (1 gallon) container.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Hardwood and softwood stem cuttings.
Hardwood cuttings are collected late March to April.
Softwood cuttings are collected May to late June.
Cuttings must be collected from healthy donor field plants.
Stem tip cuttings average 15 cm in lengthand 5 mm in caliper.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept under refrigeration and moist prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were re-cut at the base and terminal buds and 1/3 of basal leaves or buds were removed. Cuttings are dipped into a fungicide bath to remove surface pathogens.
Cuttings were treated liquid IBA (5 second quick-dip)and stuck into rooting medium with at least 2 nodes below the surface.
Hardwood cuttings are treated with 2000 ppm liquid IBA (5 second quick-dip).
Softwood cuttings are treated with 8000 ppm liquid IBA (5 second quick-dip).
Hardwood cuttings treated with 2000 ppm IBA average 50 to 71% rooting in 4 to 5 weeks.
Softwood cuttings treated with 8000 ppm IBA average 91 to 98% rooting in 4 weeks.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot.
Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables buried 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand.
Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant: 5 weeks from mistbed. Cuttings generate roots at the nodes.
Length of Establishment Phase: 5 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings have well developed root systems, they are lifted from mistbed and transplanted into 3L (1 gallon) containers.
Growing medium used is 70% is 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 30% sand with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer 12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 5 grams of Osmocote and 2.0 grams of Micromax per container. Cuttings are also fertilized weekly with 13-13-13 liquid NPK at 100 ppm.
Potted cuttings are placed in shadehouse for 4 weeks and are then moved to full sun exposure for the remainder of the growing season. It is important to obtain as much root growth as possible prior to overwinter storage.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. One final irrigation is applied prior to overwintering.
Length of Hardening Phase: 6 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 18 months from cuttings in 3L (1 gallon) containers.
Harvest Date: Fall

Storage Conditions: Cuttings require additional protection by placing them in an unheated greenhouse to promote additional root growth in late fall and to protect stems from breakage from heavy snowload.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Common snowberry is suseptible to powdery mildew during summer months. Full sun exposure and good air circulation help to control the problem after cuttings have become established in containers.

Snowberry is widely used for restoring riparian areas and in mineland reclamation.
The fruits are an important food source for grouse, quail, partridge and other birds.
There are 2 botanical varieties: albus, and laevigatus.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
1996 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J., Lamb, B., and Funk, T., unpublished.
1998 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J. and Kimball, S., unpublished.


Lapp, Joyce; Luna, Tara; Potter, Rachel; Corey, Susan; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Symphoricarpos albus (L.) Blake plants 3L containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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