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Cornus (sericea)

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

Family Scientific Name: Cornaceae
Family Common Name: Dogwood family
Scientific Name: Cornus sericea L. sericea L.
Common Synonym: Cornus stolonifera Michx.
Common Name: Red stem dogwood
Species Code: CORSER
Ecotype: Aspen Forest, Saint Mary, 1250 m elev. Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT.
General Distribution: C. sericea ssp. sericea occurs from Alaska to Newfoundland, south through the Rockies to Mexico; also south through the Cascades and Sierras to southern California and Nevada; further east in Missouri and Pennsylvania. It is found in mixed, open coniferous and aspen forests, riparian zones, wetlands, flood plains, and is invasive of wet meadows.ΓΏ
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 3 L (1 gal) containers
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 30 cm<br> Caliper: .5 to 1 cm<br> Root System: firm plug in 3L (1 gallon) containers.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting or Direct Sticking
Type of Cutting: Spring hardwood and summer softwood stem cuttings.
Hardwood cuttings are collected in April andearly May before budbreak.
Softwood cuttings are collected in June and July before or after flowering.
Cuttings are collected from healthy field plants. Cuttings average 20 to 30 cm in length and .5 to 1 cm in caliper.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cutting Treatments: Cuttings were cut into 20 to 30 cm lengths, with the base recut and 1/3 of leaves or buds removed. Cuttings were placed in a 2 minute fungicide bath to remove surface pathogens.
Softwood cuttings were treated with 2000 ppm liquid Quick Dip IBA, and stuck in an intermittent mist bed with at least 2 nodes below the surface of the rooting medium.
Hardwood cuttings were treated with 2,000 ppm liquid IBA and directly stuck into 3L (1 gallon) containers filled with medium.
Rooting %: 80 to 95% in 4 to 6 weeks for Softwood (Pre-Rooting)Cuttings.
Rooting %: 65 to 88% in 8 weeks for Hardwood (Direct Sticking)Cuttings.
High rooting percentages are easily obtained with both softwood and hardwood cuttings treated with 2000 ppm IBA rooting hormone.
This species roots so readily that dormant hardwood cuttings (direct sticking in containers) with no IBA treatment had a rooting percent range of 65 to 80%. There are latent root initials present in the stems.
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. After cuttings have rooted, they are moved to the shadehouse for 4 weeks. Later, they are moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant: 8 weeks.
Softwoood cuttings that were prerooted were lifted out of mistbed after adequete root systems were formed.
Roots generate from the nodes below the surface of the rooting medium.
Length of Establishment Phase: 8 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 3L containers.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite 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 grams of Micromax per container.
Cuttings were irrigated after potting and placed in the shadehouse for 4 weeks. After establishment in the shadehouse, plants were moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during August and September. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 1 year from cuttings in 3L (1 gallon) containers.
Harvest Date: June or September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: This species is tolerant of excessively cold temperatures; water freezes extra cellularly in the tissues. Thus, this species can be overwintered in containers with minimal protection.
C. sericea is a early to mid seral species which needs moderate to full sun and is not found under closed forest canopies.It is widely utilized for restoration in a variety of habitats.
Birds feed on the fruits in summer and the twigs are an important winter browse for deer and elk.
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.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in the United States, Agriculture Handbook No. 450, U.S.F.S., Washington D.C., 1974.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
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.


Corey, Susan; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Cornus sericea L. plants 3 L (1 gal) containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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