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Vaccinium (caespitosum)

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

Family Scientific Name: Ericaceae
Family Common Name: Heath Family
Scientific Name: Vaccinium caespitosum Michx.
Common Name: Dwarf huckleberry
Species Code: VACCAE├┐├┐
Ecotype: Lodgepole pine forest, West Glacier, 1050mm elev., Glacier National Park, Flathead Co, MT.
General Distribution: V. caespitosum is found from Alaska to California and east through the Rocky Mountains from B.C. to Alberta, south to New Mexico. and east across Canada to the Atlantic coast.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 6 cm<br> Caliper: 5 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml (4.5 inch) pot.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Summer softwood stem cuttings collected in late June.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were re-cut and terminal buds were removed. Cuttings were treated with 2,000 ppm liquid IBA and placed in a mist bed
with bottom heat. Cuttings were 4 cm in length and 5 mm cm in diameter.
Rooting %: 30% in 14 weeks
Softwood cuttings had significantly higher number and quality of roots compared to semi-softwood cuttings taken one month earlier. Softwood cuttings taken in mid June with a section of 2 yr old, subterranean wood had signficantly greater rooting than cuttings taken one month earlier and with older wood at the base. Higher concentrations of IBA should be tried.
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. Misting frequency is increased or decreased according to daily outdoor temperature and wind. Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% peat. Inoculation of rooting media with beneficial fungi may increase rooting vigor.
The mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting. They are later moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery and are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant: 15 weeks.
Length of Establishment Phase: 15 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 800 ml containers. Growing medium used is 70%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 2 grams of Osmocote and 0.5 grams of Micromax per container. Cuttings were irrigated after potting and placed in in the outdoor nursery.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 4 weeks 1st year, 16 weeks 2nd year
Hardening Phase: Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 2 years
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation Method: Direct Seeding

Seed Processing: The fruit is collected in August. Seeds are tan at maturity. Seed is cleaned by a macerator and screened and air dried.
Seed Storage: up to 12 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as non dormant.
Seed Treatments: Seed is surface sown on finely milled peat and kept moist at 17 to 21C. Seed requires light for germination.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 1987.
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.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Vaccinium caespitosum Michx. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/10/23). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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