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Sorbus (scopulina)

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

Family Scientific Name: Rosaceae
Family Common Name: Rose family
Scientific Name: Sorbus scopulina Greene scopulina Greene
Common Name: Cascade Mountain-ash
Species Code: SORSCO
Ecotype: Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, Mt. 1585 meters elevation
General Distribution: S. scopulina ranges from Alaska to northern California, east to western Alberta, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
It inhabits moist forest and avalanche slopes and is common in upper montane and subalpine elevations.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml containers
Time To Grow: 10 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling <br> Height: 9 cm<br> Caliper: 8 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected when fruit turns red-orange in early October. Seeds are brown at maturity. Fruit is collected in plastic bags and kept under refrigeration prior to cleaning.
Collection Locality: Two Medicine and Cutbank Campgrounds, Glacier National Park, MT.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are extracted from fruit by maceration using a Dyb-vig seed cleaner and are washed and screened to remove pulp from the seeds.
Seed longevity is up to 5 years at 3 to 5C with low relative humidity in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 100,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90 to 100%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are treated with 1,000 ppm gibberellic acid for 24 hours, followed by a 3:1 water/hydrogen peroxide soak for 10 minutes, and a 24 hour running water rinse. A 90 to 120 day cold, moist stratification is needed to break dormancy.
Seeds are placed in fine mesh bags and buried in moistened peat moss in ventilated containers under refrigeration at 1 to 3C.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.

Sowing Method: Direct Seeding or planting germinants.Seeds are covered with medium.
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 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.

Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
Seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Establishment Phase: Germination occurs at 22C and is usually complete in 20 days. Cotyledon to true leaf stage is 2 weeks. Seedlings are thinned at this stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Seedling growth is rapid following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-10-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm and increase in height to 9 centimeters in 10 weeks. Root development occurs at a rapid rate and seedlings must be uppotted to 1 gallon containers the 1st season if they are not outplanted by fall.ΓΏ
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. Irrigation is gradually reduced in August and September. Pots are leached with clear water before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 10 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed propagated material grows rapidly. First year seedlings in 3L (1 gallon) containers were 15 cm tall with 2.0 cm caliper. Plants reach reproductive maturity in 3 to 5 years.
There are 2 botanical varieties: scopulina, and cascadensis
S. scopulina is an important browse for bears, deer, moose and elk. The berries are eaten by many species of birds and small mammals. Bears feed on berries in late fall.
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.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, N. Deno, published June 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.


Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Sorbus scopulina Greene plants 172 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/01/20). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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