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Salix (arctica)

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

Family Scientific Name: Salicaceae
Family Common Name: Willow Family
Scientific Name: Salix arctica Pall.
Common Name: Arctic willow
Species Code: SALART
Ecotype: Alpine meadows, Logan Pass, 2032m elev.,
General Distribution: S. arctica is a circumboreal species, occurring south in North America through the Cascades and Rocky Mountains to California and New Mexico in alpine and subalpine zones.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cuttings<br> Height: 3 cm in height<br> Caliper: 4 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml containers.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Spring semi-softwood stem tip cuttings
Semi-softwood stem tip cuttings are collected when leaf buds have just begun to break dormancy after snowmelt at high elevations.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pretreatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings are 4 to 6 cm in length and 5 mm in caliper and are treated with 1000 ppm IBA powder. Cuttings are struck in mistbed with bottom heat for 2 to 4 weeks.Salix arctica is easily produced by cuttings. Salix has latent preformed root initials present in the stem and initial rooting is seen in cuttings in one week.
Rooting %: 95% to 98%
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 media.
Rooting media is 50% perlite and 50% sand.
Mistbed is covered with a shadecloth during rooting.
After cuttings are potted, they are moved to an outdoor shadehouse for 4 weeks. 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: 4 to 6 weeks.
Cuttings that were prerooted were lifted out of mistbed after adequate root systems were formed. Roots generate from the nodes below the surface of the rooting media.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 to 6 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 490 ml containers. Growing media used is 70% 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite 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 1 gram of Micromax per conetainer. 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: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 8 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 1 year
Harvest Date: July
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow. One final irrigation is applied prior to overwintering.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Seeds/Kg: 22,000,000/ kg approx.
%Germination: unknown
Seed Processing: Seed is collected when capsules open in late August and early September. Seed is light tan at maturity. Unlike other species of Salix, seed of S. arctica can be stored for longer than one yearat 0C. Exact longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: Seeds are surface sown after collection in the fall and given a 5 month cold-moist stratification.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are surface sown in flats.
Establishment Phase: Germination occurs in late spring under fluctuating temperatures.
Germination occurred over a 1 month period. Seedlings were transplanted to pots at the true leaf stage.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, N. Deno, published June 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
1999 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J. and Brenneman, B., unpublished.


Evans, Jeff. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Salix arctica Pall. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/05). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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