Effect of media components and clonal type on the rooting of hybrid eucalyptus cuttings.
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Several forest companies and tree growers in Uganda produce planting stock for hybrid clones of Eucalyptus to feed the growing market. Although nursery operators use different media components and claim that some produce more rooting abilities than others, no studies had been conducted to confirm the performance of these combinations. The current study was carried out to establish the effect of these media components, clonal type and their interaction on the rooting of clonal Eucalyptus in order to identify and recommend the standard mixing proportions for media used in the rooting of Eucalyptus cuttings. Two root parameters were considered; the percentages of the cuttings that develop roots and the number of roots developed. The experiment had a factorial treatment structure, with factors, clonal type and the media mixtures. The results established a significant effect (α=0.05) of the clonal type on both rooting parameters. There was no significant effect (α=0.05) of the media mixtures on the rooting percentages, but rather on the number of roots developed. In particular, red soil proved to have a significant effect (α=0.05) on both rooting parameters, cocoa peat had no significant effect (α=0.05) on either, while sand had a significant effect (α=0.05) only on the number of roots. It was established that the interaction of the clonal type and the rooting media mixtures had no significant effect (α=0.05) on the rooting of Eucalyptus cuttings. The experiment determined that; contrary to the claim that media mixtures used have a significant effect on rooting parameters, only some specific components, red soil in this case, do. The clonal type was instead found out to be a more important factor with regards to affecting the rooting of hybrid Eucalyptus clones at alpha level 0.05. This implies that tree nursery operators should focus more on producing easy-to-root clonal types, rather than better media mixtures.