Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The "Ghost Redwood"

Early last week an old friend reappeared out of the fog with an amazing piece of plant material he had been watching for the past 12 years.  High in a Redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) there had been growing a white branch and through binoculars he could tell that it was pure white but it was un-reachable.  As a result of the ice storm we here in the Puget Sound region suffered, this branch, and it was a large one, was delivered to his door step and he was able to see it close up.  He says he thought of me and "if anyone could propagate this it would be you."  (His words, not my bragging!) 

Well, I thought, the conifer people would go crazy over this and I could be a millionaire if I can produce a bunch of these!  Of course plants completely lacking chlorophyll are very unlikely to root as cuttings, in fact the chances are zero, so the only thing to do is graft some onto another redwood rootstock or....find some suckers growing from a burl which are reportedly easy to root and nurse graft those.  My friend John, shown above, happened to have a young suckering redwood in his garden and brought me all the cuttings from it that he could get and they look like this:

I don't know how likely they are to take but it sure would be great if they did!  Time will tell....think I'll go have a single malt!