Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

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Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  FrankP999 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:57 pm

Hydroponic stores sell devices they call "cloning machines". They hold numerous cuttings above a tank of water with a pump that makes a spray/mist of water directed toward the bottom of the cuttings. The water spray pump is on a timer so the cuttings are not exposed to a constant spray of water.

From what I hear, people use these devices to clone "herbs".

Has anyone used one of these devices to start softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings? Specifically, I want to "clone" some japanese maples- the mother plant maples are on a grafted rootstock The ones I have are A.p. 'Arakawa' and A,p. 'Shishigashira'

Thanks

Frank

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  drgonzo on Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:47 pm

I have some experience with cloning, and its the automatic spray thing these cloners have that winds up being the problem, It encourages both mold and fungus, damping off winds up being a huge issue with these things. One of the most important secret a good cloner would tell you is that if you keep the air surrounding your cuttings too moist, they tend not to want to make roots because so much moisture is available on and around the plant that they sort of "get Lazy." A good cloning humidity would be in my opinion no more than 65-70%-spraying will bring you up nearly to 100% humidity and encourage mold and rot.

Maples can be propagated through hard wood cuttings taken in fall, overwintered, then set out into beds in the spring, or greenwood/semi green wood cuttings in early summer, those you would dip in hormone, set into fine bonsai soil and put some sort of humidity dome over top and pop them into the shade or a grow light. Sometimes bottom heat will help with your hardwood cuttings, but I have learned that excess moisture or spraying the cuttings almost always leads to mold and rot. What I do (and its taken years for me to get this figured out) is I used a clear plastic peanut butter jar with holes drilled just in the top as my humidity dome and I DONT spray the cuttings, there is enough moisture in the medium to keep the cuttings at a nice humidity level.
-Jay

PS Maples are tricky to clone even with excellent conditions, If your mother plant is large enough then try air layering for better success!

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  JimLewis on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:19 pm

Cloning machine = very sharp knife for cutting.

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  bucknbonsai on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:27 pm

How well would these cultivars do on their own roots? Are they weak? Do you think grafting extremely low on seedling rootstock would be better in the long run?

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  drgonzo on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:20 pm

Buck-

A.p. 'Arakawa' and A,p. 'Shishigashira' are both reasonably strong on their own roots and have been around for a long time as such, its often the more exotic cultivars that are inherently week due partially to the diminished chlorophyll in the leaves or if they are frilly or funky in some other way.

Shishi-should air layer nicely as well, not so sure about the Arakawa.
-Jay

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  FrankP999 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:50 pm

drgonzo wrote:I have some experience with cloning, and its the automatic spray thing these cloners have that winds up being the problem,-Jay

PS Maples are tricky to clone even with excellent conditions, If your mother plant is large enough then try air layering for better success!

Thanks Jay that is the info I was looking for.

Frank

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  drgonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:20 am

You very welcome Frank,


But I will say Those seedling heating matts places like that sell are nice for providing gentle bottom heat for rooting stubborn cuttings.
-Jay

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  marcus watts on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:57 am

hi,

excelent info Jay - re arakawa really the only way to get a reasonable one fairly quickly is to airlayer it - then you get the corky bark form all the way along the exposed root tops.

arakawa is a poor bonsai subject though, even though it has curious bark - they are reported to be short lived, have stubornly large leaves and a constant want to grow straight twigs upwards, always reverting to a young looking image. It is the only aceer that i've weakened drastically by defoliating in an aim to reduce the leaves too. Even though there are one or two biggish ones in the uk they aren't anywhere close to as good as other equally sized acer bonsai that are a similar age - once the leaves are off you soon see that. I dont think i've ever seen or heard of more than 3 trees that are just about showable

cheers

Marcus

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  drgonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:23 pm

marcus watts wrote:hi,


arakawa is a poor bonsai subject though, even though it has curious bark - they are reported to be short lived, have stubornly large leaves and a constant want to grow straight twigs upwards, always reverting to a young looking image. It is the only aceer that i've weakened drastically by defoliating in an aim to reduce the leaves too. Even though there are one or two biggish ones in the uk they aren't anywhere close to as good as other equally sized acer bonsai that are a similar age - once the leaves are off you soon see that. I dont think i've ever seen or heard of more than 3 trees that are just about showable

cheers

Marcus

Now THAT is some interesting information. I was at a Bonsai nursery a few months ago and was crawling all over the various Arakawa in fall splendor, I was impressed with the bark of course but didn't purchase one because I was struck instead by a shohin Deshojo. Arakawa was starting to creep up on my "try it out" list I may re-evaluate that, thank you Marcus.
-Jay

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

Post  mojojava on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:17 am

know this is a little late but I have a little experience with hydroponics.

Ive found that soft herb cuttings rooted in a spray cloner do get "lazy" and have a hard time getting established if put in the ground or dry media when rooted. They do excellent in a hydro or aeroponic system. You might have some luck with some soft wood cuttings if you used the little root starter plugs commonly used in hydroponics. They are a composted material that is resistant to mold/fungus and gives new forming roots the beneficial bacteria that helps them take off. A sharply taken cutting from a healthy plant, a little rooting hormone, a little humidity and a couple weeks in the plugs should produce a decent yield. These plugs would eventually break down in the bonsai soil/media as the plant outgrows it.

Best of luck
Blake

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Re: Cloning Machine - Anybody use one??

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