[NAFEX] Wild Serviceberry Trials

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Jun 4 14:26:12 EDT 2007


It's not rocket science, it's just learning to observe.  You learn what 
the local species of Serviceberries look like, then start traveling 
around the back roads at ripening time looking for the best ones.  
Since Serviceberries are spread by birds, there are usually a good 
number of the plants in fence rows by roads.   When you find some, flag 
them profusely, map them (this is where GPS technology would be great) 
and collect fruit.  Measure the size of the berries, weigh a sample 
(usually 10 berries), test sugar (a refractometer will be your biggest 
investment, but it's useful)  and note anything about the bush/tree 
worth noting - extra clean foliage, heavy production, lack of suckers, 
etc.
In dormant season, go back for suckers of the plant, root cuttings, 
scions, whatever you can get.  And don't overlook growing seedlings 
from each selection.
A complete novice can learn to do this in a day.
The hard part is having a place to grow and compare all the selections.
Alternatively, just look for good selections when you are out and mark 
them. The National Clonal Germplasm Repository has a collection of 
Amelanchier and would be a good place to send high quality selections 
for preservation, at least.

-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to  http://www.grapeschool.com
For growing supplies and more;  http://www.grapegrowersolutions.com

On Jun 4, 2007, at 11:13 AM, Chex wrote:

Jim, Richard, Lon,
Who could head up the trials?  I think the interest is there . . . As
fruit explorers isn't this the ultimate fullfillment of our mission?
To add new knowledge and plant varieties to the available pool?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to reccomend a disease resistant, low
care, full flavored juneberry for specific environmnets?  Who could
lead this?  Who would participate?  If not you then who?  If not now
then when?    *standard motivational speech mumbo jumbo*

Chris
zone 5a, IL
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