[NAFEX] Tree clones from different nurseries grow differently

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Fri Aug 26 10:13:09 EDT 2011

In a message dated 8/26/2011 8:26:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
organic87 at frontiernet.net writes:

> My information might be out of date: but it's my understanding that not 
> all the Miller Nursery stock offered for sale was actually grown  in 
> Canandaigua NY; some of it at least used to be grown in warmer  climates and 
> shipped in. This, if true, might explain erratic results  many had from Miller's 
> stock.

In the past I have ordered from Miller. I have found that their product 
doesn't match their advertising claims. They fulfilled their warranty and sent 
replacements which also froze out. I suggest to add one zone to their 
claims. Example it they claim zone 5 hardiness, consider it zone 6. 

Regarding hardiness acclimation, my thoughts:

I not believe a species will change it's winter hardiness characteristics 
by selective growing for even 100 years. In most cases that would take 
centuries of selective breeding and growing. There are examples of this, one is 
Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia.  They are grown commercially in 
California. Here in zone 5 they suffer winter damage. The Juglans regia variety, 
Carpathian walnut, evolved over centuries in the Carpathian Mountains in 
Poland. Over centuries it genetically acclimated to the colder climate and was 
discovered in the 1800s and brought to America by Rev Paul Crath 

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Vavilov wound up in Stalin's jail 
partially because he wanted to improve, for one thing, hardiness through 
selective breeding. Trofim D. Lysenco believed plants could be taken north and 
grown in colder climates and they would adapt. Stalin believed him and 
accepted his theory not Vavilov. Vavilov was thrown in jail. When they found it 
doesn't work it was too late to bring Vavilov back as had died in Stalin's 
jail.  http://www.vir.nw.ru/history/vavilov.htm But his follow-up 
organization Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) became to the Soviet Union as 
our USDA is to the US. 

Off Topic:
In 1991 Hector Black put together an exchange agreement with VIR and NAFEX 
members. I was so very fortunate to be selected as one of the delegates. We 
toured 19 of the VIR stations from Leningrad (now again St. Petersburg) in 
the North, to Yalta on the Black Sea in the South, to Tashkent in the East 
which is about 100 miles from the China border. 

The spring 1992 issue of Pomona contains a detailed report written by 
Hector Black. The fall 1990 issue of Pomona also has a report of the 1900 
exchange trip arranged by Hector Black.  


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