The effect of timing and pruning regimes on the yield and quality of Ozothamnus hookeri ‘Sussex Silver' for the cut foliage trade

Catherine Gavin

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

    Abstract

    Ozothamnus spp. are globally important plants in the cut foliage industry. Highly regarded for its grey foliage, Ozothamnus hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ is grown commercially in Ireland for domestic and European markets. Much is known about Ozothamnus spp. yield potential in Australian climates. However more research is required to fully understand the potential of this cut foliage crop when grown in Ireland’s temperate climate. This study investigates the effects of pruning timings and regimes on the stem and spray yield of Ozothamnus hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ on young and mature plantations grown in the South East of Ireland. The effect of tip-pruning on the type of stems produced, and the impact of rejuvenation pruning on a mature O.hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ plantation were also examined. Ozothamnus hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ plants were pruned in March or June using three pruning regimes: ‘hard pruning’ to 200 mm, ‘light pruning’ to 500 mm, or tip-pruning which involved removal of the top 5cm of each stem. Yields of saleable stems and sprays were calculated for each plant and results indicated that higher yields of saleable single stems and sprays are obtained when O. hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ was pruned in March rather than in June, regardless of whether it was pruned to 200 mm or 500 mm. Upon comparing younger and mature O. hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ plantations, it was found that the younger plantation produced almost twice as many saleable stems as the mature plantation showing that the age of O. hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ plants may impact yield. Interestingly, tip pruning did not consistently produce more sprays than single stems and rejuvenation pruning did not produce any harvestable stems in the subsequent year. These results suggest that O. hookeri ‘Sussex Silver’ is a commercially viable product, which could be grown successfully in Ireland; however, growers need to be aware that a managed pruning regime on younger plantations is required to obtain maximum yield from this cut foliage plant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Mc Carthy, Nick D., Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Foliage industry, Ozothamnus hookeri - ‘Sussex Silver’

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