69. Propagation by Budding

In some cases the leaf-bud is so perfectly developed that it drops to the ground, where, if the conditions are favorable, it takes root and develops a perfect plant. At the North the tiger lily furnishes a good example, as the buds can be picked from the leaf-axils and will grow if planted like seeds. In favorable climates, or under glass, single eye or bud cuttings with a little wood attached are planted and develop perfect plants. The grape is propagated in this way, especially new varieties where it is desirable to utilize every bud. But the fruits mainly, and the useful ligneous plants, are not so easy to propagate, as the buds must be planted under the bark of a nearly allied species or variety.

70. Some of the Purposes of Budding

Aside from the perpetuation and multiplication of given varieties the purposes of budding are manifold. Not the least one in Europe is the working of highly developed fruit and flower varieties on hardy robust stocks. Another main object with commercial propagators is the more rapid propagation of new and scarce varieties, as every perfect bud may make a salable plant by budding on cheap commercial stocks. In section (45. Root-grafting in Europe) some of the evils of using a given stock for varied climates and soils are stated. In this country the almost exclusive use of imported fruit stocks and stock seeds has led to much criticism of the system, especially in the use of west European apple, pear, and cherry stocks and fruit-stock seeds.