QBARS - v25n2 Book Review

Book Review
Clarence Barrett, Jr., Eugene, Oregon

By Hudson T. Hartmann and Dales E. Kester, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Are you aware that heat sterilization of soil mixes high in manure, leaf mold or compost can lead to the formation of compounds toxic to plant growth? This along with many similar bits of information of inestimable value to plant propagators is set out in easily understood language in this book of 702 pages available through most book stores at a cost of $14.95.
The authors cover all phases of plant propagation from the preparation of simple soil mixtures and the construction of simple propagation facilities through seed treatment, budding, grafting, layering and the rooting of cuttings. and on through the comparatively recent concept of micro-propagation through aseptic culturing of meristem tissue and plant organs in the laboratory.
Of particular merit, in the opinion of this reviewer, is the authors' presentment of a chapter on a particular phase of propagation in technical botanical language for the professional with an extensive education background, followed immediately by a chapter or chapters in down-to-earth terms dealing with the practical mechanical aspects of the material discussed so meticulously in the previous chapter. It is most certainly of interest to the student of botany to learn where, how and why root primordia are initiated in the wounded base of a rhododendron cutting, but the primary interests of most nursery growers or hobbyist are in the practical aspects such as the types and strengths of rooting hormones and the methods of applying the same, as well as the construction and maintenance of the facilities for the propagation and growing of nursery stock. Both aspects are adequately discussed with extensive bibliographies and additional reference materials appended to each chapter.
Although the genus Rhododendron is seldom discussed specifically in this work, the procedures outlined are obviously applicable thereto as well as to most ornamental shrubs. An alphabetical listing of most fruit and nut species, together with ornamental shrubs and trees, is included with a concise statement as to the available and most practical means of propagating each.
This is a book that no commercial grower can afford to be without and one that most hobbyist will find of great interest and value.