White oak epicotyl emergence and 1-0 seedling growth from surgically altered germinating acornsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Open-pollinated white oak (Quercus alba L.) acorns were collected and stored at 4 °C in November 2004. Three days before sowing in early December, we treated germinating acorns in five ways: no surgery (C); one half of the radical cut off (HR); whole radicle cut off (WR); one cotyledonary petiole severed (OP); and both cotyledonary petioles severed, which resulted in no embryo axis (NE). Seedlings were lifted in February 2006. The NE treatment had two percent epicotyls emergence and was not included in our statistical analysis. The OP seedlings were shorter and had greater root-to-shoot ratio than seedlings in other treatments. For most of the families, the OP treatment had less percent epicotyl emergence; OP seedlings also had smaller root collar diameter and less biomass than C. More HR and WR seedlings had a forking root system than C. Our study showed that white oak acorns should be sown before radicle protrusion to avoid damage, which may reduce growth or result in loss of the epicotyl.