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Organic Roses

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Organic Roses

Post by Dave on 9th July 2011, 17:47

Blackspot, rust, mildew, RMV, bugs etc etc., these topics are discussed endlessly in books and online.
Some of us amateurs are keen to reduce the amount of disease in our selective breeding programmes, while lots of professional breeders make extravagantly libellous claims about the disease resistance and radiant good health of their latest creations.

I've just discovered a book review in the latest HRIA Journal which should point us all in the right direction towards healthier roses - and humans. It's called "The Sustainable Rose Garden" co-authored by P. Shanley, P. Kukielski and G. Waering, (Casemate Publishers 2011). It is reviewed by US rosarian Bill Grant. He says the aim of the book is "to avoid the old methods of using synthetic chemicals and pesticides as well as growing disease-resistant, low-maintenance rose varieties."

Well I'm off to amazon.com to have a look...back later...




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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 9th July 2011, 18:30

If you get it, Dave, would you like to be the first one to do a book review for the library here?

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 9th July 2011, 19:13

Dave, i assume that we have to go back to some of the "original" rose and start again.
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 9th July 2011, 19:15

am feeling some deja vu Wink

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 9th July 2011, 19:18

Simon, who is this bloke called 'deja vu'
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Balinbear on 9th July 2011, 19:26

Oh Boy!!! Hmmmm
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Dave on 10th July 2011, 07:03

Book ordered, review to follow.

I've decided to concentrate on breeding from M. Tillier this season. Although he grows into a very large shrub, too big for most suburban gardens, he is the toughest rose around in these parts - and beautiful. The winter blooms are enormous atm and the colours and shadings are amazing. The BS is hardly noticeable and it never defoliates like Comtesse de Labarthe does sometimes. Tolerant of all weather conditions without any care, the mature bushes are never fertilised or watered - they just don't need any encouragement!

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th July 2011, 07:27

Dave, just side tracking for a minute , did you ID or get wood from the Toronto rose

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Dave on 10th July 2011, 09:41

Yes. It's "Improved Cecille Brunner" Another tough one but nothing like CB. In summer the petals are quilled and squared off. In winter the are cupped. I like the winter flowers better. Good cut flower. No perfume for me. It's grown at Rustons.

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 10th July 2011, 10:43

Hi Dave, I've got SOOOO many ideas along this line!

I've decided to use 'M. Tillier' more this season too. It is, without a doubt, the best performing Tea I have here. It is not fully leafed out at the moment but it is growing new rich dark red leaves and I noticed yesterday that it has a bud forming. I used it on 'Trier', 'Immensee', and 'Rise n Shine' last season. The rationale behind these crosses was this:

'Trier' is a hybrid musk that is diploid. It is tough as nails, semi-double, and very floriferous and fertile, and it grows well own root. These are key considerations for me at the moment. It grows pretty huge but I don't mind that here where it has plenty of room to spread its wings. The most important feature, I believe, in that list of attributes above is its ploidy. 'M. Tillier' is also a dilploid, as are most the Teas with the exception of Teas like 'Lady Hillingdon', and 'Papa Gontier' which are triploid. Most modern roses, like almost all modern DAs, are tetraploid. When you cross a diploid with a tetraploid you most often get triploids. Triploids often have much reduced fertility and so represent a breeding dead end in some (but not all) cases. Those 'Abraham Darby' x 'Comtesse de Labarthe' seedlings I told you about will be triploids and I'm expecting them to have reduced fertility. I expect them to be beautiful, healthy, and strong but I don't see them as being very useful in terms of future breeding plans. There is nothing wrong with this and I might be pleasantly surprised because some of the most important breeders have been triploids (like 'Gloire des Rosomanes', 'Iceberg', and 'Bonica'). If I was to put them with modern tetraploids there is a good chance they could 'make the leap' to tetraploidy too. When you put diploid with diploid, however, you don't have as many 'mismatches' (not the right way to describe it but and easy quasi-analogy).

So... in the crosses mentioned above, the 'M. Tillier' x 'Immensee' is diploid x diploid and so I am expecting greater success and fertility to make useful foundation breeders based on two very healthy plants. 'Immensee' is Rosa wichurana x 'The Fairy' so might be capable of 'dwarfing' 'M. Tillier' somewhat to make more compact shrubs. The wichurana in it could also produce something like a massive serpent too but crossing it back to the healthier polys, that are also usually dilpoids, might help to tame it.

The cross with 'Rise n Shine' was done with the view to try and make miniature Teas. If they germinate they will be triploids and Paul barden has told me that there seems to be quite a lot of failures when combining miniature with Tea. I'm half tempted to throw these seeds out and try something different. I've also ordered Rosa chinensis 'minima' (aka 'Rouletii') from Thomas for Roses because it is a miniature and is diploid and it's a China. I'm hoping that roses like 'M. Tillier' will go well with this one because they are closely related on the rose family tree and they will result in Tea-like plants that don't get to more than 2ft tall and wide without sacrificng any of that twiggy nature that I love in Teas because it is also present in Chinas.

Another Hybrid Musk that I think will marry well with Teas is 'Cornelia'. If I can keep a plant alive long enough (i.e. keep my neighbour's Roundup boom spray away from Tantrum ), I intend to test this theory.

Dave, have you got 'Marie Van Houtte'? This, I think, is probably a close second in terms of awesome Teas here and it seems to be a cooperative breeder. I have just potted up a 'Trier' x 'Marie Van Houtte' seedling that I'm quite excited about too.

In terms of crossing Teas with DA roses, I have a plan for this is as well Wink

Most of the DA roses are tetraploids, some a triploids and even fewer are diploids. BUT.... 'Constance Spry' is a diploid. I need to talk to David (Meers) again and see if I can get some more of his 'Constance Spry' cuttings because he has a huge plant of it that appears to be virus free. I had a lot of cuttings from it, grew a lot of plants and then gave away most of them, planted some and they were then unceremonioulsy killed by some heavy-footed creature that ripped them out and smashed them. Now, 'Constance Spry' is also massive but I think it might be an important first step in making 'Aussie Austins'. 'Constance Spry' is a once-bloomer, but it was made by crossing repeaters with ogr which means it will carry remontancy and can throw repeaters. I would LOVE to do 'M. Tillier' x 'Constance Spry'. I think that might be amazing!!!!

You might also consider taking the Austin approach by prepeating his initial crosses with ogr like 'Belle Isis' with Diploid Teas instead of the modern roses he used. The first generation will be once-bloomers but crossing these back to Teas like 'M. Tillier' again will bring it back out again. I'm picturing ('M. Tillier' x 'Tuscany Superb') x 'M. Tillier' love

I'm looking forward to seeing your book review too Smile

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Dave on 11th July 2011, 06:43

Interesting stuff, Simon. (had to read it a few times though Idea ) I would love to trial some of your MT crosses in our humid summers.

I did have MvH by the front steps, but she balled for three years so went to hell. But MT seems to be a rose for all seasons. I've seen a big healthy specimen in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens - probably colder than your place.

I did some crosses of MT x ADarby a couple of years ago but none germinated (which was probably my fault)

I'll start pollinating MT as soon as the first spring flush starts, as the hips take all summer to mature.

Another consideration in this climate is working more with healthy singles and semis, as they usually don't ball. Can't wait to start pollinating again!


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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 11th July 2011, 06:54

Thanks Dave, I thought it might have been a bit more obscure than that.
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Ozeboy on 12th July 2011, 09:07

I'm convinced, will look forward to the book review.

Good one Dave.

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by wphvet on 12th July 2011, 12:12

Simon,
The two roses from our noisettes and Teas which readily set hips the most are Reve d'or and
madam Lombard.They are also well represented as parents in the past,especially 19th century.I am always amazed how fashion and commerce dictates trends,destining great plants to temporary obscurity.Note temporary.
It is our first year of hybridising and they both accepted pollen from old and more recent,of differing ploidy,
including,each other,Titian,dublin bay,tamora,lili Marlene and a floribunda we have called Sunny Boy. The seeds are just being planted out,with some early germinations,so we shall see.

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 12th July 2011, 17:18

Good to hear 'MME Lambard' readily sets hips. I've just received a plant of it and hope to use it myself. My 'Reve d'Or' hasn't set hips for me yet but it's pollen has proven successful on a few things. It's another that will get a more thorough working out in the future. It's not overly happy down here yet and may require moving to a less windy position. It and 'Sympathie' seem to be languishing in the path of the Roaring 40s Wink

Differing ploidy is not something that should govern our choices but is something I think makes a difference... especially early on when working with species or vastly different classes of roses. When Ralph Moore started working on his bracteata hybrids he finally got success with the old HT called 'Guinee'. This produced his famous seedling called 'Muriel'. This seedling has good fertility and has bucked the trend being tetraploid. Sometimes the roses don't read the rule books. From 'Muriel' came 'Out of Yesteryear' which then reverted back to triploid. He performed literally thousands of crosses before getting something to stick. When so many of these wide crosses prove to be infertile it makes sense, to me, to take notice of factors such as these and to think more than one generation ahead.

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 12th July 2011, 18:01

Simon, how is ploidy determined and who decides
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 12th July 2011, 18:39

No one decides - anyone can count it. There are a few different ways to do it. The easiest was is to take cuttings of the plants you want to test, snip the root tip off it, squash it and kill the cells so they aren't dividing any more, stain them and physically count the chromosomes... harder to do than it sounds. I've been trying it at work and still can't get a clear count Sad


Last edited by Simon on 13th July 2011, 15:44; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 13th July 2011, 06:42

Sorry to thread jack this Dave.
Simon, can you elaborate on the method of ploidy, how much wood, what sort of stain and any other bits to it, David.


Last edited by roseman on 13th July 2011, 06:43; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Admin on 13th July 2011, 16:15

Quick clarification... it's not a method OF ploidy... it's a method to COUNT ploidy... with ploidy being the word used to describe the number of sets of chromosomes each cell has. This is what we are talking about when we use terms such as diploid, triploid, and tetraploid.

OK... first you need access to a good microscope. The process is called a root-tip squash as you only need the end 2-3mm of root tip from new roots. It's not worth trying on old dirty dry roots... just the fine thin white ones like this:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The section at the tip is where the cells are actively undergoing cell division; they do this to grow. This means you can actually see the inidividual chromosomes at certain stages of cell division (mitosis). First you need to 'fix' the cells to stop any further cell division. You do this by adding the root tips to a mix of ethanol + acetic acid (there is more to this solution but this will do for here) and let it sit for 24-48 hours to kill the cells and halt mitosis then flush through with 70% ethanol twice, shaking in between (the alcohol wash and 'fix' is necessary to kill the cells but it also dehydrates them to make them thinner and easier to count). The root-tip is fished out and placed on a slide. We are using a stain called aceto-orcein. The root-tip is squashed on the slide in the aceto-orcein stain which stains DNA (which is on the chromosomes) then excess stain is removed using paper towel once the cover-slip has been placed over it. I use the back/side of a scalpel to squash the root-tip slightly and then gentle pressure on the cover-slip to spread them more evenly (and to prevent air bubbles). Then you place the slide under the microscope and view it on high power to find the cells that are actively undergoing mitosis and look for ones where the chromosomes are clearly visible and count them if you can. If it is diploid you will find 14 (2n). If it is triploid you will count 21 (3n). Tetraploid will be 28 (4n), and pentaploid will be 42 (5n)... note they are all multiples of 7 because the haploid number for roses (n) is 7. Your microscope needs to capable of at least x400 magnification... higher is better so an oil-immersion lens works really well.

That's how you do it (with a few minor technical details omitted).

My recommendation is to practice with onions first as their roots grow much faster and are easier to work with and from their progress to roses. Strike the rose cuttings using the pre-callousing method and then in potting mix until roots begin to form, clean the soil off when the roots are still young and then use this material. Roots should be skinny and white. You will see a slightly enlarged root-cap on the end of the root. If you don't it probably means you have cut/broken off the root-tip somehow and the root will be useless because all the actively dividing cells are located just behind the root-cap. You may need a magnifying glass to identify the pressence of the root cap like this:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

I haven't included all the details here because some of it requires a lab etc


Last edited by Simon on 13th July 2011, 18:57; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by Alee on 13th July 2011, 18:49

Hmmmm Interesting ...

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Re: Organic Roses

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 14th July 2011, 06:19

Thanks Simon, it is placed in the 'to do later basket' for the time being, will save it and keep looking at it so it all sinkls in.
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