As a response to stress plants can go into dormancy ( the drop of their metabolic rate ) and shed leaves, the shedding of a plant body part being known as abscission ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscission ).
Abscistic acid, ( ABA ) a growth inhibitor produced by the chloroplasts of mature leaves, and the gaseous ethylene cause leaves to drop and other changes associated with plant dormancy.
Gibberellic acid is an hormone that breaks the plant dormancy of rooted plants when used properly. Gibberellins reverse the inhibition of shoot growth and dormancy induced by abscistic acid. However experiments have shown that gibberellic acid when used on cuttings may either promote or ... inhibit root formation depending on light and the acid concentration used.
Finding out ratios of abscistic to gibberellic acid is a key to grow imported plants with increased survival rates.
More on plant hormones in Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_hormone
On French TV a broadcast by Telematin :
( press the button : Voir la video ) shows Jean Henkens the architect biologist who supervises the imports of plants for Center Parcs Europe. This man found the composition of a gel that by injection at the base makes the plants sleep for weeks, then he wakes them up at destination with a second product in a new injection. The rate of success is said to be 1 dead plant for 999 live ones. This works for trees too as the video shows.Most amazing is this five centuries-old tree, a Ficus religiosa, who was dying in a Buddhist temple and can now be admired at a Center Parcs in Europe after a trip of several weeks in a container by boat and truck.
( Question by Aleyagarden : this is really great and gives hope to our quest of growing plants in difficult situations; one wonders what are the formulas of the injected products and what are the other plant species on which these sorts of formulas work ? )
Aleyagarden translation of the french script by Telematin :
Jean Henkens' mission: to make domes and greenhouses, true living museums ! He knows perfectly over a million species of plants. From the famous oaks to the lesser known tropical plants, he is unbeatable. For 26 years, he has been managing and has enriched the Belgian plant heritage of seventeen European domains. In parallel, he also deals with the formation of teams of gardeners and horticulturists who help maintain forest and tropical areas. His field of expertise : he has invented a unique gel that allows the plants to sleep in order to remove them safely and then to wake up, once they arrive. A formula that has been proven to avoid the tree to suffer difficult conditions of transport: absence of light, low temperatures .... only one plant in a thousand dies after arrival.
Born in 1956, he grew up on a farm and got a passion for nature early on. He studied tropical agriculture for 6 years and conducts extensive research on the proliferation and improvement of species. He joined Center Parcs in 1984 as a gardener and soon became responsible for the botanical areas. .....
His latest mission is visible in the design of the Great Glasshouse and the Aqua Mundo Domaine des Trois Forêts Moselle / Lorraine. Anecdote: a five centuries-old tree, a Ficus religiosa, who was dying at a Buddhist temple by the Mekong river (the border of Cambodia and Laos) now lives in Center Parcs. The monks made an offering of this tree to Jean Henkens for him to save it and give it a second life but also to bring a message of peace because this tree according to Buddhist belief is a sacred tree: leaves heart-shaped, produce a white liquid that provides welfare to who wets her forehead. 10000km of travel, 13 meters high, 10 tons (the tree has been cut slightly to fit under the Grand Serre).
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