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Hybrids
By: Charlie Morse
 

Hybrid Plants

            Hybrid Plants are naturally occurring crosses created by open pollination that are frequently written about and have been known for years. Hybrids are natureís way of evolving and adapting to a changing world often becoming superior to its pure species parents. Hybrids are simply plants that have naturally cross pollinated in the wild producing a cross of the two or more parents to produce a new species. These hybrids demonstrate a biological vigor that is hard to explain and except for a small percentage of seedlings, are rather predictable. Basically the seedlings are very or mostly similar to the parent tree. Hybrid vigor can show up in their ability to grow several times faster then their pure species parents and produce acorns at a much earlier age. For example a typical white oak may take 25 years to produce acorns and a bur oak the same amount of time, but when crossed, white oak and bur oak (Quercus alba x macrocarpa) become a Bebbís Oak. Bebbís oaks have been known to produce acorns at a very early age 4-8 years from seed, WOW! Iím not sure how Mother Nature does the math but I like the answer! This hybrid is superior to both its parents in many ways.

 First, acorn production at an earlier age, next the white oak improves the sweetness of the bur oak acorns and the bur oak improves the reliability of the white oaks notorious intermittently poor acorn production. The result is a superior hybrid oak as it relates to improving wildlife habitat.

Plant breeders have used hybrids to produce new plants for years. Some scientists have devoted their lives to produce, for example, Pear trees that produce tiny pears that wonít litter your yard. These ornamentals are fantastic accomplishments for the landscape industry but are of little value when it comes to feeding wildlife. The same science used to grow trees and shrubs that produce no mess in your yard is the same used to grow trees genetically programmed to do just the opposite, produce numerous amounts, precociously!

In plain English, trees that are hard to walk under because there is so much food on the ground, branches so heavily loaded with food that they hang down under their own weight or produce food at an earlier age! Planting hybrids will also influence the other trees on your property by pollinating your other oaks, the resulting seedlings will have a diverse gene pool with a wide range of adaptability, a good thing these days!

 

 
 
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