Cloning Clementines the only option for seedless sweets

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How sweet Clementine is this time of year, looking so pretty nestled in small wooden crates. How nice that these tangerines have no seeds to interrupt bites into the juicy, sweet segments.

But hold on a second here! Without seeds, how do you make a new Clementine tree?

You make a new tree of any seedless fruit the same way that you make a new tree of any other fruit, by cloning. If cloning sounds too eerie, then say "by grafting" or "by cuttings," friendlier terms for the particular methods of cloning used for most fruit trees. Cloning is the way to create a new, genetically identical plant.

Just take a piece of stem from any of these varieties and either graft it onto an existing plant or get the stem to form its own roots. The resulting plant -- or the part of it above the graft in the case of the grafted plant -- is then genetically identical to the original.

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