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Another (late) exam question commentary, from level 3 Plant Growth
by Janet Prescott - Friday, 21 August 2020, 9:34 AM

Apologies for lateness this week - my fault not the expert!

THis one is from Level 3 Plant Growth: R3104 June 2019

Q2 Describe the production of a bush rose under EACH of the following headings:

i) rootstock selection;                                           2 marks

ii) budding technique;                                          5 marks

iii) aftercare.                                                           3 marks


This question relates to the following part of the syllabus:

Outcome 3. Understand methods of propagation used in horticultural production.

3.2 Describe the production of a range of plants in the horticultural industry.

3. Describe the production of: ONE NAMED grafted fruit tree, OR ONE NAMED chip-budded ornamental tree and ONE NAMED rose under EACH of the following headings:

 rootstock selection

 grafting/budding technique (IN OUTLINE ONLY)

field or container grown


timetable to saleable stock


For part i) a suitable rootstock is Rosa ‘Laxa’, or R.canina. As well naming a suitable rootstock the condition also needed to be described – i.e. healthy, free from pests and diseases. The examiners’ comments also include further points that could have been included such as compatibility with the scion; graded and an appropriate size. 10-12mm diameter at the root collar is an appropriate size.

The examiners comments state that ‘T’ budding was generally given as the method for part ii), and listed the following information that was expected:

·        Length of the cuts and position of cuts on the rootstock

·        Similar for the bud stick to extract the bud

·        Opening the flaps of the cut

·        Positioning of bud for cambium to cambium contact

·        Covering bud with a bud patch

This is the sort of question where a diagram is helpful, although not essential as it hasn’t been asked for. Make sure any diagrams are clear and well labelled. Drawing a simple diagram might also jog your memory for what is required. This part of the question has half of the marks so requires a good amount of detail.

There were general points that could have been made for part iii), including weeding, watering, pest and disease control and fertiliser application. Further points suggested in the examiners’ comments include the timing and technique of heading back and the removal of the bud patch or tie if it hadn’t already degraded.