Orchard Floor Management Practices Influence Elemental Concentrations in Young Pecan Trees

in HortScience

Nutrient status of young pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] trees grown under eight combinations of orchard floor management and irrigation was determined by leaf and soil analyses. Orchard floor management practices were weedy-unmowed, weedy-mowed, weed control with herbicides, and weed control by disking, with trees either irrigated or nonirrigated. The element most affected by treatment was K. Mean leaf K for the two sample years was significantly (P < 0.01) lower in the weedy plots (0.56% K) than in those where weeds were controlled (0.76% K), suggesting a highly competitive effect of weeds for K with young pecan trees. Weed competition also suppressed leaf Ca and Mg, but presence of weeds or sod resulted in higher soil pH and higher leaf Zn. Leaf concentrations of N, P, B, Cu, and Fe were not significantly affected by the treatments.

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