PEACH TREE RESPONSES TO AMMONIUM AND CALCIUM SPRAYS

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson. SC 29634-0375.

A field experiment was conducted to assess the effects of several foliar nutrient sprays on the vegetative growth of 'Jefferson' peach budded on 'Nemaguard' and 'Lovell' rootstocks planted on a site with a history of Peach Tree Short Life. The trees received foliar applications of 2 mN solutions of ammonium citrate, calcium citrate, calcium lactate, calcium phosphate, or a water control at 3 week intervals from April to August. Vegetative growth measurements were taken after one growing season. Trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) was significantly increased by ammonium citrate (TCSA=20.35 cm2), calcium citrate (TCSA=20.03 cm2), and calcium lactate (TCSA=19.91 cm2) when compared to controls (TCSA=16.75 cm2). Trees on 'Nemaguard' responded more to treatments than those on 'Lovell'. All nutrient sprays increased TCSA, lateral growth, terminal growth, and total tree growth on 'Nemaguard' rootstock. Terminal growth increased 12-36%, and total tree growth increased 18-51 % compared to control trees, but only ammonium citrate applications were significantly greater. Lateral growth and TCSA of treated trees increased 65-168% and 17-28%, respectively.

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