COPPER PHYTOTOXICITY TO YOUNG CITRUS TREES AS INFLUENCED BY SOIL pH

in HortScience
Author: Ashok K. Alva1
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  • 1 Univ. of Fla., IFAS, Citrus Res. & Edu. Ctr., 700 Expt. Sta. Rd., Lk. Alfred, FL 33850–2299

The aim of this study was to investigate soil pH and copper (Cu) interactions affecting Cu phytotoxicity to young citrus trees on different rootstocks. Hamlin oranges on either Carrizo citrange, sour orange, or rough lemon rootstocks were grown on Candler fine sand at varying soil pH (5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5) without additional Cu or soil applied Cu (liquid form; 240 kg Cu/ha; nine pre- and five post-planting applications over a period of 43 months). Increasing soil pH increased tree height, canopy volume and trunk diameter of trees on all three rootstocks, regardless of Cu treatments. Tree growth response to an increase in soil pH was greater in Cu amended as compared to unamended treatments. Response to pH increase above 6.0 was marginal as compared to that for pH increase from 5.0 to 6.0. Leaf Cu concentrations showed negligible differences in response to Cu treatments; however, Cu concentrations in fibrous roots increased by 126 to 152% in Cu amended as compared to unamended treatments.

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