SHORT-LIFE AND NON-SHORT-LIFE SOIL RATIO AND ROOT TYPE AFFECT PEACH TREE SURVIVAL IN FIELD MICROPLOT

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  • 1 Agricultural Research Station, School of Agriculture, Fort Valley State College, Fort Valley, GA 31030-3298

A planting of 90 Redhaven peach (Prunus persica (L) Batsch) trees either budded to Lovell and Nemaguard rootstocks or on their own roots, was established in spring 1984 using in-ground 55-gallon microplots. Planting soils (top soil, not B and C layers) prepared in five ratios by mixing soils from peach tree short life (PTSL) and non-PTSL (NPSL) sites (100% PTSL, 75% PTSL + 25% NPSL, 50% of each, 25% PTSL + 75% NPSL, and 100% NPSL) as main plots, were replicated 3 times. Two trees per rootstock were randomized within main plots. The planting was maintained using conventional cultural practices. Observations for tree survival were recorded in December each year. During this investigation, both soil mix and root types significantly affected tree survival, which was consistently the highest in 100% NPSL and the lowest in 100% PTSL soil. Effects of other soil combinations were intermediate; however, greater tree mortality was associated with increased ratio of PTSL soil. Trees on Lovell roots invariably survived the best followed by those on Nemaguard roots and the lowest when on their own roots. As early as in fourth leaf, >55% of the own-rooted trees died compared to < 10% on either rootstock.

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