COLD DAMAGE OF APPLE BUDS AND SPURS FOLLOWING TREATMENT WITH DORMANT OIL

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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071

Spurs of `Starkspur Delicious' trees were dipped in 0, 3, 6, 9 or 12% petroleum oil (dormant oil) or soybean oil emulsions on 26 January 1993. The spurs were cooled at 3C/hr until -9C or kept at 21C. After treatment, the flower buds on spurs were forced at 20C for 11 days and then dissected. The cambium and xylem of the spurs and the interior of the flower buds were rated for damage as indicated by browning. The experiment was repeated at the silver tip stage of buds (early March) except that treated spurs were exposed to 20C, -6C, or -9C. Neither the oil treatments nor low temperature exposure caused visual damage to flower buds or cambium in January. However, the oil treatments damaged flower buds at the silver tip stage (March). Neither petroleum or soybean oil caused visible damage to the xylem or cambium of the spurs.

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