Root-zone Stress Effects on Water Relations and Growth of Silver, Red, and Freeman Maples

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture, Iowa State Univ., Washington, DC 20002
  • | 2 2USDA-ARS National Arboretum, Washington, DC 20002

Freeman maples (Acer ×freemanii E. Murray) are suspected to be more resistant to environmental stress than red maples (A. rubrum L.) because the lineage of Freeman maple includes silver maple (A. saccharinum L.). Little is known, however, about stress resistance of silver maple, and few data from direct comparisons of red and Freeman maples are available. Our objectives were to determine effects of root-zone heat on silver maples from northern and southern provenances, and to compare red and Freeman maple cultivars for resistance to rootzone heat stress and drought. There were no provenance-by-temperature interactions when silver maples from 33.3°N (Mississippi) and 44.4°N (Minnesota) latitude were grown with root zones at 29 and 35°C. Plants from 44.4°N latitude had 36% higher fresh mass, 43% more leaf surface area, and 35% and 59% higher, respectively, root and shoot dry masses than plants from 33.3°N latitude. Midday xylem water potential was 68% more negative for plants at 35°C than for plants at 29°C, and transpiration rate was 129% less for plants with root zones at 35°C than for those with root zones at 29°C. During preliminary work with Autumn Flame and Franksred red maple and Indian Summer and Jeffersred Freeman maples, rooted cuttings were grown in 25 and 37°C root zones under both drought and nondrought conditions. Reductions in growth at 37°C were similar for all cultivars. Results of this work could influence development, marketing, and use of Freeman maples.

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