The Pawpaw Regional Variety Trial (RVT): Background, Rationale and Early Data

in HortScience
Authors:
Desmond R. Layne1Land-Grant Program, Atwood Research Facility, Kentucky State Univ. (KSU), Frankfort, KY 40601-2355

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and
R. Neal Peterson2The PawPaw Foundation (PPF), P.O. Box 23467, Washington, DC 20026

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In 1993, PPF and KSU embarked on a joint venture to test within pawpaw's native range many of the commercially available named pawpaw cultivars and PPF's advanced selections. Orchards for RVT were planted in 17 locations from Fall 1995 through Fall 1996 (possibly into 1997) consisting of 300 trees each. At each RVT site, eight replicate trees of each of the 28 grafted scion varieties will be tested in a randomized complete-block design. Named varieties that are secured for testing include Middletown, Mitchell, NC-1, Overleese, PA-Golden, Sunflower, Taylor, Taytwo, Wells, and Wilson. The other 18 clones to be evaluated originated in PPF orchards at the Univ. of Maryland Experiment Stations at Wye and Keedysville. Seedling trees from local native sources were planted around the perimeter as a buffer against edge effects and to allow comparisons with local germplasm. Identical orchards of the RVT are located in the following states: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky (two sites), Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee (two sites), and the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China. An orchard of nonidentical design is located in Florida. Additional sites in Connecticut and Chile are contemplated. Variables being studied in the trial include climate, culture, pests, growth, flowering, yield, and fruit characteristics. Trees will be evaluated for several years for yield, year-to-year consistency, regional suitability, etc. At the end of the trial period, regional recommendations will be made. Scion–rootstock compatibility based on percent scion take, scion growth (scion height and cross-sectional area), and first year field data are presented and discussed.

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