Walnut Rootstock Comparison and Own-rooted `Chandler' vs. `Chandler' on Paradox Rootstock

in HortScience

In a comparison of six walnut rootstocks either nursery-grafted or field-grafted to `Chandler' (Juglans regia), the highest-yielding trees after 9 years are on either seedling or clonal Paradox rootstocks. Trees growing on both Paradox rootstocks had higher yield efficiency than trees on the black rootstocks in both 1995 and 1996. Since 1993, relative tree size based on trunk circumference has not changed: southern California black (J. californica), seedling Paradox and northern California black (J. Hindsii) have remained significantly larger than clonal Paradox, Texas (J. microcarpa) or Arizona (J. major) black rootstocks. The smaller size of clonal as compared with seedling Paradox trees might be explained by a delay in field grafting success. Although both northern and southern California black rootstock trees were significantly larger than clonal Paradox trees, they did not differ significantly in yield and had significantly lower yield efficiency in 1996. Clonal Paradox trees have significantly smaller nut size than northern California black rootstock trees that can be explained by its higher yield efficiency. An adjacent trial planted in 1991 compares micropropagated `Chandler' on its own root vs. `Chandler' on seedling Paradox rootstock. In 1995 and 1996, own-rooted `Chandler' had significantly greater trunk circumference, yield, and yield efficiency than did `Chandler' on Paradox rootstock. Many of the trees on Paradox rootstock are growing very poorly compared to the own rooted trees. This could be due to diversity within the Paradox seed source. If own-rooted `Chandler' trees become commercially available, they may have potential in areas where other rootstocks are undesirable because of hypersensitivity to cherry leafroll virus.

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