Resistant Rootstocks, Preplant Compost Amendments, Soil Fumigation, and Row Repositioning for Managing Apple Replant Disease

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  • 1 Cornell Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • 2 Cornell Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • 3 USDA/Cornell Univ., NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY 14456
  • 4 Cornell Univ., Dept. of Hort. Sciences, Geneva, NY 14456

We are testing control tactics for apple replant disease (ARD) complex, a worldwide problem for fruit growers that is attributed to various biotic and abiotic soil factors. In Nov. 2001, “Empire” apple trees on five rootstocks (M.26, M.7, G.16, CG.6210, and G.30) were planted into four preplant soil treatments—commercial compost at 492 kg/ha soil-incorporated and 492 kg·ha-1 surface-applied), soil fumigation with Telone C-17 (400 L·ha-1 of 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin injected at 30 cm depth five weeks prior to replanting), compost plus fumigant combination, and untreated controls—at an old orchard site in Ithaca, N.Y. Trees were replanted in rows perpendicular to, and either in or out of, previous orchard rows. Irrigation was applied as needed, and N-P-K fertilizer was applied in 2001 to all non-compost treatments to compensate for nutrients in the compost treatment. After two growing seasons, the rootstock factor has contributed most to tree-growth differences. CG.6210 rootstock supported greater growth in trunk diameter, central leader height, and lateral shoot growth (P < 0.05), regardless of preplant soil treatments and replant position. Trees on M.26 grew least over a two year period. Replant growth was greater in old grass lanes than in old tree rows, despite higher root-lesion nematode populations in previous grass lanes. Growth responses to preplant soil fumigation were negligible. Preplant compost did not increase tree growth during year one, but did increase lateral branch growth in year two. Results thus far suggest that replanting apple trees out of the old tree-row locations, and using ARD tolerant rootstocks such as CG.6210, may be more effective than soil fumigation for control of ARD in some old orchard sites.

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