Effect of Winter Root-zone Temperature on Root Regeneration of Peach Rootstocks

in HortScience
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Road, Byron, Georgia 31008

Roots of dormant peach trees can grow when soil temperatures are >7 °C, which commonly occurs in the southeastern U.S. during the winter. In our tests, root growth on 1-year-old nursery trees was minimal at 7 °C, and increased with temperature up to at least 16 °C, but rootstocks varied greatly in their regeneration at a given temperature. Trees on seedling rootstocks of `Guardian™', `Halford' and `Lovell' regenerated roots more slowly than those on `Nemaguard' at soil temperatures >7 °C. The regeneration rates mirrored the relative susceptibility of these rootstocks to peach tree short life syndrome in the southeastern U.S., which is associated with parasitism by ring nematode.

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