Effects of Cluster Size and Shoot Type on Characteristics of Pecan Nuts

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

Whole fruit clusters of `Pawnee' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wang.) C. Koch.] were collected from three shoot types: terminal and lateral shoots without a secondary growth flush and shoots that had an early-season secondary growth flush. Fruit per cluster were counted and nuts were individually harvested, weighed, shelled and graded. Bloom the following year was determined for the same shoots where clusters were collected. Wafers (cotyledons that failed to develop) were not associated with cluster size or shoot type. When wafers were included in the data, nut weight, kernel percentage and return bloom were not affected by cluster size or shoot type. However, when wafers were excluded from the data there were significant relationships of cluster size and shoot type with the dependent variables. Cluster size on lateral shoots was negatively related to nut weight and kernel percentage. Cluster size on terminal shoots without a secondary growth flush was inversely related to kernel percentage, but not related to nut weight. When shoots had a secondary growth flush, cluster size was not related to kernel percentage or nut weight. There was a positive linear relationship between cluster size and total kernel weight for the three shoot types. Return bloom of terminal shoots without a secondary growth flush was negatively related to cluster size, but cluster size did not affect return bloom of the other shoot types. The number of shoots that developed the following year was positively related to cluster size for terminal and lateral shoots, but not for shoots with a secondary growth flush. Shoots with a secondary growth flush produced substantially more shoots with larger fruit clusters the next year than the other shoot types.

Contributor Notes

Regents professor and corresponding author, e-mail mike.smith@okstate.edu.
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