(111) Evaluation of the Salt Tolerance of Walnut Rootstocks

in HortScience

In areas of California with a high incidence of walnut blackline disease, walnut orchards are increasingly being planted on English walnut (Juglans regia) rootstocks that are tolerant to the virus. There is limited documentation on the salt tolerance of this rootstock. This work was done to quantify the response of English walnut rootstocks to high boron (B), chloride (Cl), and sodium (Na) and to compare this to the more common rootstocks, Northern California Black (J.hindsii) and Paradox (J. hindsii × J. regia). The trial was configured as a randomized complete-block design with 20 plots. Plots consisted of three proximate, matched `Chandler' trees, each on a different rootstock. Leaf samples over a 2-year period showed that trees on the English rootstock had a significantly higher salt uptake than trees on Paradox, which had a significantly higher uptake than trees on Black. Bark cores showed little difference in B uptake between any of the rootstocks. Bark cores also showed that all rootstocks accumulated significantly more B than the scion portion of the tree, indicating that B transport may be limited by the graft union. Trees on English rootstock had significantly more B in the scion bark cores than trees on either Black or Paradox, indicating that rootstocks with a J. hindsii parent may be better at reducing salt transport across the graft union.

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