Fertilization Rate and Growth of `Hamlin' Orange Trees Related to Preplant Leaf Nitrogen Levels in the Nursery

in HortTechnology

Our objectives were to determine the effects of leaf N concentration in citrus nursery trees on subsequent growth responses to fertilization for the first 2 years after planting and the impact of N fertilizer rate on soil NO3-N concentration. `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] trees on `Swingle' citrumelo rootstock [C. paradisi Macf. × P. trifoliata (L.) Raf.] were purchased from commercial nurseries in Apr. 1992 (Expt. 1) and Jan. 1993 (Expt. 2) and were grown in the greenhouse at differing N rates. Five months later, trees for each experiment were separated into three groups (low, medium, and high) based on leaf N concentration and were planted in the field in Oct. 1992 (Expt. 1) or Apr. 1993 (Expt. 2). Trees were fertilized with granular material (8N-2.6P-6.6K-2Mg-0.2Mn-0.12Cu-0.27Zn-1.78Fe) with N at 0, 0.11, 0.17, 0.23, 0.28, or 0.34 kg/tree per year. Soil NO3-N levels were determined at 0- to 15- and 16- to 30-cm depths for the 0.11-, 0.23-, and 0.34-kg rates over the first two seasons in Expt. 2. Preplant leaf N concentration in the nursery varied from 1.4% (Expt. 1) to 4.1% (Expt. 2) but had no effect on trunk diameter, height, shoot growth and number, or dry weight in year 1 (Expt. 1) or years 1 and 2 (Expt. 2) in the field. Similarly, fertilizer rate in the field had no effect on growth during year 1 in the field. However, trunk diameter increased with increasing N rate in year 2 and reached a maximum with N at 0.17 kg/tree per year but decreased at higher rates. Shoot number during the second growth flush in year 2 was much lower for nonfertilized vs. fertilized trees at all rates, which had similar shoot numbers. Nevertheless, leaf N concentrations increased during the season for trees with initially low levels, even for trees receiving low fertilizer rates. This suggests translocation of N from other organs to leaves. Soil NO3-N levels were highest for the 0.34-kg rate and lowest at the 0.11-kg rate. Within 2 to 3 weeks of fertilizing, NO3-N levels decreased rapidly in the root zone.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Article Information

Google Scholar

Related Content

Article Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 42 42 1
PDF Downloads 27 27 4