Soil Management Affects Shoot and Root Growth, Nutrient Availability, and Water Uptake of Young Peach Trees

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors: D.M. Glenn1 and W.V. Welker1
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Station, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV 25430

We determined how differences in peach tree water use and shoot and root growth due to ground cover treatments are affected by tree response and soil conditions in the adjacent soil environment. Ground cover combinations of bare soil (BS), a killed K-31 tall fescue sod (KS), a living Poa trivialis sod (PT), and a living K-31 tall fescue sod (LS) were imposed on 50% of the soil surface in greenhouse studies. The ground cover on 50% of the soil surface influenced root and top growth of the peach trees [Prunus persica (L) Batsch], water use, and NO3-N levels in the opposing 50%, depending on the competitiveness of the cover crop (LS vs. PT and KS) and characteristics of the soil (BS vs. KS). Tree growth was allometrically related to root growth.

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