Nematode Populations and Peach Tree Survival, Growth, and Nutrition at an Old Orchard Site

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, GA 31793

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge cv. Paraguayan-22) growing under newly planted peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees severely stunted the trees. Neither supplemental fertilizer nor irrigating with two 3.8-liters·hour-1 emitters per tree eliminated tree stunting emitters were controlled by an automatic tensiometer set to maintain 3 kpa at a depth of 0.5 m under a tree in bahiagrass. Preplant fumigation with ethylene dibromide at 100 liters·ha-1 increased tree growth, but not tree survival. Fenamiphos, a nematicide, applied under the trees each spring and fall at a rate of 11 kg-ha -1 had no positive effect on tree survival, tree growth, or nematode populations. Bahiagrass tended to suppress populations of Meloidogyne spp. under the trees., Meloidogyne spp. were the only nematodes present that had mean populations > 65 per 150 cm3 of soil. Leaf concentrations of several elements differed between trees growing in bahiagrass sod and in. bare ground treated with herbicides. Leaf Ca was low for all treatments in spite of a soil pH near 6.5 and adequate soil Ca. The severe stunting of trees grown in bahiagrass, irrespective of the other treatments, demonstrated that bahiagrass should not be grown under newly planted trees. The low populations of parasitic nematodes in bahiagrass showed that bahiagrass has potential as a preplant biological control of nematodes harmful to peach trees. Chemical name used: ethyl 3-methy1-4-(methylthio) phenyl (1-methylethyl) phosphoramidate (fenamiphos).

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