Leaf retention, uptake kinetics, total uptake (per unit leaf area), export kinetics, and the total export of foliage-applied, labeled B (]0B-enriched boric acid) were determined for apple (Malus domestics Borkh.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), prune (Prunus domestics L.), and sweet cherry (P. avium L.). Foliar uptake of labeled B by shoot leaves was 88% to 96% complete within 24 hours of application. More than 50% of the B retained on shoot leaf surfaces following application was absorbed and exported within 6 hours of application. Genotypic differences in shoot leaf surface characteristics among the species tested greatly influenced the amount of solution retained per unit leaf area. Leaf retention capacity was the primary determinant of the quantity of B absorbed by and exported from shoot leaves following foliar application. On average, apple shoot leaves retained, absorbed, and exported at least twice as much labeled B per unit leaf area as prune and pear shoot leaves and three to four times as much as sweet cherry shoot leaves. The sink demand of nearby, mature apples did not affect the export of labeled B when applied to adjacent spur leaves, but the fruit imported 16% of their total B from the applied solution during a 10-day period. Despite extensive documentation for the immobility of B accumulated by leaves naturally (e.g., from the soil), the B accumulated by leaves following foliage application was highly mobile in all four species tested.
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