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W.A. Dozier Jr., A.A. Powell, A.W. Caylor, N.R. McDaniel, E.L. Carden, and J.A. McGuire

Hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex) treatments were applied to 17 insufficiently chilled peach and nectarine cultivars ≈6 weeks after normal budbreak. Treatment effectively induced vegetative budbreak and reduced shoot dieback. The responses to Dormex treatments were linear, with the 2% rate being more effective than the 0 and 1% rates in most cases.

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R.C. Ebel, W.A. Dozier Jr., M.L. Nesbitt, N.R. McDaniel, A.A. Powell, A. W. Caylor, and W.R. Okie

There are a limited number of peach and nectarine cultivars available with chilling requirements that perform well in the Gulf Coast area of Alabama. A test planting of 40 peach and 13 nectarine cultivars was established in 1985 at the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, Ala. The plot was prepared and trees grown according to commercial procedures. Blocks of four trees of each cultivar were planted on a 6 x 6-m spacing. Chill hours were calculated each year based on number of hours at or below 7.3 °C; starting from and including the first 10 consecutive days a total of 50 hours were accumulated to 15 Feb. Data collected included date of full bloom, first harvest date, and total yield. Fruit were measured or rated for skin color, attractiveness, firmness, stone freeness, pubescence, flesh color, dessert quality, shape, weight, percentage with split pits, and occurrence of malformed sutures and extended tips. All cultivars were evaluated for 9 years (1987–95). The best performing varieties are discussed.

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W.A. Dozier Jr., A.W. Caylor, D.G. Himelrick, A.A. Powell, A.J. Latham, J.A. Pitts, and J.A. McGuire

Own-rooted, 4-year-old kiwifruit plants [Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.) C.F. Liang et R. Ferguson var. deliciosa] protected by a Styrofoam insulation wrap with a water-filled pouch (Reese clip-on trunk wrap) or by microsprinkler irrigation sustained less freeze injury than unprotected plants under field conditions at temperatures as low as -17.8C. Trunk splitting occurred on the plants, but no injury was detected on canes, buds, or shoots in the canopy of the plants. Unprotected plants had more trunk splitting and at greater heights than protected plants. New canes developed from suck- ers of cold-injured plants and developed a trellised canopy the following season.

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W.R. Okie, T.G. Beckman, G.L. Reighard, W.C. Newall Jr., C.J. Graham, D.J. Werner, A.A Powell, and G. Krewer

This paper describes the climatic and cropping conditions in the major peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] producing areas in the southeastern United States in 1996. The peach and nectarine crop was the smallest since 1955 due to a series of unusually cold temperatures in February, March, and April. Crop set was not strictly a function of late blooming. No variety produced a full crop across the region. Many reputedly hardy peaches cropped poorly. The only peach or nectarine varieties that produced substantial crops in multiple locations were `La Premiere', `Ruston Red', and `Contender'. Cropping ability of some breeding selections shows that peach frost tolerance may be improved further.