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Tommy E. Thompson, L.J. Grauke, and William Reid

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J. Ryan Stewart, William R. Graves, and Reid D. Landes

Carolina buckthorn [Rhamnus caroliniana Walt. or Frangula caroliniana (Walt.) Gray] is an attractive and water-stress-resistant shrub or small tree distributed extensively in the southeastern United States that merits use in managed landscapes. Due to substantial climatic differences within its distribution (30-year normal midwinter minima range from 13 to -8 °C), selection among provenances based on differences in cold hardiness is warranted. Before selections are marketed, the potential of carolina buckthorn to be invasive also merits investigation. Ecological problems resulting from the introduction of Rhamnus L. species in the United States, most notably the dominance of R. cathartica L. (common buckthorn) over neighboring taxa, are due in part to early budbreak. Consequently, we investigated depth of cold hardiness and vernal budbreak of carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn. Stem samples of carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn collected in midwinter survived temperatures as low as -21 and -24 °C, respectively. Although the cold hardiness of carolina buckthorns from Missouri was greater than that of carolina buckthorns from Ohio and Texas on 2 Apr. 2003, there were no differences in cold hardiness of stems from Missouri and Texas on all three assessment dates in the second experiment. All plants survived at both field locations except for the carolina buckthorns from southern Texas planted in Iowa, which showed 0% and 17% survival in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Budbreak of both species with and without mulch in Ames, Iowa, was recorded from 9 Apr. to 10 May 2002. Mean budbreak of common buckthorn was 5.7 days earlier than budbreak of carolina buckthorn, and buds of mulched carolina buckthorns broke 4.2 days earlier than did buds of unmulched carolina buckthorns. We conclude that the cold hardiness of carolina buckthorn is sufficient to permit the species to be planted outside of its natural distribution. Populations of carolina buckthorn in Ohio and Missouri should be the focus of efforts to select genotypes for use in regions with harsh winters. Phenology of its budbreak suggests carolina buckthorn will not be as invasive as common buckthorn, but evaluation of additional determinants of invasiveness is warranted.

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Richard P. Buchner, Joseph H. Connell, Brent A. Holtz, Jeffery L. Olsen, William H. Olson, and William Reid

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T.E. Thompson, L.J. Grauke, William Reid, M.W. Smith, and S.R. Winter

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Charles T. Rohla*, Michael W. Smith, Niels O. Maness, and William R. Reid

Trees with about the same crop load were hand thinned to 1, <2, or <3 fruit per cluster or not thinned while the ovule was about one-half expanded. Treatments were replicated three times. Vegetative, and bearing terminal, lateral and shoots with secondary growth were tagged in October, and flowering was determined the following year. Shoots and roots were sampled during dormancy and analyzed for organically bound N, and K. Results indicated that branches with secondary growth produced substantially more shoots and flowers than other branch types. The unthinned trees produced fewer total flowers per branch, had a lower percentage of branches with flowering shoots, and smaller flower clusters than thinned trees. Organically bound N in the roots and shoots was not affected by crop load. Crop load appeared to be negatively related to K concentration in roots <1 cm in diameter, but not in roots >1 cm in diameter. The data suggest that neither N nor K were limiting in trees with large crops.

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Charles T. Rohla*, Michael W. Smith, Niels O. Maness, and William R. Reid

Whole fruit clusters were collected from three shoot types: terminal and lateral shoots without secondary growth, and shoots with secondary growth. Fruit per cluster was counted and nuts were individually weighed, shelled and graded. Return bloom of the same shoots was measured. Results indicated that cluster size of lateral bearing shoots was negatively related to next year's average kernel weight, nut weight, and kernel percentage. However, only kernel percentage was related to cluster size on terminal bearing shoots, and none of these parameters were related to cluster size on shoots with secondary growth. Cluster size and total kernel weight per shoot were positively related for the three shoot types. Return bloom of terminal shoots was negatively related to cluster size, but cluster size did not affect return bloom of the other shoot types.

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William Reid, Susan M. Huslig, Michael W. Smith, Niels O. Maness, and Julia M. Whitworth

The optimum time for removing pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] to enhance return bloom was determined. Fruit were removed from part of `Mohawk', `Giles', and `Gormely' trees five times during the season as determined by fruit phonological age: immediately after postpollination drop, at 50% ovule expansion, at 100% ovule expansion or water stage, during the onset of dough stage, and 2 weeks after dough stage. Return bloom of all cultivars was increased by fruit removal during ovule expansion. Removing `Mohawk' and `Giles' fruit shortly after pollination induced the greatest return bloom. Return bloom in the small-fruited `Gormely' was equally stimulated by fruit removal at any time during ovule expansion, a result indicating that early fruit removal may be more important for large-than for small-fruited cultivars. If a commercially feasible method to thin pecans is developed, our studies indicate that the optimum time for fruit thinning would be during ovule expansion.

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George E. Boyhan, Albert C. Purvis, William C. Hurst, Reid L. Torrance, and J. Thad Paulk

This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of harvest date on yield and storage of short-day onions in controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage conditions. In general, harvest yields increased with later harvest dates. Yields of jumbo (>7.6 cm) onions primarily showed a quadratic or cubic response to harvest date, first increasing and then showing diminished or reduced marginal yields. Medium (>5.1 to ≤7.6 cm) onions generally showed diminished yield with later harvests as jumbos increased. Neither days from transplanting to harvest nor calculated degree days were reliable at predicting harvest date for a particular cultivar. Cultivars (early, midseason, and late maturing) performed consistently within their harvest class compared to other cultivars for a specific year, but could not be used to accurately predict a specific number of days to harvest over all years. Only three of the eight statistical assessments of percent marketable onions after CA storage were significant with two showing a linear increase with later harvest date and one showing a cubic trend, first increasing, then decreasing, and finally increasing again based on harvest date.

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Charles T. Rohla, Michael W. Smith, Niels O. Maness, and William Reid

The most significant horticultural problem facing pecan producers is alternate bearing. Four pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] cultivars were chosen, two with low to moderate and two with severe alternate-bearing tendencies, to compare selected characteristics related to irregular bearing. The cultivars were Colby and Peruque (low to medium alternate-bearing tendency) and Osage and Giles (high alternate-bearing tendency). Vegetative shoots and fruit-bearing shoots in the terminal and lateral position on 1-year-old branches were tagged in October, and flowering was determined the next spring. Shoot and root samples were collected while dormant and then analyzed for organically bound nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations. As expected, ‘Colby’ and ‘Peruque’ had a lower alternate-bearing tendency than ‘Giles’ and ‘Osage’. Cultivars with a low alternate-bearing tendency had a larger return bloom on the bearing shoots in the terminal position than the other shoot types. Cultivars with a high alternate-bearing tendency had a lower return bloom on bearing terminal shoots than vegetative shoots. Bearing shoots in the lateral position usually had a lower return bloom than the other shoot types regardless of cultivar. Neither root nor shoot N, K, or nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations appeared to be closely related to the alternate-bearing characteristics of the four cultivars. The unique characteristic identified for low alternate-bearing cultivars was their ability to produce as many or more flowers and flowering shoots the next year on previously bearing terminal shoots compared with previously vegetative shoots. In high alternate-bearing cultivars, return bloom of bearing terminal shoots was suppressed relative to their vegetative shoots.

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Darrell Sparks, William Reid, I.E. Yates, Michael W. Smith, and Thomas G. Stevenson

The influence of fruiting stress on shuck decline, nut quality, and premature germinaiton was evaluated on trees of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch]. Fruit at the liquid endosperm state were removed from trees with a mechanical shaker to reduce crop load by 0%, 25%, 41%, 56%, or 77%. Shuck decline and premature germination decreased and kernel quality increased with a reduction in crop load. An excessive fruit load or fruit stress elevated the incidence of shuck decline, previously referred to as shuck disease, tulip disease, shuck die-back, or late season shuck disorder; decreased kernel development; and increased premature germinaiton. Shucks were dissected from fruit ranging from healthy to those with premature shuck opening and examined by scanning electron, transmission electron, and light microscopy. Fungal growth was detectable, but only after tissue degeneration had occurred. Thus, results indicate the onset of shuck decline is caused by stress associated with an excessive crop load and not a pathological disorder. Fungal growth is a secondary, not a primary, factor in deterioration of shucks with decline.