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James M. Garner, Gary J. Keever, D. Joseph Eakes, and J. Raymond Kessler

A foliar spray of 0, 1250, 2500, or 3750 mg benzyladenine (BA)/liter was applied to 10 hosta cultivars. Response to BA treatment was cultivar dependent, with BA promoting offset formation in half of the cultivars tested. Increase in offsets compared to the control ranged from 116% in `Francee' to 3500% in `Francis Williams' at 30 days after treatment (DAT) and from 150% in `Royal Standard' to 2250% in `Francis Williams' at 60 DAT with 3750 mg BA/liter. Stage of development, as indicated by the number of unfurled leaves on offsets, was also cultivar and BA dependent. All cultivars treated with 3750 mg BA/liter had an average of three or more unfurled leaves at 60 DAT, while among control plants, 40% of cultivars averaged less than three unfurled leaves. No phytotoxic symptoms were noted in any cultivar, and growth index was either increased or not affected by BA treatment. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (benzyladenine, BA).

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J. David Williams, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, and John T. Owen

The Auburn University Shade Tree Evaluation is an ongoing trial of a moderately diverse range of species, and varieties of larger-growing trees. The study was initiated in 1980 with the planting of 250 selections in three replications of three trees each, located at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Piedmont Substation in east-central Alabama. Among the fruit of the investigation have been an evaluation of 10 red maple (Acer rubrum) selections with respect to growth and fall color characteristics; a comparison of growth rate and aesthetic characteristics of 14 oak (Quercus) selections; a comparison of the growth and fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) susceptibility of 10 callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) selections; and a 12-year evaluation of the overall best performing trees. The Shade Tree Evaluation has served as a precedent for six additional landscape tree evaluations in Alabama. It has provided a living laboratory for a wide range of educational audiences including landscape and nursery professionals, county extension agents, urban foresters, Master Gardeners, garden club members, and horticulture students. Knowledge gained from the Shade Tree Evaluation has been shared through presentations at meetings and conferences.

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J. David Williams, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, and John Owens

Auburn Univ.'s shade tree evaluation is an ongoing study comparing a moderately diverse range of species, varieties and cultivars of larger-growing trees. Initiated in 1980, there were 250 tree selections planted in three replications located at the Piedmont Substation near Camp Hill, Ala. Among the published “fruits” of the evaluation have been critical comparisons of 10 Acer rubrum selections with respect to growth and fall color characteristics; growth rate and aesthetic characteristics of fourteen Quercus selections; growth and fireblight susceptibility of 10 Pyrus calleryana selections; and the best performing trees overall in the first 12 years of the study. The shade tree evaluation has served as an important precedent for initiation of six additional landscape tree tests in Alabama. Besides its benefits as a research project, the shade tree evaluation has provided a living laboratory for a wide range of educational audiences including landscape and nursery professionals, county extension agents, urban foresters, Master Gardeners, garden club members, and horticulture students. Knowledge gained from the shade tree evaluation has also been shared through presentations at many meetings and conferences.

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Thomas J. Brass, Gary J. Keever, D. Joseph Eakes, and Charles H. Gilliam

Growth response of two red maple cultivars (Acer rubrum L. `October Glory' and `Northwood') to styrene lining or copper hydroxide coating of 23.3-liter black plastic containers was evaluated. After the first growing season, plants were left in their original container, repotted into 51.2-liter nontreated containers, or transplanted into the landscape. Copper hydroxide effectively reduced circling of roots of both cultivars at the medium–container interface during the first year of production, but was less effective during the second growing season. Repotting from copper-treated containers into 51.2-liter containers or transplanting into the landscape resulted in more fibrous root development and enhanced root regeneration outside the original rootball relative to transplanting from nontreated containers. However, when copper hydroxide was applied to styrene lining, root regeneration after transplanting was reduced. Roots of plants grown in styrene-lined containers covered the medium–container interface more thoroughly than those in nonlined containers, but height, trunk diameter, and root regeneration were similar. `October Glory' had a larger trunk diameter, more branching, and better root regeneration than `Northwood'.

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Donna C. Fare, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, and John W. Olive

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of cyclic irrigation on leachate NO3-N concentration, container leachate volume, total effluent volume, and growth of Ilex crenata Thunb. `Compacta'. In Expt. 1, container leachate volume was reduced 34% when 13 mm of water was applied in three cycles compared to continuous irrigation of 13 mm per unit time. Forty-nine percent less container leachate volume was collected from a continuous application of 8 mm than from that of 13 mm water. In Expt. 2, container leachate volume was reduced 71% when 6 mm was applied in a single application over 30 minutes compared to 13 mm applied continuously for 1 hour. Total effluent was reduced by 14% and 10% in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively, when 13-mm irrigation was applied in three cycles compared to one continuous irrigation. Container leachate NO3-N concentrations from cyclic irrigation were generally less than leachate NO3-N concentrations from continuous irrigation treatments. The percentage of applied N leached as NO3-N ranged from 46% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in three cycles to 63% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in a single cycle. Leachate NO3-N concentration was reduced as irrigation volume was reduced from 13 to 6 mm in Expt. 2. Percentage of applied N leached as NO3-N was 63%, 56%, and 47% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in one, two, and three cycles, respectively, compared to 19%, 16%, and 15% when 6-mm irrigation was applied in one, two, and three cycles, respectively. `Compacta' holly shoot and root growth were minimally affected by cyclic irrigation or irrigation volume.

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James E. Altland, Charles H. Gilliam, James H. Edwards, and Gary J. Keever

Selected fertilizer treatments were applied to vinca (Catharanthus roseus `Peppermint Cooler') in the landscape to determine their effect on growth and nutrient leaching. In plots 0.9 m × 2.3 m, inorganic fertilizers were applied as either a single application of 4.9 g N/m2 pre-plant, or a split application with 4.9 g N/m2 applied pre-plant followed by application of 2.45 g N/m2 at 8 and 12 weeks after planting (WAP). Inorganic fertilizers included 15N–0P–12.6K granular fertilizer, Osmocote 14N–6.0P–11.6K, and Osmocote 17N–3.0P–10.1K controlled-release fertilizers. Three different organically based fertilizers were applied pre-plant and were composed of recycled newspaper amended with animal manures (chicken, beef cattle, or dairy) and adjusted with (NH4)2SO4 to achieve C:N ratios of either 20:1 or 30:1. A standard industry treatment of 13N–5.6P–10.9K (4.9 g N/m2) incorporated pre-plant and 17N–3.0P–10.1K (4.9 g N/m2) topdressed post-plant was also included. Leachates, collected with lysimeters, from inorganic fertilizer plots had lower levels of total N (NO3 + NH4 +) compared to organically based fertilizer plots through 8 WAP. Of the inorganic fertilizer plots, those receiving 15N–0P–12.6K granular fertilizer had higher total N levels at 1, 2, and 4 WAP than other inorganic fertilizer plots. Total N in leachates declined over the study and by 12 WAP were similar among all treatments. Vinca treated with organically based fertilizers (C:N 20:1) had the highest foliar color ratings through 8 WAP; however, color ratings declined thereafter and by 16 WAP had the lowest ratings. Plants treated with organically based fertilizers had greater shoot dry weights 20 WAP and larger growth indices 8 and 20 WAP.

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Doug Findley, Gary J. Keever, Arthur H. Chappelka, Charles H. Gilliam, and D. Joseph Eakes

Five cultivars of buddleia, Buddleia davidii, were exposed to subambient, ambient, and twice-ambient levels of ozone in open-top chambers for 8 weeks during 1995. Plants were evaluated for foliar injury, growth index, and inflorescence characteristics during and following the exposure period. Destructive harvests were conducted at the end of the exposure period to determine the dry weight of both above- and below-ground plant components. All cultivars showed signs of visible injury in the twice-ambient treatment at both 3 and 8 weeks after treatment initiation (WAT). At 3 WAT, `Pink Delight' was the most severely injured, followed by `Opera'. The other three cultivars had similar lower levels of foliar injury. Reductions in growth index as well as dry weight were found for all cultivars in the twice-ambient treatment. The number of developing floral buds and inflorescences was reduced in the twice-ambient treatment for all cultivars. Differences among the cultivars was due to normal differences in growth habit and not due to elevated ozone levels. These data indicate that Buddleia cultivars are sensitive to levels of ozone similar to those found in urban areas of the southeastern United States.

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Timothy L. Grey, Glenn R. Wehtje, Ben F. Hajek, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, and Patrick Pace

Adsorption, mobility, and filtration ability of organic media toward metolachlor were evaluated in a series of laboratory experiments. Experimental variables included media type, metolachlor concentration, and equilibration time. Adsorption isotherms were determined by applying the log form of the Freundlich equation. Mobility was evaluated using glass columns filled with media, which were then surface spiked with metolachlor and then leached daily for 10 consecutive days. Peat, pine bark, combinations of these two media and a mixture of pine bark and sand adsorbed >90% of the 14C metolachlor. Freundlich sorption coefficients were 10.9, 18.2, 13.4, 14.2, and 11.0 for pine bark, peat, 5 pine bark: 1 peat, 3 pine bark: 1 peat, and 5 pine bark: 1 sand, respectively. In a timed exposure experiment using bark, minimum metolachlor adsorption (57%) was at 90 seconds and maximum adsorption (82%) required at least 1440 minutes. In column leaching studies, data for all media indicate that metolachlor is relatively immobile through these substrates. An initial pulse of metolachlor (<1.0 μg·liter-1) was detected with each medium up to the third wetting event with a subsequent decline (>0.5 μg·liter-1 for each medium) in the metolachlor recovered. Filtration efficiency of commercially formulated metolachlor from water passed through different lengths of pine bark filled filters was 0%, 17%, 20%, 22%, 23%, and 29% for filters 4, 20, 12, 8, 16, and 24 cm in length, respectively. These results support the contention that such filtration would be effective provided the residence time of water within the filter was sufficient for adsorption of the contaminant by the media to occur.

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James E. Altland, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, James H. Edwards, Jeff L. Sibley, and Donna C. Fare

Two experiments were conducted with pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana Gams `Bingo Yello') to determine the relationship between foliar nitrogen (% of dry weight) (FN) and either sap nitrate concentration (SN) in petioles or SPAD readings of foliage. FN was highly correlated to SN throughout both experiments (r = 0.80 to 0.91). FN was poorly correlated to SPAD readings early in both experiments (r = 0.54 to 0.65), but more highly correlated later when visual symptoms of N deficiency were apparent (r = 0.84 to 0.90). SN determined with the Cardy sap nitrate meter was a reliable predictor of FN in pansy, while SPAD readings were only reliable after symptoms of N deficiency were visually evident. FN can be predicted with SN using the following equation: log(SN) = 0.47*FN + 1.6 [r 2 = 0.80, n = 132]. Growers and landscape professionals can use SN readings to predict FN levels in pansy, and thus rapidly and accurately diagnose the N status of their crop.

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Jeff L. Sibley, D. Joseph Eakes, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, William A. Dozier Jr., and David G. Himelrick

Twelve red maple selections in an existing field trial were evaluated for leaf chlorophyll content with a SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter, total foliar N concentration with a LECO CHN analyzer, and total foliar chlorophyll content (CHL) by N,N-dimethylformamide extraction. Selections included Acer rubrum L. `Autumn Flame', `Fairview Flame', `Franksred' (Red Sunset™), `Karpick', `Northwood', `October Glory', `Redskin', `Schlesingeri', and `Tilford', and A. ×freemanii E. Murray `AutumnBlaze' (`Jeffersred'), `Morgan' (`Indian Summer'), and `Scarsen' (Scarlet Sentinel™). `Franksred' and `Northwood' had the highest monthly SPAD-502 values in 1993 and 1994. Lowest SPAD-502 values were on `Redskin' and `Autumn Blaze' each year. Foliar N concentration ranged from 2.62% for `Autumn Flame' to 2.01% for Redskin. CHL levels on a fresh-weight basis ranged from 5.38 mg·g–1 for `Fairview Flame' to 3.94 mg·g–1 for `October Glory'. SPAD-502 and extractable CHL values were correlated (r = 0.45; P ≤ 0.001); however, the correlation (r = 0.15; P ≤ 0.38) between SPAD-502 values and total foliar N concentration was nonsignificant.