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John C. Pair

Lepidote and Elepidote Rhododendron cultivars were established May 2, 1988 in selected landscape sites with amended soil to evaluate performance under stress by the continental climate characterized by hot summers and cold, desicatting winters. Evergreen azaleas were also screened with emphasis on flower bud hardiness. Survival and flowering were acceptable in exposures protected from winter sun especially on Lepidote `PJM Victor' which survived 42°C although Phytophthora root rot occurred in hottest locations. In contrast flower buds on large leaf types `Nova Zembla' and `Roseum Elegans' often failed to open due to desiccating winter conditions. Cultivars which flowered best after 3 years were `Aglo', `Lodestar', `Nova Zembla', `Olga Mezitt', `PJM', `Waltham' and `Windbeam'. Hardiest azaleas which flowered following -28°c were `Boudoir', `Caroline Gable', Kaempferi `Herbert', poukhanense `Karens', `Pride's Pink' and `Snowball'. Additional cultivars appear promising given suitable bed preparation, proper exposure and adequate maintenance in spite of climatic extremes in the great plains.

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Edward F. Durner and Thomas J. Gianfagna

The heat requirement for flower bud growth of container-grown peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cvs. Redhaven and Springold] in the greenhouse varied inversely and linearly with the length of the cold-storage period (SC) provided to break bud dormancy. Ethephon reduced the rest-breaking effectiveness of the 5C treatment. Buds from ethephon-treated trees grew more slowly than buds from untreated trees upon exposure to 20 to 25C, resulting in later bloom dates. The effect of ethephon on flower bud hardiness in field-grown trees of `Jerseydawn' and `Jerseyglo' was studied using exotherm analysis after deacclimation treatments. Bud deacclimation varied with reacclimating temperature (7 or 21 C), cultivar, ethephon treatment, and sampling date. All buds were more susceptible to injury in March than in January or February. Buds reacclimated more rapidly at 21C than at 7C. `Jerseyglo' reacclimated more rapidly than `Jerseydawn'. Untreated buds were less hardy and also reacclimated more rapidly than treated buds. Ethephon enhanced flower bud hardiness in three distinct ways: 1) it decreased the mean low-temperature exotherm of pistils, 2) it increased the number of buds that supercooled after exposure to reacclimating temperatures, and 3) it decreased the rate of deacclimation, especially at 21C. Ethephon prolongs flower bud dormancy by increasing the chilling requirement. The rate at which flower buds become increasingly sensitive to moderate temperatures in late winter and spring is thus reduced by ethephon. Thus, ethephon delays deacclimation during winter and delays bloom in the spring. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).

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Edward F. Durner

Flower bud hardiness of ethephon-treated (100 mg·liter-1 in October), dormant pruned (in December) `Redhaven' peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) trees was studied from December through March using exotherm analysis. In early December, buds not treated with ethephon were 0.5C hardier than ethephon-treated buds. From mid-December through March, ethephon-treated buds were 0.5 to 2.1C hardier than nontreated buds. When a main effect of pruning was detected, buds from pruned trees were 0.8 to 2.8C less hardy than buds from nonpruned trees. On several dates, a significant interaction on flower bud hardiness between ethephon treatment and pruning was detected. For trees not treated with ethephon, buds from pruned trees were 1.8 to 2.2C less hardy than those from nonpruned trees. Pruning did not affect hardiness of buds from ethephon-treated trees. Ethephon delayed bloom to the 75% fully open stage by 9 days. Pruning accelerated bloom to the 75% fully open stage by 3 days compared to nonpruned trees. Flower bud dehardening under controlled conditions was also studied. As field chilling accumulated, flower buds dehardened more rapidly and to a greater extent when exposed to heat. Pruning accelerated and intensified dehardening. Ethephon reduced the pruning effect. The percentage of buds supercooling from any ethephon or pruning treatment did not change as chilling accumulated. In trees not treated with ethepbon, fewer buds supercooled as heat accumulated, and pruning intensified this effect. In pruned, ethephon-treated trees, fewer buds supercooled after exposure to heat. The number of buds supercooling in nonpruned trees did not change with heat accumulation. Flower bud rehardening after controlled dehardening was also evaluated. After dehardening in early February, there was no difference in the bud hardiness of pruned or nonpruned trees. Buds from ethepbon-treated trees were hardier than those from nontreated trees. With reacclimation, buds from pruned trees were not as hardy as those from nonpruned trees. The percentage of buds supercooling from ethephon-treated trees did not change with deacclimation or reacclimation treatments. After deacclimation in late February, buds from pruned trees were 2.2C less hardy than those from nonpruned trees. After reacclimation, buds from pruned, ethephon-treated trees rehardened 2.6C while buds from all other treatments remained at deacclimated hardiness levels or continued to deharden. Ethephon-treated pistils were shorter than nontreated pistils. Pistils from pruned trees were longer than those from nonpruned trees. Deacclimated pistils were longer than nondeacclimated pistils. Differences in hardiness among ethephon and pruning treatments were observed, but there was no relationship between pistil moisture and hardiness.

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Edward F. Durner, Thomas J. Gianfagna, Francis X. Rooney, Gale S. Teiger, Martin J. Seiler, and Mark J. Cantarella

Ethephon was applied at 100 mg·liter-1 to peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch., cvs. Jerseydawn and Cresthaven] trees in Oct. 1987 and 1988 to increase flower bud hardiness and delay bloom the following spring. Flower bud survival after exposure to -26C in Jan. 1988 was enhanced with fall ethephon application in both cultivars. Ethephon delayed bloom by 7 (1988) and 3 (1989) days in `Jerseydawn' and by 10 (1988) and 4 (1989) days in `Cresthaven'. Total fruit production per tree for `Jersey-dawn' was not affected by ethephon treatment in 1988; however, yield was enhanced with ethephon treatment in 1989. For `Cresthaven', yield was enhanced by ethephon treatment in both years. Most fruit from the untreated trees were harvested on the first harvest dates and were in the largest size categories, while most fruit from the treated trees were harvested on the last harvest dates and were in the smaller size categories both years in both cultivars. Smaller pistils and heavier prethinning crop loads lead to smaller fruit and a later harvest date. Chemical names used: 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Edward F. Durner

Ethephon (100 mg·liter-1) was applied to mature peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cv Redhaven] on 13 Oct. 1989. Ethephon-treated and non-treated trees were pruned on 12 Dec. 1989, or left not pruned. Flower bud hardiness was assessed via exotherm analysis from Dec. through Mar. on buds taken directly from the orchard and on buds deacclimated / reacclimated under controlled conditions. Buds from ethephon-treated trees were consistently hardier than buds from non-treated trees. After a warm spell in Jan., buds from pruned trees not previously treated with ethephon were less hardy than those from non-pruned trees. Hardiness of buds from ethephon-treated trees after the warm spell was not affected by pruning. All buds rehardened with the return of low temperatures. Under controlled conditions, buds from pruned trees were less hardy than those from non-pruned trees. Pruning resulted in a rapid loss of hardiness at warm temperatures (21C). If trees had been treated with ethephon the previous fall, significant rehardening of dehardened buds from pruned trees occurred at 5 or -1C. Buds from pruned, non-treated trees did not reharden.

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Edward F. Durner and Thomas J. Gianfagna

Six-year-old peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were sprayed with ethephon (100 mg·liter–1) in Oct. 1989, whitewashed in Jan. 1990, and sprayed with dormant oil on one or two dates in Mar. 1990 to study possible interactive effects on flower bud hardiness, pistil growth, time of bloom, and yield. Flower buds from ethephon-treated trees supercooled to a lower temperature [mean low temperature exotherm (MLTE) of –18.5C] than buds from nontreated trees (MLTE of –17.7C) in February; there was no main effect of whitewashing or any interaction with ethephon. No treatment effects on hardiness were detected in March. Ethephon-treated pistils were smaller than nontreated pistils, and pistils from buds on whitewashed trees were smaller than those on nonwhitewashed trees. No main effects or interactions of dormant oil on pistil size were detected. Ethephon and whitewashing delayed bud development during bloom, but prebloom oil application(s) had no effect. Buds from ethephon-treated and whitewashed trees were more tolerant of freezes during bloom than buds from oil-sprayed trees, and yield was enhanced by ethephon and whitewashing. Prebloom oil sprays reduced yield compared with controls. Chemical name used: 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Harold Pellett

Breeding, selection and evaluation of woody landscape plants has been an active project at the Univ. of Minnesota for many years. The goal of the project is to develop and or identify superior plants that are well adapted to the climatic conditions of Minnesota and other northern areas. About 20 cultivars of many species have been introduced to the nursery trade through this program in the past 20 years. These introductions result from selections made from populations arising from controlled crosses and from open-pollinated populations and native plant populations. One of the primary efforts has been development of the cold hardy, “lights series” of deciduous azaleas. These possess flower bud hardiness of from –35 to –40 °C. Other current breeding activities include efforts with Viburnum, Acer rubrum, Rosa, and intergeneric hybridization in the Pomoidaea subfamily of Rosaceae. An integral part of the project is development and use of techniques to screen for tolerances to various environmental stresses. Approaches used will be discussed and plants currently under evaluation will be described and illustrated with slides.

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H.M. Mathers

Flower buds of two sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), 12 sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) and one ground cherry (P. fruticosa Pall.) were collected monthly from Aug. 1990 to Mar. 1991, and subjected to freeze tests to determine the level of cold hardiness. LT50 values (temperatures at which 50% of the flower buds were killed) summed over all months were significantly correlated (r = 0.6844, P ≤ 0.01) to the flower bud low temperature exotherms (LTEs). Correlation of LTEs to LT50 values was highest, r = 0.85, P ≤ 0.01 for the acclimation and midwinter period, November to February collections. During this period the average LT50 occurred before and within 2.5 °C of the LTE, indicating tissue injury before the LTE occurrence. During deacclimation, represented by the March collection, the LT50 began within 2.0 °C, on average, of the LTE, and in 11 of 12 cultivars and seedlings preceded the LTE. In March, the correlation of LTEs to LT50 values was less, r = 0.69, P ≤ 0.05, indicating possible changes flower bud deep supercooling. LTE values were selected as a measure of flower bud hardiness in sour cherry. Exotherms were not detected in the flower buds of all germplasm tested on all evaluation dates, but were the best means of separating selections. While LTE analyses expressed significant differences in November, December, and March at P ≤ 0.01, the LT50 analyses expressed differences only in December and February at P ≤ 0.05. The relationship between ambient temperatures and floral tissue hardiness indicated that November and March are two critical times for flower bud injury. November injury would occur in years when sudden low temperatures occur without sufficient pre-exposure to freezing temperatures. March injury would occur in years when sudden freezing temperatures follow warm days. This type of injury would be most pronounced in southern genotypes. Spring freeze injury could be significantly reduced by the selection of cultivars and seedlings that have delayed deacclimation. Exotherm occurrence and bud volume were correlated (r = 0.95, P ≤ 0.05). In January, when exotherms were least prevalent, they were generally present only in the five cultivars and seedlings with large bud volumes. The LTEs in midwinter, occurred within 3 °C of the reported average annual minimum temperature for the northern range of Prunus commercial production (Zone 6). The results of the principal component analysis of flower bud LTEs indicated that other selection criteria as flowering time might have played a more significant role in the hardiness range of sour cherry than simply geographic origin. The first principal component (PC1), which accounted for 77% of the total variance was used to separate among cultivars and seedlings. Selections at the positive end of PC1 had flower buds that were more cold susceptible than selections at the negative end of PC. This concurs with other research showing that flower bud hardiness is related more to commercial range (i.e., the range of commercial production) than to geographic distribution.

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Frank Kappel

this report. Flinn and Ashworth (1995) reported that winter flower bud hardiness of Forsythia may be related to carbohydrate levels. Lasheen and Chaplin (1971) reported some correlation between the levels of biochemical constituents (sugars

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Mark K. Ehlenfeldt and Chad E. Finn

typical yields of 2.7 kg per bush with an average first harvest date of 25 July. Production was variable in New Jersey and is probably related to the southern germplasm in the ancestry of G-435, resulting in sporadic flower bud hardiness problems resulting