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Thomas E. Clark, Terence L. Robinson, Alan N. Lakso, and Warren C. Stiles

In 1996, benzyladenine, or GA4+7, or different ratios of BA: GA4+7 (100:1, 10:1 and 1:1) were applied to 10-year-old `Empire' apple trees on M.9 at 10-mm fruit size and 19-year-old `Redchief Delicious' apple trees on M.9 or M.9/MM.111 at 7.6-mm fruit size. Each chemical or combination of BA and GA was applied at three rates (50, 100, or 150 ppm) and at 75 ppm with 1.25 ml of carbaryl/L. At harvest, fruits were sampled from each treatment to determine fruit shape, firmness, color, total cell number, average cell size, and percentage of intercellular space. The positive rate response on fruit size and negative rate response on crop load of `Empire' became less significant for each formulation as the amount of GA4+7 in the formulation increased. The same was true for `Delicious', but less pronounced. At low rates of BA, formulations containing GA resulted in more thinning than BA alone. However, at higher rates of BA, formulations containing GA caused significantly less thinning than BA alone. For treatments combined with carbaryl, crop load increased linearly in `Empire' with increasing amounts of GA4+7 in the formulation. The treatment that provided the largest fruit size for `Empire' was BA@150 ppm, while for `Delicious' it was BA@75 ppm + carbaryl. Both varieties showed the greatest reduction in crop load with the 100:1@75 ppm+ carbaryl treatment when compared to the controls. These data suggest that GA4+7 in formulation with BA may inhibit the thinning action of BA at moderate and high rates.

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Martin C. Goffinet, Mary Jean Welser, Alan N. Lakso, and Robert M. Pool

Northeastern U.S. grape growers have become more knowledgeable about many aspects of grape production, including pruning and training, canopy management, nutritional recommendations, pest and disease management strategies, vineyard floor management, etc. Important to all these aspects is a firm understanding of vine structure and development. Yet, there is no current publication on vine growth and development that growers and researchers can consult to gain an understanding of the organs, tissues, and developmental processes that contribute to growth and production of quality vines in the northeastern U.S. climate. A concerted effort is underway to secure enough information on how vines are constructed, grow, and develop in the northeast so that a publication useful to a wide audience can be produced. Our objective is to consolidate information already on hand that can help explain the internal and external structures of grapevines that are pertinent to the needs of northeast growers, to add information that is lacking by collecting and examining vine parts, and to work toward integrating vine structure with vine physiology and viticultural practices. Over the past decade, organs of various native American, French hybrid, and vinifera varieties have been collected from vineyards at Cornell's experiment stations and from growers' vineyards in the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie regions. Much quantitative data on vine development have been collected and interpreted. Lab work has included dissections of organs, histological and microscopic examination, microphotography, and the production of interpretive diagrams and charts. A list of the subject matter and examples of visual materials will be presented.

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Terence L. Robinson, William F. Millier, James A. Throop, Stephen G. Carpenter, and Alan N. Lakso

Mature `Empire' and `Redchief Delicious' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) trained to a Y-shaped trellis (Y/M.26) or trained as pyramid-shaped central leaders (CL/M.7) were mechanically harvested with the Cornell trunk recoil-impact shaker during 4 years. With `Empire', fruit removal from the Y/M.26 trees (85% to 90%) was significantly less than from the CL/M.7 trees (95% to 97%). With `Delicious' there were no differences in fruit removal (90% to 95%) between the two tree forms in any year. When the catching pad was on the ground, fruit grade based on damage was only slightly better for the Y/M.26 trees than for the CL/M.7 trees. When the catching pad was raised up near the Y/M.26 canopy, fruit grade was significantly improved for the Y/M.26 trees and was better than the CL/M.7 trees. Fruit grade for both cultivars ranged from 83% to 94% Extra Fancy with 5% to 16% culls for the Y/M.26 trees and from 74% to 88% Extra Fancy and 11% to 21% culls for the CL/M.7 trees. Skin punctures, skin breaks, and number of large and small bruises were lower and the percentage of nondamaged fruit was higher with the Y/M.26 trees when the pads were close to the canopy than when the pads were on the ground. The CL/M.7 trees had higher levels of all types of fruit damage than did the Y/M.26 trees. Damaged fruit from the CL/M.7 trees was mainly from the top half of the tree, while fruit from lower-tier scaffold branches had low levels of damage. Mechanically harvested fruit from the Y/M.26 trees had lower incidences of fruit rot and flesh breakdown after a 6-month storage period than did fruit from the CL/M.7 trees. Stem pulling was high with both systems and averaged 60% for `Delicious' and 30% for `Empire'. The advantage of the single plane Y-trellis system for mechanical harvesting appears to be that the catching pads can be placed close to the fruit, thereby reducing fruit damage.

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Georgios Psarras, Ian A. Merwin, Alan N. Lakso, and John A. Ray

A 2-year field study of `Mutsu' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] on `Malling 9' (M.9) rootstock was conducted to observe root growth in situ, and compare patterns of root growth, root maturation and turnover rates, and soil-root respiration. Rhizosphere respiration was monitored with a portable chamber connected to an infrared gas analyzer; root emergence, browning, and turnover rates were measured by direct observation through minirhizotron tubes inserted in the root zone. Negligible root growth was observed before the onset of shoot growth in mid-May. In both years, a main peak of new root emergence in late June and early July coincided partially with major phases of shoot and fruit growth. A smaller peak of root emergence during August to September 1997 consisted primarily of new roots at 20 to 45 cm soil depths. Most roots remained <1 mm in diameter and developed in the upper 25 cm soil profile; no roots were observed at any time below 50 cm, due to a compacted soil layer at that depth. The cumulative survivorship of new roots was 38% in 1996 and 64% in 1997, and 50% of emergent white roots turned brown or senesced within 26 days in 1996 and 19 days in 1997. Root turnover rates were highest in mid-August both years. Rhizosphere respiration was correlated (r 2 = 0.36 and 0.59, P = 0.01 and 0.004) with soil temperatures in 1996 and 1997, with Q10 values of 2.3 in both years. The Q10 for root-dependent respiration (the difference between soil only and combined soil-root respiration) in 1997 was 3.1, indicating that roots were more sensitive than soil microflora to soil temperature. The temporal overlap of high rates of shoot, root and fruit growth from late May to mid-July suggests this is a critical period for resource allocations and competition in temperate zone apple trees.

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Ana H.D. Francisconi, Alan N. Lakso, Jan Nyrop, and Steve Denning

Most research on the effects of European red mite (ERM) [Panonychus umli(Koch)] on apples has shown highly variable results. Those variations were probably due to different genotypes, internal status of the tree (e.g., crop load), environment and timing and severity of mite stress. We propose that limitations in carbon availability for fruit growth is the primary mechanism of foliar feeder injury to apple trees. Heavy-cropping tress should be more sensitive to ERM stress than low-cropping trees and differences in responses of apple trees should be better-related to carbon supply/demand than to cumulative mite-days (CMD) along. Eighteen mature `Starkrimson Red Delicious'/M26 trees were hand-thinned to low (≈20 t·ha–1) and high (≈40 t·ha–1) crop loads and submitted to low (<400 CMD), medium (400–1000 CMD), and high (>1000 CMD) target levels of ERM. A range of crop loads and CMDs was obtained. Mite population, fruit growth, single-leaf photosynthesis, and whole-tree gas exchange were monitored through the season. ERM reduced leaf and whole-tree net CO2 exchange (Pn). Heavy-cropping trees showed fruit weight reduction earlier and more severely than low-cropping trees with high ERM injury. The main effect, variations in final fruit weight, was much better related to whole-tree Pn/tree than to CMD.

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David M. Eissenstat, Denise Neilsen, Alan N. Lakso, David R. Smart, Taryn L. Bauerle, Louise H. Comas, and Gerry H. Neilsen

Growers plan most of their horticultural activities around certain shoot phenological stages, such as bloom, veraison, and harvest. Timing of root growth in relation to these stages of the shoot is of interest in fertilization scheduling and in understanding carbon allocation demands of the root system. With the recent use of minirhizotron root observation tubes, a much greater understanding of patterns of root growth has been made possible. In Fredonia, N.Y., 5 years of root investigation in `Concord' grape indicate considerable variability in timing of root flushes. Root flushes could occur any time between bloom and veraison, but were generally not observed after harvest. Wine grapes in the Napa Valley exhibited similar patterns. In apple, root flushes may occur at bloom, but often not after harvest. Consequently, we rarely observed the bimodal distribution of root flushes commonly depicted in textbooks for apple and grape. Our data suggest that general perceptions of the timing of root growth may be in error.

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Alan N. Lakso, Terence L. Robinson, Eddie W. Stover, Warren C. Stiles, Stephen Hoying, Kevin Iungerman, Craig Telgheder, Chris Watkins, and Kenneth Silsby

Many chemical, environmental, and physiological factors have been reported to be important to apple chemical thinning, so we have been developing a multi-site and multi-year database of chemical thinning results and potentially important factors. For 3 years, we have conducted replicated thinning trials in `Empire' and `McIntosh' apple orchards at six or seven sites around New York state in different climatic regions. Different concentrations of NAA and Accel (primarily benzyladenine), NAA/carbaryl and Accel/carbaryl combinations and unthinned controls were tested with treatments applied at the 10-mm king fruit stage by airblast sprayers. Flower cluster counts, set counts, yields, fruit sizes, and other factors thought important to thinning response (orchard condition/history, weather, application conditions, etc.) were measured or estimated in each trial. Analysis of factor importance is continuing, but some general results have come from the thinning trials so far. Thinning effectiveness varied among years from poor to adequate. There have not been consistent thinner concentration responses. Commercial NAA and Accel concentrations have not thinned adequately. NAA/carbaryl and Accel/carbaryl have thinned the most. For the same crop load, trees thinned with Accel or the carbaryl combination have had better fruit size than when thinned with NAA.