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Roger Harris, Nina L. Bassuk, and Thomas H. Whitlow

Root and shoot phenology were observed, and root length within rootballs were calculated for Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. (green ash), Quecus coccinea Muenchh. (scarlet oak), Corylus colurna L. (Turkish hazelnut), and Syringa reticulata (Blume) Hara `Ivory Silk' (tree lilac) trees established in a rhizotron. Easy-to-transplant species (green ash and tree lilac) had more root length within rootballs than difficult-to-transplant species (Turkish hazelnut and scarlet oak). Shoot growth began before root growth on all species except scarlet oak, which began root and shoot growth simultaneously. Fall root growth ceased for all species just after leaf drop. Implications for tree transplanting are discussed.

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Bingru Huang

Drought is a major factor limiting the growth of turfgrasses in many areas. The functional relationship of drought stress and accumulation of various ions in turfgrasses is not well understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of drought on root growth and accumulation of several major nutrients in three tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cultivars varying in drought tolerance (Falcon II = Houndog V > Rebel Jr). Grasses were grown in well-watered or drying (nonirrigated) soil for 35 days in a greenhouse. Drought conditions limited total root length to a greater extent for `Rebel Jr' than for `Falcon II' and `Houndog V', while specific root length (SRL) was greater in `Falcon II' and `Houndog V' than in `Rebel Jr'. Concentrations of N, P, and Mg decreased, whereas those of K, Ca, and Fe increased, in shoots of drought-stressed plants of all three cultivars. Root N was not affected, but root P decreased in `Rebel Jr', and root K decreased in all three cultivars under drought conditions. Drought reduced the proportions of N and P in shoots and increased those in roots, while increasing the proportion of K in shoots and decreasing that in roots. During drought stress, both `Falcon II' and `Houndog V' maintained higher K concentration in shoots, and `Falcon II' in roots, than did `Rebel Jr', but `Rebel Jr' and `Houndog V' had higher Fe concentration in shoots than did `Falcon II'. The higher K and lower Fe accumulations in shoots could contribute to better drought tolerance of tall fescue cultivars.

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Daniel J. Cantliffe

ABA and drought stress were evaluated on growth morphology and dry weight of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seedlings subjected to continuous watering (CV) or alternate watering (AW) subflotation irrigation. When ABA (10-4 m) was sprayed on to leaves 28, 32, or 37 days after seeding (DAS), leaf growth was limited relative to the controls. Root dry weight, basal root count, and diameter decreased in AW compared with CW-treated seedlings. ABA did not influence root growth of the transplants or subsequent total fruit yield. When ABA was applied to leaves at 20,23, or 29 DAS, there was a transient inhibition of leaf weight increase, but root growth was unaffected. Exogenous ABA may have a practical application as a substitute for drought stress to control transplant growth in the nursery. Chemical name used: abscisic acid (ABA).

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Transplants produced with overhead or subirrigation and plants from direct seeding using primed or nontreated `Jupiter' bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seeds were evaluated for growth and yield in the field for 3 years. Early in development, overhead-irrigated (01) transplants had more basal root elongation than subirrigated (SI) transplants; however, root growth differences caused by irrigation systems in the greenhouse were minimized during late ontogeny in the field. Basal, lateral, and taproot dry weights accounted for 81%, 15%, and 4% of the total for transplants and 25%, 57%, and 18% of the total for direct-seeded plants. Direct-seeded plants maintained a more-balanced root, stem, leaf, and fruit dry matter partitioning than transplants, which allocated more dry weight (per unit of root growth) to stems, leaves, and fruits. Over all seasons, transplants exhibited significantly higher and earlier yields than direct-seeded pepper plants, and total yields were similar between SI and OI transplants and between primed and nontreated seeds.

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B.P. Singh and U.M. Sainju

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Lambert B. McCarty, Landon C. Miller, and Daniel L. Colvin

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Edward F. Gilman and Michael E. Kane

Post-planting root development of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) on a well-drained site was compared with that on a site with a high water table. Container-grown red maple planted in 1985 were excavated in 1988 and cross-sectional root area (CSRA) calculated for roots >1 cm diameter, 5 cm beyond the edge of the original container rootball. Adventitious roots were generated in the field after planting, not in the container. Total adventitious CSRA was three times greater than CSRA of roots generated from the original container-produced root system. The number of adventitious roots (7.6) generated from the trunk and primary root after planting was greater than the number of roots originating from the existing root system (4.2). Adventitious root origin on both sites was within 5 cm of the soil surface, above the often circling, kinked, or twisted roots found within the container root ball. Four of the five largest roots were of adventitious origin. Root number, size, and growth rate were not modified by differences in cultural and environmental conditions between sites.

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Theodore C. Hsiao

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D.M. Glenn and W.V. Welker

Our objectives in this study were to measure the effects of low levels of root system carbon dioxide on peach tree growth (Prunus persica L. Batsch) and nutrient uptake. Using soil and hydroponic systems, we found that increased root CO2: 1) increased root growth without increasing shoot growth, 2) increased leaf P concentration, 3) decreased leaf N concentration, and 4) reduced water use relative to air injection or no treatment.