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William H. Olson

Six years of previous research in a 12-year-old English walnut orchard, with a history of potassium deficiency, created a large number of trees with different potassium status. This provided the opportunity to study the long-term effects different potassium status has on English walnut trees growth, productivity, and nut quality. Walnut trees with a history of potassium deficiency, adequacy or luxury continued in this mode during this evaluation. Positive correlations existed between July leaf potassium levels and tree trunk sectional area (TCSA), visual potassium status, percent husk potassium, yield per tree, and tree yield per TCSA. These positive correlations suggest July leaf potassium levels of 1.4% to 1.5% as being adequate. This is higher than the 1.2% leaf potassium level currently recommended as being adequate for a July sample. Poor or no correlations existed between July leaf potassium levels and percent shell potassium, shell weight, shell breaking force, percent broken shell, nut size, nut weight, percent kernel potassium, percent light-colored kernels, percent edible kernel, percent kernel yield, or percent shriveled kernel. Trees with leaf potassium levels at or above 1.5% July leaf potassium produced 80 pounds per tree more yield than trees with leaf potassium levels at or below 1.0% July leaf potassium levels. These data indicate that good tree potassium status influences tree size and tree productivity. Also the walnut husk is an important sink for the accumulation of potassium. Currently recommended adequate potassium levels for walnut appear to be lower than what this study indicates.

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Terence L. Robinson

In 1986, an orchard systems trial was planted with `Empire' and `Jonagold' on M.26 rootstock to compare the performance of the Y-trellis training system at a range of spacings and rectangularities. There were four in-row spacings ranging from 90 cm to 3.66 m and four between-row spacings ranging from 3 to 6 m, giving tree densities from 472 trees/ha up to 3588 trees/acre. Rectangularities ranged from 0.83 to 6.67. In several cases, different spacings gave the same tree density, but with different rectangularity. Trees were trained to a Y-shaped trellis with a 60° angle. Scaffold branches were trained to the wires on each side of the Y in a fan-shaped arrangement. At the closest in-row spacing only two scaffolds were allowed per tree, while at the widest in-row spacing up to 12 scaffolds were allowed per tree. At the end of 11 years, tree weight and cumulative yield per tree were negatively correlated to tree density, while light interception and cumulative yield per hectare were positively correlated to tree density. However, the relationship was weakened by differing results with different rectangularities at the same spacing. As rectangularity increased at a given density, tree size, yield, and light interception were reduced. However, at the lower densities, trees failed to completely fill the trellis when rectangularity was low, thus limiting yield per hectare. Fruit red color was reduced at the highest densities and increased with increasing rectangularity.

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J.R. Schupp and S.I. Koller

The growth, productivity, and fruit characteristics of four summer-ripening disease-resistant apple cultivars, (DRCs), `NY 66305-139', `Williams' Pride', `Redfree', and `Dayton' on M.26 EMLA, M.27 EMLA, or Mark rootstocks were compared. `NY 66305-139' was the earliest-ripening cultivar, with the smallest tree size, lowest yield, and the smallest, softest fruit. `Williams' Pride' trees were large, productive, and produced large fruit with the highest red skin color in this trial. The loss of marketable yield of this cultivar, due to moldy core and bitter pit in 1996, raise concerns about its commercial potential. `Redfree' trees were intermediate among the four cultivars in vigor and precocity, and produced high yields of medium-sized fruit. `Dayton' trees were large, high-yielding, and produced the largest, firmest, sweetest fruit; however, the ripening date for `Dayton' was 10 Sept., late for a summer cultivar. Mark and M.26 EMLA produced similarsized trees, while M.27 EMLA produced very small trees. A significant cultivar × rootstock interaction resulted from `Dayton' trees being larger than `Williams' Pride' when both were on M.26, while both cultivars produced similar-sized trees on M.27 or Mark. Of the four cultivars in this trial, we consider `Redfree' to be the best summer DRC for commercial orchards, based upon ripening date, yield, and fruit quality. Mark rootstock was preferable to M.26 or M.27 for the cultivars in this trial, with the best tree growth and precocity.

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Thomas Tworkoski

Peach [(Prunus persica (L.) Batsch., `Rutgers Redleaf'] trees were grown for two seasons in a greenhouse with three pruning treatments (none, shoot tips removed, and half the shoots removed) and three grass treatments (no grass competition; perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne L., `Linn'; and tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea Schreb, `Kentucky 31'). Competing grass reduced shoot growth, leaf area, and weight of fine roots in shallow soil, but did not affect the growth response to pruning. Regrowth from pruned trees was such that the shoot: root ratio was restored to that of unpruned trees. Leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, and photosynthesis had decreased markedly by 48 hours after irrigation ceased in trees without competition (larger trees) and to a similar level by 96 hours in trees with competition (smaller trees). Apparently, the reduced leaf area of peach trees grown with grass competition delayed water stress. Leaf abscisic acid levels were not directly affected by grass competition but increased as leaf water potential decreased. Grass competition modified morphology and reduced tree size, but did not affect shoot growth following pruning.

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Lailiang Cheng, Sunghee Guak, Shufu Dong, and Leslie H. Fuchigami

Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 plants were fertigated with seven nitrogen concentrations (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mM) by using a modified Hoagland solution from 30 June to 1 Sept. In mid-October, half of the fertigated trees were sprayed with 3% urea twice at weekly intervals, while the other half were left as controls. The plants were harvested after natural leaf fall, stored at 2 °C, and then destructively sampled in January for reserve N and carbohydrate analysis. As N concentration used in fertigation increased, whole-plant reserve N content increased progressively with a corresponding decrease in reserve carbohydrate concentration. Foliar urea application increased whole-plant N content and decreased reserve carbohydrate concentration. The effect of foliar urea on whole-plant reserve N content and carbohydrate concentration was dependent on the N status of the plant, with low-N plants being more responsive than high-N plants. There was a linear relationship between the increase in N content and decrease in carbohydrate concentration caused by foliar urea, suggesting that part of the reserve carbohydrates was used to assimilate N from foliar urea. Regardless of the difference in tree size caused by N fertigation, the increase in the total amount of reserve N by foliar urea application was the same on a whole-tree basis, indicating that plants with low-N background were more effective in using N from urea spray than plants with high-N background.

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Richard H. Zimmerman

Micropropagated trees of `Redspur Delicious' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.), planted as small, actively growing trees in May 1982, lacked uniformity in tree size, appearance, and flowering by the spring of 1986. Only four of the 18 trees had a typical spur-type growth habit; these four trees had 80% more spurs per meter of shoot, 8 to 10 times as many flowers the first year of flowering and 9.5-fold higher early fruit yields, but were 40% smaller after 14 years in the orchard and had 25% less cumulative fruit yield than the nonspur types. Shoots from the spur-type trees were recultured in 1988 and the resulting trees planted in an orchard in 1990. These latter trees were uniform in appearance and all had typical spur-type growth, with about 30% more spurs per meter of shoot growth than the spur-type trees from which they were propagated. Micropropagating spur-type apples from previously micropropagated trees that have maintained clonal fidelity may overcome the potential problem of clonal variation in orchard planted micropropagated trees.

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T.E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke

Precocity of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] seedlings (year of first fruit production) was studied in relation to original seed measurements (nut weight, buoyancy, volume, and density) and in relation to growth index (GI) measurements of seedling trees for 4 years. A total of 2,071 pecan seedlings, representing nine controlled-cross families, were studied. Original seed measurements were not related to precocity of resultant seedling trees; but seed weight, buoyancy, and volume were significantly correlated with seedling growth rates. Nut density was negatively related to growth of seedlings. These relationships show the importance of original seed measurements and seed parentage in determining seedling growth, and have direct relevance in pecan nursery operations to increase general rootstock seedling vigor. Seedling growth rate was significantly correlated to precocity levels, with measurements taken in the later years of the study showing the highest correlations with precocity. This strong growth-precocity relationship may have negative genetic implications since a common breeding objective is to produce more precocious cultivars that maintain smaller tree size in mature orchards.

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Antonio Weibel, R. Scott Johnson, and Theodore M. DeJong

Vegetative growth of two peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) cultivars Flavorcrest and Loadel growing on six different rootstocks (`Nemaguard', `Hiawatha', K-146-43, K-146-44, P-30-135, and K-119-50) was analyzed during the third season of growth in an experimental orchard at the University of California Kearney Agricultural Center near Parlier, California. Seasonal trunk cross-sectional area, shoot and internode growth, diurnal stem extension growth rate and summer and dormant pruning weights were measured to determine extent of size-control imparted by the experimental rootstocks compared to the trees on the `Nemaguard' control and to characterize the nature of the sizecontrolling response. Trunk cross-sectional area growth of trees on the two smallest rootstocks (K-146-43 and K-146-44) was only 25% to 37% of the growth of trees on `Nemaguard', while trees on the other three rootstocks provided an intermediate level of size control. Generally, the seasonal patterns of shoot growth did not vary substantially among trees on the different rootstocks, but average shoot and internode lengths did correspond with tree size. Vigorous watersprout growth was decreased by more than 80% in the trees on the least vigorous rootstocks compared to trees on `Nemaguard' resulting in major reductions in the extent of summer and winter pruning weights. Variations in vegetative shoot growth appeared to correspond to variations in daily shoot extension growth rates but more research is needed to explore these relationships.

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Carlos Miranda Jiménez and J. Bernardo Royo Díaz

Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, Peach Group] tree productivity is improved if trees are thinned early, either in full bloom or when the fruit is recently set. Chemical thinning reduces the high cost of manual thinning and distributes the fruit irregularly on the shoots. The effect is similar to a late spring frost that mostly affects early flower buds on the tip of the shoot. To simulate frost damage (or chemical thinning) and evaluate the effect of fruit distribution on production, fruit growth of several peach cultivars—'Catherine', `Baby Gold 6', `Baby Gold 7', `O'Henry', `Sudanell' and `Miraflores'—and the nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, Nectarine Group] `Queen Giant' was studied in the central Ebro Valley (Spain) in 1999 and 2000. The factors investigated were the intensity of thinning and fruit distribution on the shoot (concentrated in the basal area or uniformly placed). The treatments were performed at 30 days after full bloom in 1999 and at bloom in 2000. For `Baby Gold 6' and `Miraflores' and when fruit load was high after thinning (over four fruit per shoot), a high concentration of fruit on the basal portion of the shoot had a negative influence on final yield and fruit size. The intensity of thinning (or simulated frost) greatly affected fruit diameter but was also strongly related to cultivar, tree size, and length of shoots. Thus, relationships between thinning intensity and fruit diameter varied, even among trees of the same cultivar.

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M.L. Arpaia, G.S. Bender, and G.W. Witney

A project evaluating the performance of cv. Hass on eight clonal avocado rootstocks—G755A, G755B, G755C, Duke 7 (D7), Borchard (BR), D9, Toro Canyon, and Topa Topa was established in southern California in 1986. Two additional rootstocks, Thomas and G1033, were added in 1987. Of the trees planted in 1986, the BR and D7 rootstocks have consistently had the highest total yields for all rootstocks, whereas the three G755 selections have had the lowest productivity. No differences in productivity between the two rootstocks planted in 1987 have been detected. The influence of rootstock on the magnitude of alternate bearing will be discussed, although the oscillation in yield is greater for the higher-yielding rootstocks. Tree size has been measured throughout the study. The BR selection has consistently produced a larger tree, even though it has continued to have high productivity. There are no consistent differences between the other rootstocks. Yield efficiency, measured as the kg fruit/m3 of canopy volume has been calculated. In selections that are prone to severe alternate bearing, the swing in yield efficiency is also the greatest. The data thus far suggests that a yield efficiency of ≈2.5 kg fruit/m3 canopy volume is the maximum yield possible for California `Hass' avocado.