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Dwight Wolfe and Gerald Brown

The maturity indices of percent fruit drop, percent soluble solids, and flesh firmness of apples from trees with `Starkspur Supreme' scions on nine rootstocks were compared over the five-year period 1985-1989. The nine rootstocks included EMLA 7, EMLA 9, EMLA 26, EMLA 27, Mark, MAC 24, Ottawa 3, OAR 1, and M9.

The five-year averages of each of the maturity indices varied significantly among the nine stions. The average percent fruit drop was more strongly correlated with trunk cross-sectional area (r=0.572) than it was with cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.346). Flesh firmness was significantly correlated with cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.398) but not with either trunk cross-sectional area or cumulative yield. The average percent soluble solids was more significantly correlated with trunk cross-sectional area (r=0.770) than it was with either cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.383) or cumulative yield (r=0.637). It is suggested that tree size may be used as an indicator for predicting maturity in cases where little or no information is available on the effects of that particular rootstock on maturity.

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Robert D. Bourne and Curt Rom

Several trials were conducted to compare standard and potential peach rootstocks. The NC-140 trial, with 'Redhaven' as the scion, included 'Halford', 'Siberian-C', 'Bailey', 'GF-677', 'GF-655.2', 'Damas', 'Citation', 'Lovell' and 'GF-43' rootstocks. All trees with 'Citation' as the rootstock died in the first three years. while 'CF-43' and 'Siberian-C' had low survivability and productivity. 'Damas' and 'GF-43' suckered profusely. 'Lovell' trees bloomed an average of one-to-three days later than all other entries. 'Halford'. 'GF-677', 'Bailey' and 'Lovell' had the highest yields. A trial comparing 'Loring' own-root and on 'Tennessee Natural' resulted in similar yields among stocks, but larger fruit and tree size with the own-root trees. 'Redskin' own-root and on 'Lovell' also resulted in similar yields among stocks, and larger tree and fruit size with own-root trees. A trial using the processing peach selection A-219 as the scion on `S-37' 'Chum Li Tao', AR-78118, 'Yarbrough Cling' and 'Lovell' resulted in highest yields and yield efficiency with 'Yarbrough Cling', 'Lovell' and 'S-37' rootstocks.

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Fenton E. Larsen and Stewart S. Higgins

Tree size, cumulative yield, yield efficiency and anchorage of 6 micropropagated (MP) apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars were determined in 1991 after 5 years of production, as compared with trees on seedling (sdlg) or M 7a roots. Trees were planted in 1984, with crops harvested from 1987 through 1991. Trees were generally smallest (trunk cross-sectional area) on M 7a and were largest with 4 cultivars (`Delicious', `Jonathan', `Rome', `Spartan') when micropropagated. `Golden Delicious' (GD) was largest on sdlg. Cumulative yield was affected by a scion × rootstock interaction, with few trends in scion or rootstock effects. Mean cumulative yield was 84 kg tree-1, 71 and 58 for M 7a, MP and sdlg, respectively. Yield efficiency was also affected by a scion × rootstock interaction. In 1991, mean yield efficiency was 0.5 kg cm-2 for sdlg and MP trees, but was 1.05 for M 7a. Efficiency on M 7a was superior to other rootstocks with all scions except `GD', while sdlg and MP trees were statistically similar with all scions. All trees leaned in response to prevailing westerly winds, with trees on sdlg tending to be more upright than MP or M 7a trees.

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J.P. Syvertsen, M.L. Smith, and B.J. Boman

Effects of salinized irrigation water on tree canopy and root growth, water use, foliar nutrition, and leaching losses below the rootzone were studied during a 2-year period using single tree lysimeters. Eighteen 6-year-old `Valencia' orange trees on either Carrizo citrange (CC) rootstock or sour orange (SO) rootstock were each transplanted into 7.8 m3 drainage lysimeters and irrigated with water having an electrical conductivity of 0.3, 1.6, or 2.5 dS m-1 from a 3:1 ratio of NaCl:CaCl2. Six additional trees (3 on each rootstock) were transplanted into soil without tanks. Trees outside the tanks were smaller, but nutritionally similar to the low salinity trees in lysimeters. Trees on CC were larger, had greater root densities, and were associated with less leaching of ions and nutrients into drainage water from the tanks than trees on SO. High salinity irrigation water reduced canopy growth and ET, but increased fibrous root dry weight. Trees on CC accumulated more Cl in leaves and in fruit juice than those on SO. Leaching loss of total N varied from 2-8% of that annually applied to trees, but up to 70% of the applied N and up to 80% of the applied K were leached from the blank tank with no tree. Salinized trees lost more N and K to drainage water, especially those on SO. Tree size, root density, and irrigation water quality can influence leaching losses beyond the rootzone.

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M.A. Moreno, M.C. Tabuenca, and R. Cambra

Field performance of several peach × almond hybrid [Prunus amygdalo-persica (West) Redh.] rootstocks grafted with different peach cultivars [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were tested for 11 to 12 years in three experiments. `Loadel' scions were grafted on Adafuel, Adarcias, Albatarrech, Calanda, and GF 677 hybrids. `Catherina' and `Flavortop' scions were grafted on Adafuel, Adarcias, and GF 677 hybrids. Adafuel was the most invigorating rootstock for `Loadel', after the 12 years of scion growth, but Adarcias also promoted higher scion productivity than other peach × almond hybrid rootstocks. Although there were no differences in `Catherina' productivity when grafted on different rootstocks, this cultivar and `Flavortop' grafted on Adarcias showed the least vigor. `Flavortop' on Adafuel had more vigor than on the other rootstocks. According to our results, Adafuel (a vigorous rootstock) seems to be suitable for peach production in low nutrient and calcareous soils unfavorable for peach seedling rootstocks. Adarcias seems promising as a peach rootstock for avoiding excessive scion growth, and it may be useful where tree size needs to be controlled.

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J. Angel Saavedra, Elden J. Stang, and Jiwan P. Palta

Uniconazole (UCZ) can control tree size by suppressing tree growth. Growth control of one year-old `Haralred' on MAC 9 `MARK' (dwarf) and EMLA 7 (semidwarf) rootstock was evaluated in the greenhouse. Uniconazole (65 or 130 mg/L) was sprayed 0, 1, 2 or 3 times at 3 week intervals. Total shoot growth was inhibited 31% and 24% on `MARK' and EMLA 7 rootstock, respectively, with 130 mg/L. Rootstock and scion diameter and number of leaves per tree were not affected by UCZ. Total leaf area on `MARK' rootstock increased when UCZ was applied once at 65 or 130 mg/L. On EMLA 7 two 130 mg/L sprays resulted in 22% less total leaf area compared to the control. UCZ applied three times reduced specific leaf weight on EMLA 7 trees 12% compared to the control. Branch angle was increased proportional to UCZ applications on semidwarf rootstock from 40° to 47°, and decreased on dwarf rootstock from 47° to 39°. Stomatal conductance increased 43% on `MARK' with 130 mg/L UCZ applied two times. Net photosynthesis of attached leaves did not differ. All UCZ treatments produced 18 to 56% fewer total flower clusters per tree than the control. UCZ appeared to delay bloom significantly.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, W. Michael Colt, Bahar Fallahi, and Ik-Jo Chun

Tree fruit rootstocks are used to influence precocity, tree size, fruit quality, yield efficiency, mineral uptake, and to withstand adverse environmental conditions. In this paper, we will briefly discuss the history and literature of apple (Malus domestica) rootstocks and their effects on scion tree growth, yield, fruit quality, leaf mineral nutrition, and photosynthesis. Then, the results of our long-term study on the effects of rootstocks on tree growth, yield, fruit quality and leaf mineral nutrition, and one season of photosynthesis measurement in `BC-2 Fuji' will be presented and discussed. In this study, `Fuji' trees on `Malling 9 NAKBAT337' (M.9) rootstock had the smallest trunk cross-sectional area (TCA), highest yield efficiency, and were the most precocious followed by those on `East Malling-Long Ashton 26' (M.26 EMLA) and `East Malling-Long Ashton 7' (M.7 EMLA). Trees on M.7 EMLA often had larger fruit with less color than those on M.9 and M.26 EMLA. Trees on M.7 EMLA frequently had greater leaf K than those on other rootstocks. Trees on M.26 EMLA always had greater leaf Mg than those on other rootstocks. Leaves from the current terminal shoots (CTS) of trees on M.9 had higher net photosynthesis and transpiration than those on M.7 EMLA rootstock during 1998 growing season.

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David R. Bryla, Elizabeth Dickson, Robert Shenk, R. Scott Johnson, Carlos H. Crisosto, and Thomas J. Trout

A 3-year study was done to determine the effects of furrow, microspray, surface drip, and subsurface drip irrigation on production and fruit quality in mature `Crimson Lady' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees. Furrow and microspray irrigations were scheduled weekly or biweekly, which is common practice in central California, while surface and subsurface drip irrigations were scheduled daily. Trees were maintained at similar water potentials following irrigation by adjusting water applications as needed. Tree size and fruit number were normalized among treatments by pruning and thinning each season. Surface and subsurface drip produced the largest fruit on average and the highest marketable yields among treatments. Drip benefits appeared most related to the ability to apply frequent irrigations. Whether water was applied above or below ground, daily irrigations by drip maintained higher soil water content within the root zone and prevented cycles of water stress found between less-frequent furrow and microspray irrigations. With furrow and microsprays, midday tree water potentials reached as low as –1.4 MPa between weekly irrigations and –1.8 MPa between biweekly irrigations, which likely accounted for smaller fruit and lower yields in these treatments. To reduce water stress, more frequent irrigation is probably impractical with furrow systems but is recommended when irrigating during peak water demands by microspray.

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Terence Robinson

Field thinning studies were conducted in two orchards at Geneva and Milton, N.Y., over 3 years (2003–05) using mature Gala/M.9 trees. A range of final croploads was achieved with various chemical thinning treatments, including, benzyladenine combined with carbaryl, or napthaleneacetic acid combined with carbaryl. The most-aggressive thinning treatments in the year with high rainfall achieved an average fruit size of 190–200 g; however, the yield was reduced considerably, resulting in a reduced farm gate crop value compared to less-aggressive thinning. In a dry year, the fruit sizes were smaller even with aggressive thinning. The optimum yield for maximum crop value varied for each orchard block for each year. The optimum croploads varied less than the optimum yield, since cropload normalizes the tree size between blocks. Optimum fruit size to maximize crop value varied narrowly between 155–170 g (113–100 count size) across blocks and years. This was true despite a substantial price difference between large, 80-count fruits and the moderate-size 113-count fruits. If lower prices received for processed apples were used in the analysis, then the optimum yield was significantly higher than with fresh fruit prices. In New York State, it appears that achieving 80-count fruit requires too large of a reduction in yield, which causes a reduction in crop value.

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Wesley R. Autio

`Summerland Red McIntosh' apple trees propagated on M.9/A.2,O.3, M.7 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.7A. OAR1, or Mark rootstocks were planted in 1985 in a randomized complete block design with seven replications. Fruit ripening and quality were assessed in 1988-93. Internal ethylene concentrations were measured weekly throughout each harvest season. Once each season, fruit weight, starch-index value, soluble solids concentration, flesh firmness, and surface ted color were assessed on a sample of fruit from each tree. Size was smallest for fruit from trees on OAR1 or Mark, after accounting for the effects of crop load with analysis of covariance. Surface ted color was greatest for fruit from trees on Mark and least for fruit from trees on M.7 EMLA. Ripening was variable, but generally, fruit from trees on 0.3 ripened first, and fruit from trees on M.7 EMLA or M.7A ripened last. Crop load impacted ripening, but its effects were removed with analysis of covariance.