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  • Author or Editor: Orville M. Lindstrom x
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Three cultivars of evergreen azaleas, `Coral Bell', `Hinodegiri', and `Red Ruffle', were grown under four watering regimes in containers and placed outdoors or in the greenhouse. The water content of the growing medium was maintained at either 0.3 to 0.4 or 0.5 to 0.6 m3m-3 from June 16 to August 30, when half of the plants under each of these regime was switched to the other watering regime. Freeze tests were conducted on August 30 and October 9, 1993. Injury to leaves, lower, middle, and upper stems was evaluated visually. Acclimation of leaves and upper stems prior to the August test, in most cases, was not stimulated by reduced water content, while the response of lower and middle stems was cultivar and location specific. The lower water content treatment after August 30 generally increased freeze tolerance of all plant parts regardless of the previous watering regime. The higher water content treatment after August 30 either prevented or delayed acclimation.

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The effect of water stress imposed at three dates in late summer and early fall on cold hardiness was examined in Rhododendron L. `Coral Bell', `Hinodegiri', and `Red Ruffle'. The persistence of the water stress-induced cold hardiness was also examined following plant recovery from the stress. Container-grown plants were exposed to three weeks of reduced water supply starting 8 Aug., 29 Aug., or 19 Sept., while control plants were well watered. Cold hardiness of leaves, lower, middle, and upper stems was evaluated with laboratory freeze tests. Reduced water supply independent of time initiated increased cold hardiness by 1 to 4C in the majority of the tested plant parts in the three cultivars. Cold hardiness of all plant parts tested strongly depended on the current water status of the plants as indicated by the stem water potential. In most cases, 3 weeks after rewatering, the cold hardiness of previously water stressed plants did not differ from that of nonstressed plants.

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Water status is known to have an impact on cold hardiness of plants. Cold hardiness of `Catawbiense Boursault' rhododendron was examined under continuous and periodic water stress. Under continuous stress, water content of growing medium was maintained at 0.6 to 0.75, 0.45 to 0.6, or 0.3 to 0.45 m3·m-3. Under periodic stress, water content was either maintained between 0.6 to 0.8 m3·m-3 or plants were subjected to drought episodes at various times in late summer, autumn, and early winter. During a drought episode, watering was delayed until water content was below 0.4 m3·m-3. Watering then resumed and water content was maintained between 0.3 to 0.4 m3·m-3. Cold hardiness was evaluated on detached leaves and stem sections. The effect of continuous water stress depended on its severity and duration. Moderate stress did not increase cold hardiness compared to well watered plants during the first winter, but it did so when continued into the second winter. More severe stress increased cold hardiness during the first winter, but it decreased cold hardiness during the subsequent winter. The effect of periodic water stress depended on the timing of application. During initial and final stages of acclimation, cold hardiness increased in response to water stress less than during the intermediate stages. Water-stress-induced cold hardiness gradually decreased after rewatering.

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The primary cause of losses in evergreen azaleas injured by early freeze is bark split on lower stems. Delayed acclimation in the fall is thought to permit this injury. We examined whether reduced water supply affects acclimation of Rhododendron L. `Coral Bell', `Hinodegiri', and `Red Ruffle'. Containerized plants were grown under four watering regimes and placed outdoors or in the greenhouse. The water content of the growing medium was maintained at either 0.3 to 0.4 or 0.5 to 0.6 m3·m-3 from 16 June to 30 Aug. 1993, when half of the plants under each of these regimes was switched to the other watering regime. Freeze tests were conducted on 30 Aug. and 9 (let. Injury to leaves, and lower, middle, and upper stems was evaluated visually. Acclimation of leaves and upper stems before the August test, in most cases, was not stimulated by reduced water content, while the response of lower and middle stems was cultivar- and location-specific. The lower water content treatment after 30 Aug. generally increased freeze tolerance of all plant parts regardless of the previous watering regime. The higher water content treatment after 30 Aug. either prevented or delayed acclimation. This study demonstrated that the reduced water supply provided a feasible means of promoting acclimation of evergreen azaleas in late summer.

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Abstract

Timing and rate of acclimation and maximum low-temperature survival of eight woody taxa were determined over six sample dates from 25 Aug. 1987 to 25 Apr. 1988. Four cultivars of Acer rubrum L. (red maple) acclimated at different rates and attained different levels of midwinter cold hardiness. ‘Red Sunset’ (RS) and ‘October Glory’ (OG), northern selections, acclimated at faster rates and attained greater degrees of cold hardiness than ‘Journalism Psychology’ (JP) and ‘Upright Crown’ (UC) selected from southern seed sources. Maximum cold hardiness levels were −8C (JP), −23C (UC), −29C (RS), and −29C (OG). Amelanchier arborea (Michx. f.) Fern, (downy serviceberry) and Quercus coccinea Muenchh. (scarlet oak) developed midwinter hardiness of less than −29C and −20C, respectively. Illicium floridanum Ellis (Florida anise) and Illicium parviflorum Michx. (small anise) developed −26C and −20C midwinter hardiness, respectively. According to our data, woody taxa should be evaluated for timing and rates of acclimation and low-temperature tolerances, since performance will vary from one geographic area to another, depending on photoperiod, the timing of fall freezes, and midwinter temperatures.

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Temperature-response curves for photosynthesis and respiration are useful in predicting the ability of plants to perform under different environmental conditions. Whole crop CO2 exchange rates of three magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora L.) cultivars (`MGTIG', `Little Gem', and `Claudia Wannamaker') were measured over a 25 °C temperature range. Plants were exposed to cool temperatures (13 °C day, 3 °C night) temperatures before the measurements. Net photosynthesis (Pnet) of all three cultivars increased from 3 to 15 °C and decreased again at higher temperatures. `MGTIG' had the highest and `Little Gem' the lowest Pnet, irrespective of temperature. The Q10 (relative increase in the rate of a process with a 10 °C increase in temperature) for Pnet of all three cultivars decreased over the entire temperature range. `MGTIG' had the lowest Q10 at low temperatures (1.4 at 8 °C), while `Little Gem' had the lowest Q10 for Pnet at temperatures >17 °C and a negative Q10 > 23 °C. This indicates a rapid decline in Pnet of `Little Gem' at high temperatures. The decrease in Pnet of all three cultivars at temperatures >15 °C was caused mainly by an exponential increase in dark respiration (Rdark) with increasing temperature. `Little Gem' had a lower Rdark (per unit fresh mass) than `MGTIG' or `Claudia Wannamaker', but all three cultivars had a similar Q10 (2.46). Gross photosynthesis (Pgross) was less sensitive to temperature than Pnet and Rdark. The optimal temperature for Pgross of `MGTIG' was lower (19 °C) than those of `Little Gem' (21 °C) and `Claudia Wannamaker' (22 °C). The Q10 for Pgross decreased with increasing temperature, and was lower for `MGTIG' than for `Little Gem' and `Claudia Wannamaker'. All three cultivars had the same optimal temperature (11 °C) for net assimilation rate (NAR), and NAR was not very sensitive to temperature changes from 3 to 17 °C. This indicates that the plants were well-adapted to their environmental conditions. The results suggest that respiration rate may limit magnolia growth when temperatures get high in winter time.

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Seasonal, stem and leaf cold hardiness levels of male and female plants of Ilex purpurea Hassk. and Ilex rotunda var. microcarpa (Lindl. ex Paxton) were determined over two winter seasons. The samples for the cold hardiness studies were taken from established plants growing at the Univ. of Georgia Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens in Savannah. Each month, 40 stem cuttings (4 to 5 inches long) were sent by overnight mail for evaluation. The plants were prepared for laboratory freezing exposure tests within 2 h of receiving. The samples were visually evaluated after freezing exposure to estimate their cold hardiness. In general, Ilex purpurea was more cold-hardy than I. rotunda var. microcarpa over both seasons tested, except in midwinter (Jan. 1998 and Feb. 1999) where I. rotunda var. microcarpa was more cold-hardy than I. purpurea. Ilex purpurea attained cold hardiness earlier in the fall and lost its hardiness later in the spring. In general, few consistent differences were observed between the cold hardiness of male and female plants within species.

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A survey was conducted to investigate consumer preferences in a Christmas tree purchase. The survey asked about consumers' socioeconomic status, customer loyalty and on farm buying habits, specific tree preferences, and preferences of live versus artificial trees. Fifty-three percent of the 148 respondents were male and 61% were between the ages of 25-44. Thirty-three percent had 3 children, 50% were college graduates and 59X had a family income greater than $35,000. Sixty-eight percent purchased their tree at the same farm as they did the previous year, 62% traveled from 1-10 miles to the farm, 50% of trees were purchased by December 8, and 70% of the purchases were during the afternoon. The most common tree selected was a 6-7 ft. Virginia Pine and selection time ranged from 5-30 minutes. Compared to an artificial tree, respondents cited messiness, difficulty to carry and trouble to remove as major drawbacks of choose-and-cut Christmas trees. This was particularly evident in female and elderly respondents.

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The time-domain reflectometry (TDR) method of measuring water content has been applied to mineral soils but not to organic growing media. We investigated the applicability of TDR for measuring the water content of organic media in containers. TDR calibration was conducted for sand, peat, composted pine bark, sand and peat mix, sand and bark mix, and a commercial growing medium (Metro Mix 300). Regression analysis of volumetric water content was conducted with the ratio of apparent: physical length of the probe (La: L) as an independent variable. The calibration curve for Metro Mix 300 was compared to curves generated for a range of soils by other investigators. Additionally, water-content and La: L changes were monitored in Metro Mix 300 for 10 months and were compared to predicted values from the calibration curve. Organic media had a higher water content than sand for the same La: L value. Equations developed by previous authors generally underestimated water content when compared with the calibration curve for Metro Mix 300. We attribute this difference to a large fraction of highly decomposed organic matter or vermiculite and, thus, to the presence of more bound water. Specific calibration of TDR may be required to determine the absolute water content of organic growing media.

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Hardened and nonhardened whole plants of three potato species, Solanum tuberosum L., S. acaule Bitt., and S. commersonii Dun., and one interspecific cross, `Alaska Frostless' (S. tuberosum x S. acaule) were placed in a low-temperature chamber capable of maintaining -4 ± 0.5C for 6 or 12 hours. The chamber was designed to control the root temperature independently from the rest of the plant. Cold acclimation did not affect the ability of any of the potatoes tested to undercool (supercool). Solanum tuberosum and `Alaska Frostless' did not undercool for the times and temperatures tested and in all cases were killed. Whole plants of S. acaule and S. commersonii undercooled, in some cases, for up to 12 hours. When plants of S. acaule froze, they were severely injured, although their hardiness levels were reported to be lower than the temperature to which they were exposed in this study. Whenever leaves and stems of S. commersonii were frozen they were not injured. Once the soil was allowed to freeze, all plants, in all cases, were frozen.

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