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  • Author or Editor: Roger Kjelgren x
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Gas exchange and growth of transplanted and non-transplanted Acer platanoides `Schwedleri' and Tilia cordata `Greenspire' trees were investigated. This study was conducted on trees planted in 1991 in a field nursery near Logan, Utah. In Spring 1995, three trees of each species were moved with a tree spade to a new location within the nursery and three non-transplanted trees were selected as controls. To simulate landscape conditions, all trees were watered at the time of planting and once per week during the growing season. Pre-dawn water potential, dawn-to-dusk stomatal conductance, mid-day photosynthesis, and growth data were collected over a 2-year period. Transplanted trees of each species were under more water stress (indicated by more negative pre-dawn water potential) than non-transplanted trees. However, pre-dawn water potential of transplanted A. platanoides recovered to near non-transplanted levels, while transplanted T. cordata did not. Dawn-to-dusk studies in 1995 and 1996 showed that stomatal conductance was lower throughout the day in transplanted trees. Once again, transplanted A. platanoides recovered to near non-transplanted levels, while transplanted T. cordata did not. A similar trend for mid-day photosynthesis was found for both species in 1995 and 1996. Transplanted trees of each species had less stem area increase, shoot elongation, and total leaf area than non-transplanted trees for each year. These data indicate that transplanted A. platanoides can recover to near non-transplant pre-dawn water potential and gas exchange levels earlier, and therefore establish faster, than transplanted T. cordata. However, after 2 years neither transplanted tree species were able to fully recover to non-transplanted growth rates.

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We investigated microclimate, gas exchange, and growth of field-grown Norway maple (Acer platanoides) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) trees in brown, white, or no treeshelters. Microclimate, tree growth, and gas exchange measurements were taken summer and winter. Treeshelter microclimate was greenhouse-like compared to ambient conditions, as short-wave radiation (S↓) was lower, and midday air temperature and relative humidity were higher. In both species, this resulted in less trunk growth and greater specific leaf area, which are growth responses characteristic of shade acclimation. Treeshelter microclimate did, however, substantially increase shoot elongation and stomatal conductance, but did not increase photosynthesis when compared to trees grown without shelters. White shelters allowed 25% more penetration of S↓ than brown shelters, but tree growth and climatic variables did not differ with treeshelter color. Stomatal conductance, however, was higher for trees in white shelters. Treeshelters also appeared to have a negative effect on plant hardiness. New shoot growth in shelters was more winter-damaged, particularly in maple, than nonsheltered trees. This may be related to winter bark (Tb) and air temperature (Ta). Winter midday Tb on trees grown in shelters was up to 15C higher than Tb on trees outside shelters, while midday Ta inside treeshelters was up to 20C higher than Ta outside treeshelters.

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The effect of root pruning on shoot length and water relations of `Bellaire' peach was investigated as a means of controlling vegetative growth. On 27 April, 25 May, and 23 June, 1990, five-year-old trees were root pruned to a 0.35 m depth at either 0.4 or 0.8 m from the tree trunks along both sides of the row. Shoot growth was measured biweekly through the growing season, and the diurnal pattern of stomatal conductance and water potential was followed in late June, July, and August. Stomatal conductance of the root-pruned treatments was less than the control, while there were no differences in water potential among treatments. Reduced shoot elongation was evident within a month of root pruning at 0.4 m for all timing treatments, but at 0.8 m it varied with the date of pruning. The first root pruning at 0.4 m reduced cumulative shoot elongation 39% compared to the un-pruned control trees, while the remaining treatments reduced it 14%. While root pruning limited cumulative shoot elongation in all treatments, the earliest 0.4 m treatment was most effective, possibly due to pruning of a larger percent of the root system prior to rapid shoot elongation. Stomatal closure in root-pruned trees appeared to moderate diurnal water deficits at levels similar to the control.

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We investigated the microclimate, gas exchange, and growth of field-grown Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh) trees nonsheltered, and in brown and white shelters. Shelter microclimate—air temperature (Ta), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and radiation—and tree leaf area, growth in diameter, stomatal conductance (gs), and photosynthesis were measured during the first growing season after bare-root transplanting. Bark temperatures in midwinter were also measured. Treeshelter microclimate was greenhouse-like compared to ambient conditions, as shortwave radiation was lower, and midday Ta and relative humidity were higher. Although trees in shelters had greater shoot elongation and higher gs than trees grown without shelters, photosynthesis was not different. White shelters allowed 25% more shortwave radiation penetration and increased Ta by 2 to 4 °C and VPD by 0.5-1 kPa over brown shelters. However, tree growth and gas exchange generally were not affected by shelter color. Winter injury was increased for trees in shelters and varied with species and shelter color. Both species exhibited shoot dieback in shelters the spring following a winter where bark temperatures varied 40 to 50 °C diurnally. More new growth died on maple, particularly in white shelters where several trees were killed. These data suggest that supraoptimal summer and winter temperatures may reduce vigor and interfere with cold tolerance of some species grown in shelters.

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Low water landscapes are increasing popular and important in the urban areas of the Intermountain West (IMW). Perennial wildflowers are an essential part of low water landscapes, and are a dominant plant type in IMW native habitats. We compared pot-in-pot (PIP) vs. conventional above-ground (CAG) production of six IMW native wildflower species, Mirabilismultiflora, Aquilegia caerulea, Penstemon palmeri, Polemonium foliosissimum, Sphaeralcea grossularifolia, and Penstemonstrictus in #1 (4-L) containers. Media temperature, container-plant water loss, stomatal conductance, and growth were measured during two production cycles per year over 2 years. Growing medium temperatures in the PIP system averaged 10 °C cooler than in the CAG system. Consistent with cooler growing media, overall water loss of PIP-grown plants averaged 10% lower than plants grown in the CAG production system. Lower growing media temperatures apparently affected transpiration, as stomatal conductance was about 60% higher in the PIP system as compared to the CAG-grown plants. The integrated effect of lower growing media temperatures on plant performance resulted in about one-third greater top and root growth for plants growing in the PIP system compared to those in the CAG system. Pot-in-pot production may be an economically suitable nursery system for producing IMW native perennial wildflowers by reducing water loss and enhancing growth.

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Urban trees are a critical quality of life element in rapidly growing cities in tropical climates. Tropical trees are found in a wide variety of habitats governed largely by the presence and duration of monsoonal dry periods. Tropical cities can serve as a proxy for climate change impacts of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2), urban heat island, and drought-prone root zones on successful urban trees. Understanding the native habitats of species successful as tropical urban trees can yield insights into the potential climate impact on those habitats. Species from equatorial and montane wet forests where drought stress is not a limiting factor are not used as urban trees in cities with monsoonal dry climates such as Bangkok and Bangalore. Absence of trees from a wet habitat in tropical cities in monsoonal climates is consistent with model and empirical studies suggesting wet evergreen species are vulnerable to projected climates changes such as lower rainfall and increased temperatures. However, monsoonal dry forest species appear to have wider environmental tolerances and are successful urban trees in cities with equatorial wet climates such as Singapore as well as cities with monsoonal climates such as Bangkok and Bangalore. In cities with monsoonal dry climates, deciduous tree species are more common than dry evergreen species. Although dry deciduous species generally have better floral displays, their prevalence may in part be the result of greater tolerance of urban heat islands and drought in cities; this would be consistent with modeled habitat gains at the expense of dry evergreen species in native forest stands under projected higher temperatures from climate change. Ecological models may also point to selection of more heat- and drought-tolerant species for tropical cities under projected climate change.

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Broad concerns over water shortages and drought where irrigated urban landscapes are common in high desert regions have focused attention on drought tolerance of turfgrass species. We investigated the physiological responses of kentucky bluegrass (KBG) and tall fescue (TF) under a prolonged drought under high desert conditions. The experimental design was a split plot with three replicates. Two irrigation treatments as a whole plot—well-watered and no water—were applied to subplots of ‘Midnight’ KBG and ‘Gazelle’ TF. Stomatal conductance (g S), canopy temperature, and predawn leaf water potential were measured over two seasons. KBG g S and leaf water potential decreased faster and to a greater extent than TF in response to soil drying, and KBG was in complete dormancy and brown within 5 weeks after cessation of irrigation. By contrast, TF maintained a green canopy throughout the drought periods. In the no-water plots, TF appeared to consume water from the deepest measured soil profiles (80- to 100-cm depth), whereas KBG used most of the water in the 50- to 60-cm depths. When watered for recovery in late summer, KBG plots were mostly green within 3 weeks after rewatering. The surface temperature of the well-watered plots was 6–13 °C cooler than the no-water plots and TF showed 5–7 °C lower temperature than KBG in no-water plots. TF is suitable for deep soil, exploiting a larger volume of water to avoid drought, whereas KBG's rapid drought avoidance would likely perform better in shallow landscape soils under drought.

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Nursery crops have traditionally been grown in the field and harvested as balled and burlapped or bareroot plants or grown in above-ground containers. A relatively recent product, the in-ground fabric container, has allowed producers to combine advantages of field production with those of container production. The effect of these containers on plant growth, transplant establishment, plant chemical composition, and water relations appears to be species and site specific.

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The authors investigated salinity tolerance of four intermountain western United States native (Penstemon palmeri, Mirabilis multiflora, Geranium viscosissimum, and Eriogonum jamesii) and four common (Echinacea purpurea, Lavandula angustifolia, Leucanthemum ×superbum ‘Alaska’, and ×Penstemon mexicali ‘Red Rocks’) ornamental herbaceous perennials. Each was irrigated with a solution containing 2 CaCl2 : 1 NaCl (m ratio) at salinity levels of 0 (control), 1000, 3000, and 5000 mg·L−1 during two 8-week experiments. They measured weekly visual quality and gas exchange and final shoot and root dry weights. Mirabilis multiflora, L. ×superbum, and L. angustifolia maintained high visual quality and 100% survival across salinity levels. However, dry weights for L. ×superbum decreased at salt levels ≥ 3000 mg·L−1 in both experiments and for L. angustifolia in one experiment. Mortality rates of 12% to 100% were observed for the remaining five species irrigated with 3000 and 5000-mg·L−1 solutions. Visual quality of P. palmeri, G. viscosissimum, and E. purpurea varied with time of year the experiment was conducted, with low visual quality associated with high temperatures and light intensities, whereas dry matter and gas exchange responses to salinity were similar between the two experiments. Penstemon ×mexicali and E. jamesii exhibited high mortality, low visual quality, and low gas exchange in the case of E. jamesii at high salinity treatments regardless of when experiments were conducted. Based on visual quality responses, M. multiflora, L. ×superbum, and L. angustifolia are relatively more salt tolerant, and P. ×mexicali and E. jamesii are relatively more intolerant, than the three other species. Penstemon palmeri, G. viscosissimum, and E. purpurea exhibited intermediate tolerance to salinity with acceptable quality during periods of cool temperatures and lower light intensities.

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Bigtoothmaple(Acer grandidentatum Nutt.) is of interest for its fall color and potential use in water-conserving landscapes. Clonal propagation of desirable selections would be beneficial. Since bigtooth maple commonly self-propagates by layering, we explored mound layering as a means of vegetative propagation. A stool bed was established in 1999 with seedlings grown from northern Utah seed. Beginning in 2001, seedlings were dormant pruned to their base and shoots allowed to grow until early July, when treatments were applied. At the time of treatment application for the reported experiments, shoot bases were girdled with 24-gauge copper wire, covered with conifer wood shavings, and kept moist during the growing season. The effects of rooting hormones and enclosure of the rooting environment on rooting were examined. On 7 July 2002, 32 trees were randomly selected and the four tallest shoots within each tree were treated with either 0, 1:5, 1:10, or 1:20 (v/v) solutions of Dip-N-Gro© rooting hormone (1% IBA, 0.5% NAA, boron). There was no significant difference in rooted shoots between treatments and 81% of the trees had at least one rooted shoot. On 9 July 2004, 39 trees were selected and two shoots per tree were girdled. One-half of the stool bed area was treated by underlaying the shavings with BioBarrier© (17.5% trifluralin a.i.). Measurements on 12 Nov. 2004 showed no apparent treatment effect on rooting and 90% of the trees had at least one rooted shoot. This research demonstrates that mound layering is an effective means of rooting shoots of juvenile bigtooth maples. Further research will examine the effectiveness of the technique in propagating mature clones.

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