Overcrowding in young high-density pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] orchards has prompted a study of tree transplanting and evaluation of survival and tree performance. Shoot growth and nut production characteristics of 13-year-old `Stuart' and `Farley' pecan trees subjected to different stubbing and pruning treatments and then transplanted with a large tree spade indicated that transplants can survive with little or no pruning if moved when dormant. Shoot regrowth was proportional to the degree of pruning, and nut production was inversely proportional to the degree of pruning.
Bruce W. Wood, Jerry A. Payne and Owen Jones
Bruce W. Wood, Jerry A. Payne and Larry J. Grauke
Bruce W. Wood, Charles C. Reilly and Andrew P. Nyczepir
The discovery of nickel (Ni) deficiency in field plantings of pecan [Caryaillinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] (Wood et al., 2004) has led to efforts to identify appropriate management approaches to correct tree deficiency and to identify the causes for Ni deficiency. Evaluation of several inorganic and organic forms of Ni have indicated that solutions from all sources function well to correct deficiencies when timely applied as a foliar spray to affected trees at Ni concentrations >10 mg·L-1. Addition of urea, ammonium nitrate, or nicotinic acid to Ni spray solutions increased apparent foliar uptake from Ni sprays. The lower critical level of Ni, based on foliar analysis, appears to be in the 3-5 mg·L-1 dw range, with the upper critical level appearing to be >50 mg·L-1 dw. The cause of Ni deficiency in soils possessing plenty of Ni is associated with excessive amounts of one or more metals (e.g., Ca, Mg, Fr, Mn, Cu, and Zn) that inhibit Ni uptake and/or utilization. Root damage by nematode feeding and cool/dry soils during early spring also contributes to Ni deficiency. Foliar application of Ni to foliage in the autumn and subsequent appearance of Ni in dormant season shoot tissues indicates that Ni can be mobilized from senescing foliage to dormant season shoots and is therefore available for early spring growth. Evidence indicates that pecan has a higher Ni requirement than most other crop species because it transports nitrogenous substances as ureides. Thus, there is evidence that Ni-metalloenzymes are playing either a direct or indirect role in ureide and nitrogen metabolism. It is postulated that crop species that are most likely to exhibit field level Ni deficiencies are those that transport N as ureides. Candidate crops will be discussed.
Charles C. Reilly, Bruce W. Wood and Katherine L. Stevenson
Two shoot dieback maladies (SDM) of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] are of unknown cause and can adversely affect tree canopy health. They occur during either early spring (SpSDM) or early summer (SuSDM). Field studies found that both maladies predominantly occur on shoots retaining peduncles from the previous crop year's fruit cluster. Isolations of transition zone (from living to dead) tissue of symptomatic shoots, of 14 cultivars, found Phomopsis sp. in 89% or greater of samples and Botryosphaeria spp. in 40% or greater of sampled shoots. Isolations occasionally found some combination of eight other apparently saprobic fungal genera with individual genera typically present in 10% or less of symptomatic shoots but were always present in association with either Phomopsis sp. or Botryosphaeria spp. when shoots exhibited either SuSDM or SpSDM. The SpSDM form was associated with 10 cm or less of the shoot's length before budbreak in early March before expanding to 30 cm or greater by late June to produce the SuSDM form, thus, providing evidence for an ongoing and expanding infection common to both SDM forms. The incidence of both “Phomopsis-associated” SDM forms was greatest on trees likely exhibiting substantial stress, some of which was crop-associated. The consistent association of these two fungi with SDM indicates a role for one or both in its development; however, further pathogenicity research is needed to determine if they are the primary cause of these shoot dieback maladies and how they interact with stress factors. Linkage of Phomopsis sp., and possibly Botryosphaeria spp., to these two SDMs raises the possibility of significant canopy damage in prolific cultivars and emphasizes the importance of management practices that minimize stress in orchard trees.
Bruce W. Wood, Patrick J. Conner and Ray E. Worley
Alternate bearing is a major economic problem for producers of pecan nuts [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch], yet a fundamental understanding of alternate bearing remains elusive. Nut yields (over a period of up to 78 years) from a commercial-like orchard of 66 cultivars was used to calculate alternate bearing intensity (I). Best-fit regression analysis indicates no association between I and fruit ripening date (FRD) or nut volume; although, there was moderate association with post-ripening foliation periods (PRFP) in that I tends to decrease as the length of the PRFP decreases. Multiple regression models indicated that FRD and nut volume were poor predictors of I: however, PRFP possessed significant inverse predictive power. Late-season canopy health, as measured by percentage of leaflet retention, decreased as FRD approached early-season ripening. Late-season photoassimilation rate was high er on foliage of trees with late FRDs than those with mid- or early-season ripening dates. These data provide new insight into the complex nature of alternate bearing in pecan and provide evidence for modifying the existing theories of alternate bearing of pecan.
Bruce W. Wood, Leonardo Lombardini and Richard J. Heerema
Insufficient fruit retention limits profitability of certain pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] cultivars. The present study examined efficacy of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (formulated as ReTain®; Valent BioSciences, Libertyville, IL), a natural ethylene inhibitor, for increasing crop-load through increased fruit retention in pecan trees grown at three distinct locations within the U.S. pecan belt. Several years of field studies found that timely postpollination ReTain® sprays [132 mg·L−1 a.i. (11.7 oz./acre)] to canopies could increase fruit retention of ‘Desirable’ and increase crop yield by 16% to 38% in trees carrying a “moderate to heavy” crop. ReTain® did not detectably increase fruit retention on trees carrying a “light” crop-load. The ReTain®-associated increase in yield of “heavy” crop-load trees did not necessarily decrease subsequent year yield. ReTain® appears to offer commercial potential as a crop-load management tool for ‘Desirable’ through regulation of Stage II drop (i.e., June-drop), but may not be efficacious for all cultivars.
Cheng Bai, Charles C. Reilly and Bruce W. Wood
While nickel (Ni) deficiency occurs in certain agricultural crops, little is known regarding the influence of deficiency on metabolic or physiological processes. We studied the influence of Ni deficiency on the reduced-nitrogen (N) composition of early spring xylem sap of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch]. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of sap composition found the presence of ureido-, amide-, and amino-N substances and that they are quantitatively influenced by tree Ni nutritional status. Ureido-N forms quantitatively dominated amide-N forms with respect to both molar concentration and the forms in which reduced N atoms are present; thus, pecan appears to be predominately a ureide-transporting species. The primary ureido-N substances in sap of Ni-sufficient trees are citrulline ≈ asparagine ≈ xanthine > ureidoglycolate > allantoic acid > allantoin ≈ uric acid ≈ urea. Asparagine is the primary amide-N form, while only traces of amino-N forms (e.g., tryptamine and β-phenylethylamine) are found in xylem sap. Nickel deficiency substantially increased citrulline and allantoic acid in xylem sap while decreasing the asparagine, xanthine, and β-phenylethylamine concentrations. These Ni-linked quantitative shifts in reduced-N forms indicate that Ni nutrition potentially affects intermediates of both the ureide catabolic pathway and the urea cycle as well as the nitrogen/carbon (N/C) economy of the tree. Xylem sap-associated urease-specific activity was also reduced as a consequence of Ni deficiency. These results indicate that Ni deficiency potentially disrupts normal N-cycling via disruption of ureide metabolism.
Bruce W. Wood, Larry. J. Grauke and Jerry A. Payne
An assessment of vegetative traits of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] from a range-wide provenance collection indicated the existence of at least two distinct populations within the native range (i.e., provenances north of Texas vs. provenances in Texas and Mexico). Southern most provenances generally broke bud earlier, retained foliage later in the fall, grew larger in height and trunk diameter, had narrower leaflet droop angles, had greater leaflet tilt angles, wider limb angles, greater Zn deficiency, less black pecan aphid susceptibility, and less red coloration to foliage than did northern most provenances. Trees originating from Jaumaua, in northern Mexico, were especially noteworthy insomuch that they were by far the tallest, possessed the largest trunk diameters, the longest foliation period, and lowest Zn deficiency ratings of all provenances. One family within this Jaumaua population also exhibited a high level of cold hardiness. Family heritability (hf 2) estimates were ≥0.48 for trunk cross sectional area, date of budbreak, leaf redness, cold injury, leaflet droop angle, and leaflet tilt angle, and ≤0.39 for late season leaf fall, black pecan aphid susceptibility, zinc deficiency, and branch angle.
Bruce W. Wood, Charles C. Reilly, Clive H. Bock and Michael W. Hotchkiss
The economic cost of pecan scab, caused by Fusicladium effusum G. Winter, can substantially limit profitability of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] cultivation in humid environments. Laboratory, greenhouse, and field studies found nickel (Ni) to inhibit growth of F. effusum and reduce disease severity on fruit and foliage of orchard trees. Nickel was toxic to the fungus in vitro at concentrations applied to orchard trees, and Ni sprays reduced scab severity on foliage of pecan seedlings in greenhouse experiments. Host genotype appears to influence Ni efficacy with fruit tissue of cultivars of intermediate resistance (i.e., ‘Desirable’) being most responsive to treatment and those most susceptible to scab (i.e., ‘Wichita’ and ‘Apache’) being least responsive. Addition of Ni as a nutritional supplement applied in combination with fungicides applied as air-blast sprays to commercial orchards reduced severity of scab on both leaves and fruit depending on cultivar and date of disease assessment (e.g., scab severity on fruit was reduced by 6% to 52% on ‘Desirable’ in an orchard setting). Nickel-supplemented fungicide sprays to ‘Desirable’ trees in commercial orchards also increased fruit weight and kernel filling, apparently from improved disease control. Although the efficacy of Ni was typically much less than that of triphenyltin hydroxide (TPTH), a standard fungicide used in commercial orchards, Ni treatment of tree canopies for increasing tree Ni nutrition slightly lowered disease severity. These studies establish that foliar Ni use in orchards potentially reduces severity of scab on foliage and fruit in scab-prone environments. The inclusion of Ni with fungicides for management of pecan scab might reduce disease severity over that conferred by fungicide alone, especially if targeted cultivars possess at least a moderate degree of scab resistance. Similar benefit from Ni sprays might also occur in host–fungi interactions involving other crops.
Bruce W. Wood, Charles C. Reilly, Ted Cottrell, W. Louis Tedders and Ida Yates
The influence of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] leaflet bronzing, a discoloration of the lower surface, on foliar physiology and nut-meat yield is unknown. Field investigations indicate that bronzing can adversely affect foliage by reducing net photoassimilation (A), stomatal conductance (sgw), and transpiration (E) while also altering stomatal aperture and cellular structure, and increasing temperature. Kernel weight and fill percentage are also reduced. Research indicated that foliar A declined in proportion to degree of bronze coloration, with negative A exhibited by heavily bronzed foliage. A by bronzed foliage did not increase as light levels exceeded ≈250 μmol·m-2·s-1. Within the same compound leaf, nonbronzed leaflets adjacent to bronzed leaflets exhibited greater than normal A. Bronzed leaflets also exhibited lower sgw to water vapor, less transpirational H2O loss, and higher afternoon leaf temperature. Light micrographs of bronzed foliage indicated abnormal epidermal and spongy mesophyll cells. Weight and percentage of kernel comprising the nut declined on shoots supporting foliage bronzing in July to August, but was unaffected when bronzing occurred in September to October. Bronzing of pecan foliage can therefore be of both physiological and economic significance.