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Acer rubrum `October Glory' has grown well in field studies across the southeastern United States. However, there is limited information on container production for this cultivar. Our objective was to evaluate first-year growth of container-grown `October Glory' at three locations with dissimilar climates in Georgia and Alabama. Rooted cuttings were planted in no. 3 containers at one location in Apr. 1995. Trees were transported the second week of June to Blairsville, Ga.; Auburn, Ala.; and Tifton, Ga. Trees were grown for 6 months until dormant and were harvested at the end of December. Location had no impact on final plant height increase (Blairsville, Auburn, and Tifton, 59.8, 53.0, and 60.2 cm, respectively). Increases in stem diameter and shoot dry mass were greatest at Tifton (8.4 mm, 17.5 g) and least at Blairsville (6.3 mm, 9.2 g), with Auburn similar to both locations (6.8 mm, 12.2 g). Root dry masses and root: shoot ratios were greatest in Tifton (17.2 g, 0.967), with no differences between Blairsville (4.9 g, 0.508) and Auburn (7.0 g, 0.641). Despite climatic dissimilarities, among locations, producers of container-grown `October Glory' could expect similar growth during the first year throughout Georgia and Alabama.

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In response to a mail survey of the landscape maintenance and lawn care (LM-LC) industry in metropolitan Atlanta, we learned that 76% of respondents fertilized lawns and turf and 68% fertilized ornamental beds. Less than one-fourth of those who provided fertilization services offered an organic fertility option; for those who reported an organic option, an average of 25% of their residential customers used such a service. Complete fertilizers (N-P2O5-K2O), ammonium nitrate, urea, and N solutions were the products applied by most respondents. Average amounts of N per application were ≈1.5 lb/1000 ft2 on lawns and 1.1 lb/1000 ft2 on ornamentals. Of firms that provide fertilization services, 88% use a predetermined application schedule, whereas 88% use visual observation and 69% use soil testing to guide fertilizer management. Only 5% reported using tissue analysis as a fertilizer management strategy. Nitrogen fertilizers were applied most frequently in the spring, with nearly equal amounts applied in summer and fall. Phosphorus was applied most commonly in the fall or spring. Relatively few firms reported applying significant amounts of either N or P in winter. Most respondents indicated that they received adequate information about fertilizers, but few received information about organic fertilization. Commercial sales representatives and trade magazines were cited most often as sources of information; university specialists were the least-cited formal source of information concerning fertilization. We have suggested some research and educational issues to be addressed based on these results.

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Four species of Dissotis and three species of Tibouchina, two genera of the Melastomataceae family, were crossed in an attempt to create interspecific and intergeneric hybrids. Intergeneric crosses set seed at a rate of 18.1% and interspecific crosses had a 32.3% rate of seed set. Germination was extremely poor, with only four crosses having germinated seed. Crosses produced 31 seedlings. Three of the seedlings were from intergeneric crosses between Dissotis canescens and Tibouchina lepidota. Interspecific crosses produced 25 seedlings from crosses between Dissotis princeps and Dissotis rotundifolia and three seedlings from crosses between D. canescens and D. princeps. The prognosis for conventional breeding for species in Dissotis and Tibouchina is poor due to low seed set, poor germination, and slow growth of progeny.

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Japanese-cedar [Cryptomeria japonica (L.f.) D. Don] represents an alternative to leyland cypress [×Cuprocyparis leylandii (A.B. Jacks. & Dallim.) Farjon] as an evergreen screen or specimen plant for landscapes. It performs well under a range of soil and environmental conditions but has been underused attributable, in part, to unsightly winter browning caused by photoinhibition. In previous studies, chance seedlings that did not exhibit winter browning were identified as tetraploids. The current study was conducted to induce polyploidy in japanese-cedar. Approximately 600 seedlings were sprayed with 150 μM oryzalin + 0.1% SilEnergy™ for 30 consecutive days under laboratory conditions. Two hundred thirty-seven seedlings with thickened and twisted leaves were selected, transplanted, and grown in a glasshouse for 120 days. Seedling ploidy levels were analyzed using flow cytometry 180 days after treatment (DAT), identifying 197 (83.1%) tetraploids, 22 (9.3%) cytochimeras, and 18 (7.6%) diploids. Morphology of induced tetraploids was similar to that previously described and provided a phenotypic marker during selection that was over 92% accurate. A random subset of 20 tetraploid individuals was analyzed 270 DAT and were found to contain only tetraploid cells in the leaves analyzed, confirming stability over this period. This study demonstrated the use of oryzalin for inducing tetraploids in japanese-cedar, which we predict will be effective in other gymnosperms.

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Dissotis rotundifolia (Sm.) Triana and Tibouchina fothergillae ×pilosa are members of the Melastomataceae family with high ornamental potential. The growth habits of these species are not ideal for nursery production or shipping. D. rotundifolia grows rapidly and needs frequent pruning. T. fothergillae ×pilosa has an open growth habit and could benefit from a more compact form. The effect of the plant growth regulator (PGR) paclobutrazol on D. rotundifolia and T. fothergillae ×pilosa was assessed to determine whether it could produce plants with a more compact growth habit. Paclobutrazol was applied as a drench and a spray. Drench application was more effective in reducing the growth of both species. Spray application was effective in reducing the growth of D. rotundifolia but was not effective on T. fothergillae ×pilosa. Neither drench nor spray application delayed or reduced flowering in D. rotundifolia. T. fothergillae ×pilosa did not flower during the study. For both D. rotundifolia and T. fothergillae ×pilosa, neither drench nor spray application had an effect on root dry weight. Low-to-medium dosages were effective at controlling plant growth in D. rotundifolia and T. fothergillae ×pilosa without adverse effects on plants. Drench treatments have more persistent effects on plant growth than spray treatments.

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Interspecific and intergeneric crosses were performed between species in the genera Baptisia and Thermopsis with the goal of creating hybrids with the best qualities of both parents. Baptisia australis (L.) R. Br. was used as both the male and female parent in intergeneric crosses. Thermopsis chinensis Benth. ex S. Moore, T. lupinoides (L.) Link, and T. villosa Fernald & B.G. Schub. were used as male and female parents in both interspecific and intergeneric crosses. Pollen was collected from B. alba (L.) Vent., B. bracteata Muhl. ex Elliott, and B. lanceolata (Walt.) Ell. and used to make interspecific and intergeneric crosses. Putative hybrids were obtained from both interspecific and intergeneric crosses. Interspecific crosses produced a higher percentage of pollinations resulting in seed set and the number of seeds per pollination than intergeneric crosses. Morphological differences between parent species and progeny were evident in putative hybrids resulting from intergeneric crosses between T. villosa and B. australis and T. villosa and B. alba. Most putative hybrids bloomed during the second year after germination. Because seedlings could be obtained from both interspecific and intergeneric crosses, hybrids within and between the genera Baptisia and Thermopsis are feasible. The Fabaceae family contains 670–750 genera and 18,000–19,000 species. Baptisia (commonly called false or wild indigo) and Thermopsis (commonly named false lupine) of the Fabaceae belong to the tribe Thermopsidae, which comprises 46 species in six genera. All species in Thermopsis and Baptisia are herbaceous; they are the only two genera in Thermopsidae that do not have woody species. Thermopsis contains 23 species and has a wide-spread distribution with species endemic to Asia and much of temperate North America. Although Thermopsis is considered to have originated in central Asia, T. chinensis Benth. ex S. Moore and T. fabacea (Pallas) Candole are thought to have originated in North America and migrated over the Bering Land Strait to Asia. Three Thermopsis species, T. fraxinifolia Nutt. ex M.A. Curtis, T. mollis (Michx.) M.A. Curtis ex A. Gray, and T. villosa Fernald & B.G. Schub., are native to the southeastern United States. Baptisia contains 15–17 species that are endemic to the southeastern and midwestern United States.

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Illiciums, or star-anises, have increased in popularity in the nursery and landscape industries. However, confusion exists as to which taxa are tolerant of high light intensities during production and subsequent establishment in the landscape. We investigated the effect of two light intensity treatments, 45% and 100% full sunlight, on gas-exchange parameters of five Illicium taxa: Illicium anisatum L., I. floridanum Ellis. `Pebblebrook', I. henryi Diels., I. lanceolatum A.C. Sm., and I. parviflorum Michx. Ex. Vent. `Forest Green'. Light-response curves were determined for individual leaves, and mean response parameters calculated. Chlorophyll and total carotenoids were analyzed after extraction in acetone, with total chlorophyll also estimated with a SPAD chlorophyll meter. In general, highest rates of CO2 assimilation (Amax) and lowest rates of dark respiration (Rd) were found in the 45% light treatment for all taxa. Both Illicium anisatum and I. floridanum `Pebblebrook' had substantial reductions in Amax in 100% light, 94% and 81% respectively, compared to plants grown in the 45% light treatment. Illicium henryi failed to survive the 100% light treatment. Illicium lanceolatum and I. parviflorum `Forest Green' were least affected by the 100% light treatment. Severe photooxidative bleaching was noted and confirmed by SPAD and pigment data, although SPAD readings were a poor predictor of total chlorophyll. For taxa of Illicium in our study, photosynthetic gas-exchange parameters and foliage pigment characteristics were improved in the low light treatment, suggesting optimal growth occurs in shaded conditions.

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Hibiscus acetosella Welw. ex Hiern. ‘Panama Red’ PP20,121 (Malvaceae) has generated public and grower interest due to its attractive red foliage and vigorous growth, however, a horticultural goal is to develop more compact forms. Even though organs of induced polyploids are often larger than the wild type, whole plants are often shorter in stature. Three studies were conducted to induce polyploidy and to evaluate the growth and reproductive potential of the resulting polyploids. In study 1, seeds were soaked for 24 hours in aqueous solutions of 0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, or 0.5% colchicine (w/v) plus 0.5% dimethyl sulfoxide. In studies 2 and 3, apical meristems of seedlings at the cotyledon stage were treated for 1 or 3 days with 0, 50, 100, or 150 μm oryzalin solidified with 0.8% agar. Visual observations and measurement of guard cells were used to identify plants that potentially had their chromosome number doubled. Flow cytometry of nuclei stained with DAPI was used for confirmation of polyploidy. No induced polyploidy was observed following seed treatment with colchicine at the rates and duration used in this study. One-time application of 50 μm oryzalin resulted in a single mixoploid (4x + 8x) in which the ploidy of the L-I, L-II, and L-III histogenic layers were identified as a 4–4-4 + 8, respectively. Three-day applications with 100 and 150 μm oryzalin resulted in an octoploid (8x) and a mixoploid (4x + 8x), respectively. The mixoploid from the 3-day treatment stabilized at the 8x level before flowering, but was identified as a 4 + 8-x-4 cytochimera. Plant height was reduced, leaves were smaller, internodes were shorter, and canopy volume was reduced in the octoploid (8x) form compared with the tetraploid (4x) form. Furthermore, in contrast to the tetraploid, the octoploid produced no self-pollinated seed and performed poorly as a staminate and pistillate parent in controlled crosses. This represents the first time oryzalin has been reported to induce polyploidy in Hibiscus L. section Furcaria DC. H. acetosella is an allotetraploid species with the genome composition AABB. The resulting autoallooctoploid (AAAABBBB) form of ‘Panama Red’ exhibits a more compact habit and reduced production of seed.

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Growing southern highbush blueberries in milled pine bark beds ≈15 cm deep has become a popular fruit production system in Georgia and Florida. One of the primary limiting economic factors in this system is the cost of the growing media, which can exceed $10,000 U.S. per ha. In an effort to discover low-cost substitutes for milled pine bark, available waste or low-cost organic materials were screened for there suitability as growing media for southern highbush blueberries. Cotton gin waste, pecan shells, hardwood “flume” dirt, milled composted urban yard waste, composted urban tree trimmings, pine telephone pole peelings, and pine fence post peelings were evaluated. Only pine derived materials had a suitable pH (<5.3). Fresh pine telephone pole peelings (≈25% bark to 75% elongated fibers of cambial wood) and pine fence post peelings (≈75% bark to 25% elongated fibers of cambial wood) were evaluated for several seasons in containers and field trials. The growth index of blueberries in these materials was slightly less or equal to milled pine bark. Surprisingly, nitrogen deficiency was slight or not a problem. The results indicate that pine pole and post peelings may offer an excellent, low-cost substitute for milled pine bark for blueberry production.

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