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  • Author or Editor: M.J. McFarland x
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Mature peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] grown in weighing lysi-meters were subjected to soil moisture stress. Evapotranspiration (ET) was not affected by rapid changes in soil moisture until soil matric potential reached -1500 kPa. When the trees reached permanent wilt, there was a sharp decline in water use.

Open Access

Growth of ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum `Texanum') was controlled by the application of the growth regulator, uniconizole, at 3 mg A.I. per 7.6 liter pot. Seventy-nine days after application, growth regulated plants had shorter internodes, smaller stem diameters and reduced secondary branching and new leaf production. Differences in daily water use between the two treatments began to appear at the same time that differences in growth became apparent. Total water use of treated plants was 13% less than the control. When daily water use was normalized on a leaf area basis, water use between treatments was similar, suggesting differences in total water use were primarily due to differences in leaf area. Under well-watered conditions, the sap flow rate in the main trunk of plants in both treatments ranged between 60 and 100 g h-1 m-2 of stem area. Leaf conductance, transpiration rate and water potential were also similar for treated and control plants.

Free access

Growth of potted hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Ross Estey) plants was controlled by either pruning or the growth regulator, uniconazole, at 3.0 mg a.i. per pot. Five days after treatment with uniconazole, plants showed reduced water use, an effect which became more pronounced with time. Water use of pruned plants was reduced immediately after pruning, but soon returned to the level of the control due to the rapid regeneration of leaf area. Chemically treated and pruned plants, respectively, used 33% and 6% leas water than the control. The reduction in water use due to the use of uniconazole had both a morphological and physiological component. Chemically treated plants had a smaller leaf area, and individual leaves had a lower stomatal density, conductance and transpiration rate than leaves of control plants. Under well watered conditions, the sap flow rate in the main trunk of control or pruned plants was 120-160 g h-1 m-2, nearly three times higher than the 40-60 g h-1 m-2 measured in plants treated with uniconazole.

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A computer model was used to predict irrigation rates and numbers of emitters or microsprayers required to trickle irrigate Redskin/Nemaguard peach trees. Irrigation rates were 0, 50%, and 100% of the predicted requirement based on a crop coefficient of 50, 80, 100, 80, and 50 percent of pan evaporation for the tree's canopy area for May, June, July, August and Sept. respectively. Full irrigation (100% of predicted) was applied through 6, 8L/hr emitters or one 48L/hr microsprayer. Half the predicted rate was applied through 6, 4L/hr emitters or 1 24L/hr microsprayer. Control trees received no supplemental irrigation. Microsprayers height was adjusted to wet a surface area comparable to the 6 emitters. There was no significant difference in fruit size or yield based on emitter vs microsprayers, but fruit size and total yield was increased in direct proportion to irrigation rate. There was no treatment effect on tree pruning weights. Moisture measurements indicated that trees de-watered the soil efficiently enough that water never moved below the 30 cm level in spite of the fact that up to 260 liters per tree per day were applied in mid-summer.

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