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  • Author or Editor: Nina L. Bassuk x
  • HortTechnology x
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The development of a rapid, accurate, yet nondestructive technique for expressing whole-tree leaf area would be extremely useful in studying various growth phenomena in trees. The objective of this research was to evaluate the accuracy of an image analysis process adapted for estimating the leaf surface area of four broad-leafed tree species (Amelanchier L. `Robin Hill Pink', Tilia americana L. `Redmond', Sophora japonica L. `Regent', Fraxinus americana L. `Autumn Purple' and Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.). Video images of photographs taken of each tree canopy were quantified by an image analyzer into unitless surface area values or silhouette areas. The relationship between estimated leaf area as calculated from silhouette area and actual leaf area of these trees as determined by a leaf area meter was highly correlated. Use of this technique would enable a researcher, simply from serial photographs of the canopy, to retroactively estimate leaf or canopy area at crucial interim periods.

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Root and shoot phenology were observed, and root length within rootballs were calculated for Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. (green ash), Quecus coccinea Muenchh. (scarlet oak), Corylus colurna L. (Turkish hazelnut), and Syringa reticulata (Blume) Hara `Ivory Silk' (tree lilac) trees established in a rhizotron. Easy-to-transplant species (green ash and tree lilac) had more root length within rootballs than difficult-to-transplant species (Turkish hazelnut and scarlet oak). Shoot growth began before root growth on all species except scarlet oak, which began root and shoot growth simultaneously. Fall root growth ceased for all species just after leaf drop. Implications for tree transplanting are discussed.

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A Minolta SPAD-502 leaf chlorophyll meter was used for nondestructive data collection on the chlorophyll and nitrogen (N) status of benjamin fig (Ficus benjamina) and cottonwood (Populus deltoides) to quantitatively evaluate foliage quality. The goal was to provide a specific calibration for interpreting SPAD data within a media study for each species. Triplicate SPAD readings were collected from each of six leaves, sampled from forty plants per species, then processed for foliar analysis. Leaf tissue disks were also collected directly over SPAD testing sites for chlorophyll concentration measurement. Significant linear correlations were found between SPAD data and chlorophyll concentrations (r 2 = 0.90 in benjamin fig and r 2 = 0.91 for cottonwood). A significant, but lower correlation was found between SPAD data and N concentration. The SPAD-N correlations improved from the fifth month to the ninth month harvest (r 2 = 0.32 to 0.53 for benjamin fig and 0.26 to 0.42 for cottonwood). The SPAD-502 could be useful for in landscape plant management, and in time for production situations, but baseline data is needed. Consistent protocol in sample collection and seasonal timing is needed prior to use as a predictor for tissue N levels. Development of species, and perhaps cultivar, specific baseline data and sampling procedures will need development, but could yield a rapid, quantitative, in expensive field diagnostic for foliage quality for making cultural management decisions.

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