Granier style thermal dissipation probes (TDP) have been used to estimate whole plant water loss on a variety of tree and vine species. However, studies using TDPs to investigate water loss of landscape tree species is rare. This research compared containerized tree water loss estimates of three landscape tree species using TDPs with containerized tree water loss estimates as measured by load cells. Over a three-year period, established, 5.0 cm caliper Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana `Bradford'), English oak (Quercus robar), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua `Rotundiloba') trees in 75 L containers were placed on load cells, and water loss was measured for a 60-d period. One 3.0 cm TDP was placed into the north side of each trunk 30 cm above soil level. To reduce evaporation, container growing media was covered with plastic. Each night, plants were irrigated to soil field capacity and allowed to drain. To provide thermal insulation TDPs and tree trunks (up to 30 cm) were covered with aluminum foil coated bubble wrap. Hourly TDP water loss estimates for each species over a three-day period indicate TDP estimated water loss followed a similar trend as load cell estimated water loss. However, TDP estimates were generally less, especially during peak transpiration periods. In addition, mean, total daily water loss estimates for each species was less for TDP estimated water loss when compared to load cell estimated water loss. Although TDP estimated water loss has been verified for several plant species, these data suggest potential errors can arise when using TDPs to estimate water loss of select landscape tree species. Additional work is likely needed to confirm estimated sap flow using TDPs for many tree species.
Recent droughts and depleted water tables across many regions have elevated the necessity to irrigate field-grown (FG) nursery trees. At the same time, ordinances restricting nursery irrigation volume have been implemented, often without regard to plant water requirements. This research investigated growth of seven FG tree species (Acer buergeranum, A. campestre, A. × freemanii `Autumn Blaze', A. truncatum, Quecus muehlenbergii, Q. polymorpha, and Q. robur) subjected to three reference evapotranspiration (ETo) irrigation regimes (100%, 60%, and 30% ETo) in a semi-arid climate. During Spring 2002, nine containerized (11.3 L) trees of each species were field planted in a randomized block design. Each year trees were irrigated through a drip irrigation system. During the first growing season, all trees were irrigated at 100% ETo. Irrigation treatments began Spring 2003. Growth data (shoot elongation and caliper increase) were collected at the end of the 2003 growing season. Species growth data were subjected to analysis of variance. If treatment differences were found, means were separated by Fisher's least significant difference. Shoot growth was influenced by irrigation regime for each species except A. campestre and Q. robur. For each of the five remaining species, the greatest shoot growth increase was generally not associated with the greatest irrigation regime. In a similar manner, caliper increase was influenced by irrigation regime for each species. The 100% ETo irrigation regime produced the greatest caliper increase for A. buergeranum, A. truncatum, Q. polymorpha, and Q. robur. For remaining species, the greatest caliper increase was generally not associated with the greatest irrigation regime.
Recent droughts and depleted water tables across many regions have elevated the necessity to irrigate field-grown (FG) nursery trees. At the same time, ordinances restricting nursery irrigation volume (often without regard to plant water requirements) have been implemented. This research investigated gas exchange and growth of two FG maple tree species (Acer × freemanii `Autumn Blaze' and A. truncatum) subjected to three reference evapotranspiration (ETo) irrigation regimes (100%, 60%, and 30% of ETo) in a semi-arid climate. During Spring 2002, nine containerized (11.3 L) trees of each species were field planted in a randomized block design. Each year trees were irrigated through a drip irrigation system. During the first growing season, all trees were irrigated at 100% ETo. Irrigation treatments began Spring of 2003. Gas exchange data (pre-dawn leaf water potential and midday stomatal conductance) were collected during the 2003 and 2004 growing seasons and growth data (shoot elongation, caliper increase, and leaf area) were collected at the end of each growing season. For each species, yearly data indicates irrigation regime influenced gas exchange and growth of these FG trees. However, it is interesting to note gas exchange and growth of these FG maple trees were not necessarily associated with trees receiving the high irrigation treatment. In addition, it appears the influence of irrigation volume on the growth of these FG trees is plant structure and species specific. Our data suggests irrigation of FG trees based upon local ETo measurements and soil surface root area may be a means to conserve irrigation water and produce FG trees with adequate growth. However, continued research on the influence of reduced irrigation on FG tree species is needed.
Balled in burlaped is a common method for moving large trees into landscapes and affects of transplanting on tree gas exchange and growth has been documented. Organic mulch provides many benefits and is often recommended for landscapes. Because little research has been conducted on affects organic mulch has on gas exchange and growth of transplanted and non-transplanted trees, this research investigated the effects transplanting and organic mulch have on gas exchange and growth of field grown red oak (Quercus shumardii) trees. In March 2003, 12 multi-trunked trees were selected from a tree farm near Lubbock, Texas, and six trees were dug using a tree spade and placed in their original location. Mulch at a depth of 10 cm was placed around the rootball of 3 transplanted and 3 nontransplanted trees and maintained at this depth the remainder of the experiment. Over the next three growing seasons predawn leaf water potential and midday stomatal conductance were measured on each tree every 1 to 3 weeks. At the end of every growing season shoot elongation, stem caliper and subsample leaf area were recorded. Our data indicates transplanting has a negative affect on gas exchange and growth of red oak. Each growing season gas exchange, shoot growth, and subsample leaf area were less for transplanted trees when compared to nontransplanted trees. Mulch also influenced gas exchange and growth of these trees. For nontransplanted trees with mulch, gas exchange and growth were reduced when compared to nonmulched, nontransplanted trees. For transplanted trees with mulch, predawn leaf water potential was less negative and subsample leaf area was greater when compared to transplanted trees with out mulch.
Gas exchange and growth of transplanted and nontransplanted, mulched and nonmulched field-grown Shumard red oak trees (Quercus shumardii Buckli.) were investigated in a semiarid climate. In Spring 2003, 12 field-grown trees were selected for uniformity. Six trees were moved with a tree spade and six trees were undisturbed. In addition, pine bark mulch was applied around three randomly selected transplant and nontransplant trees. Soil volumetric water content, predawn leaf water potential, midday stomatal conductance (gS) and leaf temperature, and growth data were collected over three consecutive growing seasons. Throughout the experiment, weekly predawn leaf water potential and gS data indicate transplanted trees with and without mulch were under greater water stress when compared with nontransplanted trees. In addition, nontransplanted trees with mulch were under greater stress when compared with nontransplanted trees without mulch. Each year, transplanted trees and nontransplanted trees with mulch had less apical growth when compared with nontransplanted trees without mulch. Although gas exchange and apical growth of transplanted trees and nontransplanted mulched trees tended to increase each growing season, by experiment termination, gas exchange and apical growth for transplanted trees and nontransplanted trees with mulch did not recover to nontransplanted, nonmulch tree levels.
We investigated water use and a water needs index multiplier relative to reference evapotranspiration for a sweetgum cultivar (Liquidambar styraciflua `Moraine') in Logan, Utah, Lubbock, Texas, and Orlando Fla. Three individual trees with ≈80-mm trunk diameter, were potted in to large containers with organic media at each location. Sweetgum water use (Tsw) was measured over the season at each location with load cells and dataloggers, concurrent with measurement of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) from adjacent weather stations. Dawn-to-dusk stomatal conductance (Gs) was measured several times during the season at all locations. Trees were watered daily. At the end of the season, total tree leaf area was collected and used to normalize volumetric water use data to depth units. Tsw was highest in Florida, up to 4 mm/day, as was maximum daily Gs. Tsw only reached 2.5 mm/day in Texas and Utah due in part to stomatal sensitivity to high vapor pressure deficits that moderated transpiration. There was no relationship between Tsw and ETo at ETo levels above 4 mm/day in Texas and Utah, resulting in substantial scatter in the water needs index multiplier relative to ETo that centered on 0.3 in Texas and 0.4 in Utah. Tsw in Florida showed an upper boundary relationship with ETo, under which it varied considerably, resulting in a values relative to ETo centered on 0.6. During a partial dry down in Utah, morning Gs was unaffected while afternoon Gs declined progressively under mild water stress, resulting multiplier values of 0.15-2. The study shows that regional climate affects tree water use independent of effects measured in ETo, increasing the uncertainty of sweetgum water use estimated as a function of ETo.
We investigated gas-exchange response of norway maple and crabapple to the energy balance of turf, bark-mulch, and asphalt surfaces. In each surface stomatal conductance, leaf temperature (T1), and photosynthesis, were measured during two dawn-to-dusk studies concurrent with soil (To), top surface (Ta), and air temperature (Ta) measurements. Different properties affected the energy balance of each surface. Turf transpiration moderated To and Ts while low thermal conductivity of the mulch resulted in To similar to turf but Ts23C higher. Higher thermal conductivity of the asphalt resulted in higher To but Ts intermediate to mulch and turf surfaces. We did not detect differences in Ta, probably due to close proximity to one another that allowed substantial air mixing between treatments. Higher Ts increased longwave radiation flux that raised midday T1 of trees in the mulch and asphalt 3 to 8C higher than trees in the turf. Differences in T1 between the asphalt and mulch were minimal. Stomatal conductance declined with increasing leaf-to-air vapor pressure gradient in all trees, and was consistently lower for trees in the mulch and asphalt through the day due to larger gradients induced by higher T1. Midday photosynthesis was highest for trees in the turf and lowest for those in the mulch. Foliar interception of higher energy fluxes from mulch and asphalt surfaces apparently limited gas exchange in both species due to over-optimal leaf temperatures as compared to trees in the turf
Growth of woody landscape plants is strongly affected by the underlying surface. In urban areas, plants are subjected to energy balance characteristics of a variety of surfaces. This research investigated energy balance properties of six common urban surfaces: Kentucky bluegrass, pine bark mulch, concrete, asphalt, lava rock mulch, and gravel rock mulch. Each summer over a 2-year period incoming global radiation (GW), relative humidity, and air temperature were measured over each surface, and surface reflectivity (AW), surface temperature (TS), soil temperature (TO), and soil heat flux (SF) were measured below each surface. Thermal conductivity (K) and emitted surface longwave radiation (LW) were also calculated. Surface property differences were determined by regression analysis. Incoming global radiation (independent variable) versus TS, TO, SF, LW data (dependent variable) were analyzed. Linear or quadratic curves were selected according to significance of each variable and the coefficient of determination (R2). Surface reflectivity was greatest for concrete and least for lava rock mulch, and K was greatest for asphalt and concrete and least for lava rock and pine bark mulch. Under maximum GW, regression data indicate that SF and TO would be greatest under asphalt and least under lava rock and pine bark mulch. Under similar circumstances, TS and LW would be greatest for pine bark mulch and least for Kentucky bluegrass. This research revealed that more energy was conducted into the soil below asphalt and concrete, and that a greater portion of GW was prevented from entering the soil below pine bark and lava rock mulch than below other surfaces. Due to these effects, and the lack of evaporative cooling, surface temperatures were greater, and more longwave radiation was emitted from, non-vegetative surfaces than from turf.
Gas exchange and growth of transplanted and nontransplanted, field-grown Norway maple (Acer platanoides L. `Schwedleri') and littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata Mill. `Greenspire') trees were investigated in an arid climate. In the spring of 1995, three trees of each species were moved with a tree spade to a new location within a field nursery and three nontransplanted trees were selected as controls. Predawn leaf water potential, morning-to-evening stomatal conductance and leaf temperature, leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference, midday stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate, and growth data were collected over a 2-year period. After transplanting, weekly predawn leaf water potential indicated that transplanted trees were under greater water stress than were nontransplanted (control) trees. However, predawn leaf water potential of maple trees recovered to control levels 18 weeks after transplanting, while that of transplanted linden trees remained more negative than that of controls. In 1995, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rates were lower throughout the day for transplanted trees. In 1996, gas exchange rates of transplanted maple trees recovered to near control levels while rates for transplanted linden trees did not. Sensitivity of stomata to leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference varied with species and with transplant treatment. Each year transplanted trees of both species had less apical growth than did control trees. Although gas exchange and apical growth of transplanted trees was reduced following transplanting, recovery of gas exchange to control rates differed with species.
Water quality and quantity are critical issues in the Southwest United States and many other locations in the world. Use of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation can conserve potable water significantly and possibly reduce fertilizer application. A potential concern of using alternative water sources is elevated salt levels, which can have adverse effects on plant growth and aesthetic appearance. Most Texas native wildflowers are known to be hardy and easy to maintain, and are drought tolerant after establishment. In addition, native wildflowers provide wildlife habitat and support native pollinators. However, little information is available on salinity tolerance of many Texas native wildflower species. In this study, two separate hydroponic experiments were conducted to determine salt tolerance of three Texas native wildflower species: Gaura villosa Torr. (wooly gaura), Xanthisma texanum DC. (Texas sleepy daisy), and Ipomopsis rubra (L.) Wherry (standing cypress). Species were suspended in a hydroponic setting using a randomized complete block design with a control [municipal reverse-osmosis (RO) water with a nutrition solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 3.0 dS·m–1] and three salinity treatments: 5.0, 7.0, and 11.0 dS·m–1 EC. Sixty days after salinity treatments were initiated, percent survival, visual rating, fresh weight, and length measurements were recorded on root and shoot tissue. To determine tissue percentage sodium (Na+), calcium (Ca2+), and chloride (Cl–), shoot and root tissues were dried and ground for tissue analysis. At the end of each experiment, total percent survival for X. texanum, G. villosa, and I. rubra were 100%, 94%, and 76%, respectively, with the greatest mortality rate at the highest salinity treatment. Shoot dry weight and plant growth index (PGI) decreased in all three species as salinity of irrigation water increased. Visual qualities of all species were mainly compromised at the highest salinity level. Ion concentrations in root and shoot tissues were affected by salinity levels and varied among species. Different mechanisms of salt tolerance (ion exclusion, salt excretion, and tissue tolerance to high concentrations of Na+ or Cl–) have been observed among wildflower species, and results indicate different salt tolerance mechanisms were exhibited by each trial species. In addition, results indicate I. rubra can be identified as moderately salt tolerant (EC up to 7.0 dS·m–1), whereas, X. texanum and G. villosa can be classified as salt tolerant (EC up to 11.0 dS·m–1). Results from this study suggest great potential of these native Texas wildflowers in landscapes using limited-quality irrigation water or landscapes with soil salinity concerns.