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  • Author or Editor: Buszard Buszard x
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`Oka' is a mid-season, high yielding June-bearing strawberry cultivar with excellent productivity, good fruit color, flavor and firmness. It is recommended for fesh market and pick your own for the Southern Québec region. `Oka' plants are of medium size, and vigor with five to seven inflorescences per mother plant. They can tolerate winter temperatures of -25 C. Inflorescences are held erect on medium to long peduncles during bloom, and become semi-erect as fruit mature. Fruits are large, wedge shape and the calyces are semi-reflexed. Skin is moderately shiny, light red at full maturity, and the flesh is light red. Fruit flavor is similar to `Bounty', `Chambly', `Glooscap' and `Sparkle'. Fruits are medium firm to firm, and can not be decapped as easily as `Bounty', `Chambly' or `Glooscap'. More than 50% of harvested fruit have long pedicels. Percent juice loss after thawing does not differ significantly from other popular cultivars. `Oka' has outyielded `Bounty', `Redcoat' and `Sparkle' at L'Acadie and `Bounty', `Glooscap', and `Veestar' in New Brunswick. Plants can tolerate the herbicide terbacil. No symptoms of powdery mildew or leaf scorch were observed during the course of its evaluation. However some symptoms of leaf spot were observed late in the season before the onset of dormancy. Preliminary studies show that `Oka' is resistant to races 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 of P. fragariae.

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Four soil management treatments were applied from 1991 to 1993 to `Spartan'/M.9 apple trees planted in 1987. Geotextile, straw mulch, composted manure mulch, and grass sod were used to control weed growth in a 1-m-wide band under the trees. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with two blocks and seven trees per treatment; data was taken from the five inner trees in each plot. Trees in straw mulch showed the largest increase in trunk cross-sectional area (+45.6%) over the three years; those in the geotextile showed the second largest (40.7%). Straw mulch also resulted in the largest yield 2 years out of 3. Fruit set and fruit quality were also assessed, and trees in manure mulch and grass sod set the least fruit in each season. Fruit from the grass sod treatment remained harder in storage, and both straw mulch and grass sod have a higher proportion of grade A fruit (57 of total fruit).

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Development of strawberry fruit depends on the number of fertilized achenes on the surface. The achenes are distributed on the receptacle surface in a pattern of more or less regular rows, spirally arranged. The number of achenes is determined by 1) counting the number of achenes per square centimeter of surface on ripe berries; 2) weighing the achenes after separation from the receptacle; or 3) counting the number of achenes after pressing the fruit between two layers of glass. The above methods are laborious and time-consuming. We, therefore, described anew semi-automated method (Image Analysis System, IAS) as an alternative to the above procedures. The IAS is capable of grouping the achenes into two or more categories based on their size (sound or aborted), surface area, color, volume, etc. This will facilitate the study of the relationship between achene number and fruit weight in strawberry.

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`Cox's Orange Pippin' apple (Pyrus domestics Berth.) trees, which were previously heavily cropped compared to previously defruited trees, had smaller flowers, lower initial fruit set, and a shorter effective pollination period (EPP) than defruited trees. The morphology of apple flower styles and stigmas was studied using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Virgin stigmas from previously unstressed trees had fully expanded papillae, but 7 days after pollination the papillae were collapsed and distinct pollen tubes penetrated the stigmatic surface. Virgin stigmas from flowers of previously heavily cropped trees were smaller than those from previously defruited trees. The virgin stigmas of the flowers of heavily cropped trees showed collapsed papillae, and differences were observed in the intercellular material in the subtending transmitting tissue. These differences may explain the poor fruit setting characteristics of apple flowers on trees that have borne a heavy crop in the previous year.

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An experiment was conducted to evaluate the mechanical harvesting and processing suitability of four standard strawberry [Fragaria ×ananassa (Duch.)] cultivars (`Kent', `Glooscap', `Bounty', and `Midway') and the recent introductions `Chambly' and `Oka'. `Kent', `Glooscap', `Oka', and `Chambly' had the highest yields and heaviest fruit. Similar percentages of berries of all cultivars were destroyed by the harvester. `Oka' and `Midway' were not suitable for this type of mechanical harvesting due to their susceptibility to bruising during harvest. Based on total marketable fruit harvested mechanically, `Chambly' was the most and `Oka' was the least adapted cultivars for this particular harvester. `Chambly' and `Glooscap' were easiest to decap, followed by `Bounty', `Oka', and `Midway'. None of the cultivars tested were suited ideally for machine harvesting, and further breeding is required to produce well-adapted cultivars.

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During 1987-90, nineteen strawberry cultivars and one selection from Agriculture Canada/McGill University were evaluated for their fruiting and other plant characteristics. Based upon an index of potential return which Integrates percent yield at each harvest date and total yield, the following cultivars listed in decreasing order of desirability (early productivity) are recommended: `Chambly', `Annapolis', `Honeoye', `Kent' and `Cavendish'. `Lina', `Lester', SJ83OR-2, `Bounty' and `Settler' have the most concentrated ripening period based upon an index of concentration. Highest yields were obtained with `Honeoye', SJ83OR-2, `Chambly', `Kent', Glooscap` and `Oka'. All had large, medium-firm fruit. Because of their tolerance to the herbicide terbacil and their large, medium-firm fruit, `Chambly', `Oka' and SJ830R-2 appear to be potential replacements for the commercial cultivars `Kent', `Honeoye' and `Glooscap' and are recommended for trials in Quebec. `Cornwallis', `Settler', `Midway', `Cavendish' and `Redcoat' had the lowest yield variability of the cultivars on trial.

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