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Daniel K. Struve

A method is described for producing bare-root shade tree whips in containers. Whip production is begun in February in heated greenhouses by sowing seed. Seedlings are transplanted to copper-treated containers and grown in a greenhouse until May, when they are moved outdoors and transplanted to No. 3 copper-treated containers. In October (8 months after seeding), plant heights range from 1 to 2 m. Several media have been developed that result in rapid growth, while separating readily from the root system by hand-shaking. Bare-root plants placed in refrigerated storage for 6 months and repotted, retained high survival and regrowth potential. The system combines the handling ease of bare-root stock with the high survival and regrowth potential of container stock.

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Petra Sternberg and Daniel K. Struve

In nursery production, increased branching is desirable, especially when growing stock that will be marketed at smaller sizes. Typically, branching is increased by pruning, which reduces growth potential. As an alternative to mechanical pruning, a chemical branching agent, Cyclanilide, has been evaluated for its ability to increase branching in container-grown whip production systems. Cyclanilide sprays of 0, 50, 100, and 200 mg·L-1 were applied to elongating shoots of Acer ×freemanii `Jeffsred', Cercis canadensis, Diospyros virginiana, Eucommia ulmoides, Malus ×`Prairie Fire', Malus ×`Harvest Gold', and Quercus rubra whips. Branching was increased in all taxa except Eucommia at concentrations >100 mg·L-1, without significantly reducing plant dry weight. For Diospyros, branching was increased when combined with pruning before Cyclanilide application.

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Jon Sammons and Daniel K. Struve

Water is quickly becoming one of the world's most precious resources. Micro- and cyclical irrigation are two effective ways that reduce irrigation volume without reducing plant quality. Development of a control mechanism to deliver timely and appropriate irrigation volumes combined with the advantages of micro- and cyclical irrigation will allow maximum water conservation and plant quality. For container-grown nursery plants, the interaction of container geometry and media physical properties dictate the volume of water available for plant uptake. The maximum amount of water a container substrate can hold under gravity is container capacity (CC). We managed season-long irrigation volumes by maintaining CC at three levels; 100% CC; 80% CC; and 60% CC, and used a set irrigation as a commercial control. The results showed similar plant growth for the 100% and set irrigation control groups through the growing season. However, the scheduled regime applied 50% more water than the group maintained at 100% CC. Our system increased water use efficiency without decreasing plant quality.

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Michael A. Arnold and Daniel K. Struve

Seedlings of nine coarse-rooted species–sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima Carruth), white oak (Q. alba L.), cherrybark oak (Q. falcata var. pagodifolia Elliott), post oak (Q. stellata Wangenh.), black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), pignut hickory [Carya glabra (Mill.) Sweet], pecan [C. illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch], Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume), and common baldcypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) L. Rich]—were grown for one growing season in nontreated containers or in containers treated on their interior surfaces with white interior latex paint containing 100 g Cu(OH)2/liter. Seedlings of each species and container treatment were harvested twice: once after being transplanted from 3.2- to 15.0-liter containers and at the end of the growing season. Cupric hydroxide-treated containers decreased the amount of circled, kinked, and matted roots formed at the container wall-medium interface in all species tested. Plants grown in Cu(OH)2-treated containers also had altered root dry-weight partitioning. The partitioning patterns were species specific and included 6% to 20% increases in the percentage of root dry weight in interior vs. exterior portions of the rootball (white oak, black walnut, Chinese chestnut, and baldcypress), 10% to 21% increases in the percentage of root dry weight in upper vs. lower halves of the rootball (sawtooth oak, cherrybark oak, black walnut, and baldcypress), and an increase in the percentage of primary lateral roots (lateral roots originating from taproots or roots functioning as taproots) on the upper (proximal) half of taproots (cherrybark oak, pecan, and baldcypress). Nutrients in leaves, stems, and roots of sawtooth oak seedlings were analyzed at both harvests. Seedlings grown in Cu(OH)2-treated containers had more Cu in most plant tissues than nontreated seedlings. Also, seedlings grown in Cu(OH)2-treated containers had higher total Ca and Mg concentrations at transplanting and higher total N and Zn concentrations at the end of the growing season than nontreated seedlings.

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Chris Starbuck, Daniel K. Struve, and Hannah Mathers

Two experiments were conducted to determine if 5.1-cm-caliper (2 inches) `Summit' green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica), and 7.6-cm-caliper (3 inches) northern red oak (Quercus rubra) could be successfully summer transplanted after being heeled in pea gravel or wood chips prior to planting in the landscape. Spring harvested trees of each species were either balled and burlapped (B&B) or barerooted before heeling in pea gravel or wood chips. Compared to B&B `Summit' green ash, bareroot stock had similar survival and shoot extension for three growing seasons after summer transplanting. Bareroot and B&B northern red oak trees had similar survival and central leader elongation for 3 years after summer transplanting. In the third year after transplanting, northern red oak bareroot trees heeled in pea had smaller trunk caliper than B&B trees heeled in wood chips. These two taxa can be summer transplanted B&B or bareroot if dormant stock is spring-dug and maintained in a heeling-in bed before transplanting. This method of reducing transplant shock by providing benign conditions for root regeneration can also be used to extended the planting season for field-grown nursery stock; the method is called the Missouri gravel bed system.

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Claudio C. Pasian and Daniel K. Struve

The effectiveness of a paclobutrazol/paint mix in controlling growth of poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) cultivars Freedom Red and Angelica Red was evaluated. Plants were grown in containers whose interior walls were coated with a flat latex impregnated with varying concentrations of paclobutrazol: 0, 5, 20, 80, 100, 150, 200, and 300 mg·L–1 (0. 0.032, 0.128. 0.512, 0.64, 0.96, 1.28, and 1.92 mg a.i. per container, respectively). As a comparison, one treatment consisted of plants drenched with 118 ml/container of a paclobutrazol solution at 3 mg·L–1.

Plants grown in containers with the paint–paclobutrazol mix were shorter than the control plants. Treatments involving concentrations of 100 mg·L–1 or more (even as much as doubled or tripled) did not produce proportionately shorter plants. Root dry weights of plants in all treatments were not significantly different. However, the length of roots touching the internal surface of the container decreased with increasing growth regulator concentrations. This may help explain why doubling concentrations of growth regulator-in-paint does not produce proportionately shorter plants: roots start absorbing the growth regulator as soon as they touch the wall of the container. As a consequence, all root elongation is reduced, resulting in less root-growth regulator contact and less growth regulator uptake. More measurements of root length and root area are required in order to proof this hypothesis. When paclobutrazol concentrations were higher than 100 mg·L–1, some bracts showed evidence of “crinkling.”

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Claudio C. Pasian and Daniel K. Struve

The effectiveness of two application methods of the growth regulator paclobutrazol on the growth of Chrysanthemum plants, Dendranthema ×grandiflora (Ramat) (cv. `Fina' and `Cream Dana') were compared. Plants were grown in containers with their interior covered by a mixture of flat latex paint and several concentrations of paclobutrazol (0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 100, 150, 160, and 200 mg·L–1) or were treated with a soil drench of the growth regulator according to label recommendations (59 ml/container of paclobutrazol solution at 4 mg·L–1). Plants grown in containers with the paint–paclobutrazol mix at concentrations >80 mg·L–1 were shorter than plants given the control and paint only treatments but taller than plants given the drench treatment. Increasing paclobutrazol concentrations in paint from 100 to 150 and 200 mg·L–1 did not produce proportionately shorter plants. Paint alone had no effect on growth and development. Plants subject to growth regulator treatments appeared greener than the control plants. None of the plants given treatments with paint with or without paclobutrazol showed any sign of phytotoxicity. These results suggest the possibility of a new application method for systemic chemicals with the potential of reducing or eliminating worker protection standard restricted entry intervals and reducing the release of chemicals to the environment. Chemical name used: beta-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Michael A. Arnold, R. Daniel Lineberger, and Daniel K. Struve

The effects of woody plant medium (WPM) with various formulations and concentrations of Cu+2 on in vitro rooting and subsequent shoot growth of microcuttings of a Betu pubescens × papyrzfera (birch) clone were monitored for 28 days. Adventitious root initiation and elongation were reduced in magnitude and slowed in development by moderate to high Cu (as CuSO4·5H2O) concentrations, with near zero root regeneration occurring at 157 μm Cu. Shoot growth was also inhibited by 157 μM Cu as cupric sulfate. Copper-toxicity symptoms (senescent leaves, necrotic stems, and bulbous and stunted roots) were significantly increased by moderate to high levels (≥ 79 μm) of Cu as cupric sulfate. Microcuttings responded differently to Cu+2 applied as cupric chloride (CuCl2·2H2O). Root initiation, root elongation, and root branching were increased by moderate concentrations of Cu as cupric chloride. Shoot growth was slightly stimulated by cupric chloride at moderate levels. No significant increase in Cu-toxicity symptoms was observed at concentrations up to 157 μm Cu as cupric chloride. Cupric acetate [Cu(CH3 COO);H2O] and cupric carbonate [CuCO3·Cu(OH)2] produced more severe Cu-toxicity symptoms than cupric sulfate. Root regeneration and shoot growth were inhibited and increased Cu-toxicity symptoms were apparent even with low concentrations (39 μm) of Cu as cupric acetate or cupric carbonate. There was little or no effect on root regeneration when the Cu+2 in cupric sulfate was replaced by different cations, i.e., magnesium sulfate (MgSO4·7H2O), calcium sulfate (CaSO4·2H2O), and sulfuric acid (H2SO4), a result suggesting that the observed responses could be attributed to the Cu+2 concentration. Changes in media pH did not correspond to Cu-toxicity symptoms or alterations in root or shoot growth by the Cu compounds.

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Claudio C. Pasian, Daniel K. Struve, and Richard K. Lindquist

The effectiveness of two application methods of the insecticide imidacloprid in controlling 1) melon aphids (Aphis gossypii Glover) on `Nob Hill' chrysanthemum (Dendranthema ×grandiflora Ramat) plants and 2) silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring) on `Freedom Red' poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild.) were compared. Plants were grown in containers with their interior covered by a mixture of flat latex paint plus several concentrations of imidacloprid (0, 10, 21, 42, and 88 mg·L−1), or treated with a granular application of the insecticide (1% a.i.) according to label recommendations. All imidacloprid treatments effectively reduced aphid survival for at least 8 weeks. The two most effective treatments were the granular application (10 mg a.i.) and the 88-mg·L−1 treatment (0.26 mg a.i). All imidacloprid treatments effectively reduced whitefly nymph survival. The 42- and 88-mg·L−1 treatment and the granular application (1% a.i.) were equally effective in reducing nymph numbers in lower poinsettia leaves. None of the plants given treatments with paint exhibited any phytotoxicity symptoms. These results suggest the possibility of a new application method for systemic chemicals with the potential of reducing the release of chemicals to the environment. Paint and imidacloprid mixes are not described in any product label and cannot be legally used by growers. Chemical name used: 1-[(6-chloro-3-pyrimidil)-N-nitro-2-imidazolidinimine (imidacloprid)