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Kathy Kelley and Dave Ramos

Fifty trees each of 1-year-old Paradox rootstock June-budded to `Chandler' walnut and 2-year-old Paradox whipgrafted to `Chandler' were planted in a 28 × 28-ft spacing on a Hanford sandy loam soil. Ten trees of each type were selected at time of planting and the number of roots, individual root diameter, trunk diameter, root dry weight, scion dry weight, and total dry weight were compared. All parameters, with the exception of root number, were significantly greater for the grafted 2-year-old rootstocks. Growth of the trees measured as trunk circumference 20 cm above the graft union was significantly greater for the grafted 2-year-old rootstocks following the first season. There was no significant different in trunk circumference between the 1- and 2-year-old rootstocks following the second or third growing seasons.

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Janine K. Hasey, Dave Ramos, Warren Micke and Jim Yeager

In a comparison of six walnut rootstocks either nursery-grafted or field-grafted to `Chandler' (Juglans regia), the highest-yielding trees after 9 years are on either seedling or clonal Paradox rootstocks. Trees growing on both Paradox rootstocks had higher yield efficiency than trees on the black rootstocks in both 1995 and 1996. Since 1993, relative tree size based on trunk circumference has not changed: southern California black (J. californica), seedling Paradox and northern California black (J. Hindsii) have remained significantly larger than clonal Paradox, Texas (J. microcarpa) or Arizona (J. major) black rootstocks. The smaller size of clonal as compared with seedling Paradox trees might be explained by a delay in field grafting success. Although both northern and southern California black rootstock trees were significantly larger than clonal Paradox trees, they did not differ significantly in yield and had significantly lower yield efficiency in 1996. Clonal Paradox trees have significantly smaller nut size than northern California black rootstock trees that can be explained by its higher yield efficiency. An adjacent trial planted in 1991 compares micropropagated `Chandler' on its own root vs. `Chandler' on seedling Paradox rootstock. In 1995 and 1996, own-rooted `Chandler' had significantly greater trunk circumference, yield, and yield efficiency than did `Chandler' on Paradox rootstock. Many of the trees on Paradox rootstock are growing very poorly compared to the own rooted trees. This could be due to diversity within the Paradox seed source. If own-rooted `Chandler' trees become commercially available, they may have potential in areas where other rootstocks are undesirable because of hypersensitivity to cherry leafroll virus.

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David A. Goldhamer, Robert Beede, Steve Sibbett and Dave Ramos

Mature hedgerow walnut trees (Juglans regia L. cv. Chico) were irrigated at rates of 33, 67, and 100% of potential orchard ETc (about 350, 700, and 1050 mm/season, respectively) for three years. All trees were then returned to 100% ETc for the subsequent three year period.

Deficit irrigation reduced vegetative growth as measured by shaded area of the orchard floor and trunk growth. Yield reductions, which were minimal after one season, were significantly greater in years two and three. However, the relationships between crop yield and applied water were linear for all deficit irrigation seasons. Upon a return to full irrigation, trunk (and presumably shoot) growth of the previously stressed trees accelerated to levels greater than the control. The subsequent increase in fruiting positions resulted in a return to full production after two years. This suggests that hedgerow walnuts have the potential to recover rapidly from drought-induced production losses if no secondary effects of tree water stress, such as disease or pests, occur.