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David W. Burger

Comparisons were made between a commercially available, solar-activated mist control device (Weather Watcher®) and time clocks to determine their relative effectiveness, usefulness, and water-use characteristics on a greenhouse mist propagation bench. Coleus cuttings produced more roots per cutting and had greater average root lengths under Weather Watcher-controlled mist than those cuttings on a mist bench controlled by time. Paulownia cuttings produced the same number of roots under solar- or time-activated mist; however, the average root length was greater under Weather Watcher control. Mist benches controlled by the Weather Watcher used only one-third the water used by benches controlled by a time clock.

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David W. Burger, Pavel Svihra and Richard Harris

Treeshelters were used for the nursery production of Cedrus deodara Loud. (deodar cedar), Quercus ilex L. (holly oak), and Magnolia grandiflora L. (southern magnolia) trees growing in 19-liter containers. Air temperature, relative humidity, and CO, concentration were higher inside the treeshelters than outside. Trees grown inside treeshelters were 74% to 174% taller than trees grown without shelters. Trunk caliper of Magnolia and Quercus was not affected, however, for Cedrus trees caliper was larger for trees grown without a shelter. Upon removal of the shelter, Cedrus trees were incapable of supporting their own weight. Lateral branch development was inhibited and leaf senescence was greater with Magnolia trees grown in a shelter. Quercus trees grown in shelters were ready to be transplanted into the landscape. Water use was similar for trees grown with or without shelters. Trees grown in shelters had lower root fresh weights.

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Ursula K. Schuch and David W. Burger

Twelve species of woody ornamentals were grown in containers in Riverside and Davis, Calif., to determine plant water use and compare crop coefficients (Kc) calculated with reference evapotranspiration (ET) from local weather stations (ETcim) or atmometers (ETatm). Water use, Kcatm, and Kccim differed by species, location, and month of the year. Raphiolepis indica (L.) Lindl., Pittosporum tobira (Thunb.) Ait., Juniperus sabina L., and Photinia ×fraseri Dress. were the highest water users in Riverside and Arctostaphylos densiflora M.S. Bak., Juniperus, Cercis occidentalis Torr., and Pittosporum used the highest amount of water in Davis, when averaged over the 20-month study period. Rhamnus californica Eschsch., Prunus ilicifolia (Nutt.) Walp., and Cercocarpus minutiflorus Abrams. were among the lowest water users in both locations. Although plant water use fluctuated considerably between individual sampling dates, the relative ranking of species water use in each location changed very little over the study period. During periods of high winds, ETcim may not provide an accurate reference for container crops. Kc values fluctuated seasonally from as much as 1 to 4.7 for high water users, while values were stable for low water users and also for Buxus microphylla japonica Rehd. & E.H. Wils., an intermediate water user. During periods of low ET, especially in fall and winter, Kc values were artificially high and failed to correspond to the plants' low water use. Kc values for low water users seem to be useful to estimate water requirements over an extended period of time, whereas general Kc values seem to have limited value for plants with high water demand and need to be modified for different growth stages and growing locations.

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Victoria E. Rudolph and David W. Burger

The role of N metabolism in organogenesis and growth was studied using tobacco pith callus. Callus was cultured on a solid medium containing 10 μM (1.75 mg/l) IAA and 2 μM (0.43 mg/l) kinetin for 56 days. In the growth experiment, ratios of NH4 +-N to NO3 --N (0:60, 20:40, 30:30, 40:20 and 60:0 mM) were supplied by (NH4)2 SO4 and KNO3. Callus and media were analyzed for inorganic N. Callus supported by 30:30 and 40:20 media removed the highest amounts of NH4 +-N and NO3 --N from the media and exhibited organogenesis. Final dry weight was greatest in callus supported by the 30:30 medium. In the organogenesis experiment, the transfer history of the inoculum source affected N uptake, organogenesis and growth. Inorganic N was supplied by NH4NO3 and KNO3 -. The net uptake of NH4 +-N and NO3 --N was lower in shoot-forming than in root-forming and non-organogenic callus subculture from 7-day-old stock cultures. The final pH of the medium supporting shoot-forming callus was lowest. Growth, on a dry weight basis, was lowest in shoot-forming callus. Callus subculture from 60-day-old stock cultures formed no shoots.

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David W. Burger, Richard W. Harris and Pavel Svihra

Treeshelters are translucent, polypropylene tubes that have been used in England for 10 years to improve the transplantation success and early growth of trees in the landscape. The focus of the presented research will be on the use of treeshelters in producing plants in the container nursery. The results from outdoor nursery and greenhouse, solution culture experiments will be presented. Treeshelters increase the temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration around those plants growing in them. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) inside shelters is reduced 40-60% depending on treeshelter color. Plants growing in treeshelters show increases in height and in the ratio between total fresh weight and total dry weight. However, plants growing in treeshelters also show decreases in leaf, stem, and root fresh and dry weights and leaf area. The potential benefits and current challenges surrounding the use of treeshelters will be discussed.

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Michael Raviv, J. Heinrich Lieth, David W. Burger and Rony Wallach

Physical characteristics of two media were studied concerning water availability to roots, as reflected in specific transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and specific growth rate of very young leaflets of `Kardinal' rose (Rosa ×hybrida L.), grafted on Rosa canina L. `Natal Brier'. Plants were grown in UC mix [42% composted fir bark, 33% peat, and 25% sand (by volume)] or in coconut coir. Water release curves of the media were developed and hydraulic conductivities were calculated. Irrigation pulses were actuated according to predetermined media moisture tensions. Transpiration rate of plants was measured gravimetrically using load cells. Specific transpiration rate (STR) was calculated from these data and leaf area. STR and stomatal conductance were also determined using a steady-state porometer. Specific growth rate (RSG) of young leaflets was calculated from the difference between metabolic heat rate and respiration rate, which served as an indicator for growth potential. Low STR values found at tensions between 0 and 1.5 kPa in UC mix suggest this medium has insufficient free air space for proper root activity within this range. Above 2.3 kPa, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of UC mix was lower than that of coir, possibly lowering STR values of UC mix-grown plants. As a result of these two factors, STR of plants grown in coir was 20% to 30% higher than that of plants grown in UC mix. STR of coir-grown plants started to decline only at tensions around 4.5 kPa. Yield (number of flowers produced) by coir-grown plants was 19% higher than UC mix-grown plants. This study demonstrated the crucial role of reaching sufficient air-filled porosity in the medium shortly after irrigation. It also suggests that hydraulic conductivity is a more representative measure of water availability than tension.

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I-lun Lu, David W. Burger and Ellen G. Sutter

Long term exposure to high benzyladenine (BA) concentrations inhibited shoot elongation and root growth of Cymbidium cv. Yuh Hwa rhizome explants. Through transfer experiments, it was determined that the commitment to shoot induction occurred between 10 and 14 days of exposure to at least 2.5 μM BA. BA when supplied at 20 μM during the fit 14 days of culture was found to be sufficient to induce shoot formation. Both shoot elongation and root formation were greatly improved by decreasing the BA concentration. By using radiolabelled BA, adenine was found to be a major metabolite in the rhizome tissue. Free IAA levels, quantitated by GC-MS, did not correlate well with the organogenesis of rhizomes, nor did the levels of free IAA correlate well with the activities of peroxidase and IAA oxidase, indicating a complex relationship between hormone concentration and differentiation.

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David W. Burger, J.B. Katcher, Nathan E. Lange, Jose L. Saenz, Scott P. Sherman and Mark R. Stoutemyer

Graduate students in horticulture at the Univ. of California, Davis, spent an academic quarter learning how to use the Internet and World-Wide Web (WWW) to access and collect information. The collected information was organized and placed on the WWW where it is available to anyone with access to the Internet.