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Dwight Wolfe and Gerald Brown

The maturity indices of percent fruit drop, percent soluble solids, and flesh firmness of apples from trees with `Starkspur Supreme' scions on nine rootstocks were compared over the five-year period 1985-1989. The nine rootstocks included EMLA 7, EMLA 9, EMLA 26, EMLA 27, Mark, MAC 24, Ottawa 3, OAR 1, and M9.

The five-year averages of each of the maturity indices varied significantly among the nine stions. The average percent fruit drop was more strongly correlated with trunk cross-sectional area (r=0.572) than it was with cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.346). Flesh firmness was significantly correlated with cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.398) but not with either trunk cross-sectional area or cumulative yield. The average percent soluble solids was more significantly correlated with trunk cross-sectional area (r=0.770) than it was with either cumulative yield efficiency (r=0.383) or cumulative yield (r=0.637). It is suggested that tree size may be used as an indicator for predicting maturity in cases where little or no information is available on the effects of that particular rootstock on maturity.

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Dwight Wolfe and Gerald Brown

`Redhaven' peach [Purnus persica (L.) Batsch] trees which were either own-rooted (OR) or June-budded (JB) the previous year were headed back at planting to either (1) 70-85 cm above the soil surface (CH, conventional heading) or (2) the first bud 20-30 cm above the soil surface (LH, low heading). Propagation method had no effect on fruit yield in 1988 or trunk cross-sectional area; however, total yield in 1987, and the cululative yield for 1987 and 1988 were significantly greater for JB trees than for OR trees. LH reduced survival of OR trees, but not the JB ones. Cold injury was greater for the OR trees than for the JB ones. Neither propagation nor heading height influenced bloom density, fruit set in 1987, or fruit size in 1988. However, OR trees which were conventionally headed produced larger fruits in 1987 than did JB trees the same year.

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Dwight Wolfe and Winston Dunwell

Cut flowers from field-grown hydrangeas are a potential alternative source of income for Kentucky growers. Early production is important to receive immediate returns of ones investment. In Spring 1998, a hydrangea cultivar trial was established at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education Center, Princeton. The planting consisted of 12 plants each of nine cultivars (`Annabelle', `Boskoop', `Pink Diamond', `Unique', `Kyushu', `Tardiva', `Pee Wee', `Alice', and `White Moth') allocated to 12 rows (blocks) in a randomized block design. Date of first bloom, number of inflorescence at first bloom, number of stems and their length were recorded. The cultivars `Unique', `Pink Diamond', and `Tardiva' yielded significantly more flowers with commercially desirable stem lengths (>45 cm) than did `Annabelle' and `Boskoop'. `Alice' and `White Moth' did not bloom.

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Dwight Wolfe and Gerald R. Brown

Each of the grape cultivars [Vitis species, (L) Batch], `Concord', `Himrod', `Challenger', `Reliance', `Glenora', `Moored', planted June 1983, and `Mars' planted Spring, 1987, was trained to the 4-cane Kniffin (KN) and the Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) systems. Yield per vine, pruning weight, number of nodes, cluster weight, number of berries per cluster, berry weight, and percent soluble solids were recorded. Vines from `Reliance' trained to the KN system produced fruit with significantly higher percent soluble solids than did vines trained to the GDC. No significant differences in percent soluble solids were observed between the two training systems for the other cultivars. `Concord' produced more kg/vine of pruning weight when trained to the KN system than when trained to the GDC. Pruning weight did not differ significantly between the two training systems for the other cultivars. Cultivars more productive (yield/vine) on the GDC trellis were `Concord', `Himrod', `Reliance' and `Moored' whereas `Challenger' was more productive when vines were trained to the KN system. No differences between the two training systems were observed for `Glenora' or `Mars'.

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Gerald R. Brown and Dwight Wolfe

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Gerald R. Brown and Dwight E. Wolfe

An experiment was initiated at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education orchard, Princeton, Ky., to determine the training practices needed to obtain early production and optimal fruit size from trees trained to either the slender spindle or the French axe system on vigorous sites. One-hundred-eighty trees (five rows, 32 trees per row) of `Golden Delicious' on M.9 rootstock were planted in May 1997, in a randomized complete-block design with eight treatment combinations, consisting of two training systems and four levels of training intensity. Trunk circumference averaged 61 cm at planting and did not vary significantly among rootstocks. A trellis was constructed, and trickle irrigation was installed. All trees are currently alive. Each season, over half the total time spent training the trees was spent during the first 5 weeks the trees were trained. About 2 minutes per week was needed to train each tree during the first 5 weeks, but only 45 seconds per week was needed in the sixth through the 16th week. Trunk circumference, yield, and average weight per fruit did not vary significantly in the analysis of variance. Training per kilogram of fruit averaged 4.2 minutes.

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Tim Woods, Dwight Wolfe, and Gerald R. Brown

Yield data from a highbush blueberry planting established in 1993 at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education Center, Princeton, Ky., was collected over a 5-year period for eight cultivars. The economic impact of yield of each cultivar was calculated for each cultivar using a net present value model based on prevailing market prices and costs of production. These returns were compared across cultivars and an assessment of the economic potential for Kentucky growing conditions was considered. `Duke' and `Sierra' produced the most fruit over the 5-year period of this study. `Duke' was also the earliest ripening cultivar in the planting, with 14.3% of `Duke's fruit ripening during the first week of June. Sunrise also ripened early, with 7.7% of its fruit ripening during the first week of June. Picking for the other cultivars (`Sierra', `Bluecrop', `Blue Gold', `Toro', `Nelson', and `Patriot'), began during the second week of June and was finished for all cultivars by the end of the fourth week of June. An exception was `Nelson', which was picked through the first week of July. Despite relatively low yields observed in the first year of production, `Duke' had the highest net present values for the assumed 12-year life of the planting. The ranking of the other seven cultivars from highest to lowest in terms of their respective net present values was: `Sierra', `Blue Gold', `Bluecrop', `Toro', `Nelson', `Sunrise', and `Patriot'.

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Joseph G. Masabni and Dwight E. Wolfe

Flumioxazin (Chateau 51WG) is an herbicide for the preemergence and early postemergence control of broadleaves and grasses. Chateau was recently labeled for use in non-bearing fruit trees and bearing grapes. Long-term weed control in apple, peach, and blueberry was investigated following fall application of herbicides. Treatments consisted of simazine 2.8 kg a.i., norflurazon 2.24 kg a.i., napropamide 2.24 kg a.i., and oryzalin 2.24 kg a.i. were applied on 11 Nov. 2003. Flumioxazin was also applied at 0.1 and 0.43 kg ai on apple and peach. All treatments included glyphosate 1 lb a.i. for burndown control of preexisting weeds. Weed control evaluation in mid-April or 4 months after application showed that flumioxazin-treated plots had no weeds present and no weed regrowth. Plots treated with napropamide, norflurazon, and oryzalin showed significant regrowth of dandelion, common ragweed, and chickweed. Simazine plots had fewer weeds germinating than the other herbicides. By early June or 6 months after application, no differences in residual weed control were observed for all treated plots when compared to the control. All plots were equally weedy and required immediate floor management measures. It appears that flumioxazin weed control benefit was exhausted by 6 months after application, compared to 4 months for all other herbicides. Fall application of flumioxazin can eliminate the need for early spring weed control. This time saved can be spent on other important activities such as pruning and disease and insect control.

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Winston C. Dunwell and Dwight E. Wolfe

Common persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, a medium to large, attractive native tree of narrow habit, is potentially a valuable landscape tree due to its tolerance of diverse environmental conditions. Previous work by the authors demonstrated that seed stored in perlite or peat moss had a higher percent germination following cold storage than seed stored without media. Seeds were prepared for cold storage by two methods: 1) moist seed—cleaned (cap, skin, and the easily removed pulp discarded), and (2) dry seed—cleaned, dried for three days, and the remaining pulp removed. The media were either dried or moistened, but not saturated. The treatments were: 1) moist seeds; 2) dry seeds; 3) moist seeds in dry perlite; 4) moist seeds in moist perlite; 5) dry seeds in dry perlite; 6) dry seeds in moist perlite; 7) moist seeds in dry peat moss; 8) moist seeds in moist peat moss; 9) dry seeds in dry peat moss; 10) dry seeds in moist peat moss. Seed was stored at 4.4° for 142 days. Germination of seed stored in dry perlite was not significantly different from that stored in moist perlite or peat moss, but dry peat moss significantly limited germination regardless of seed preparation.

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Joseph Masabni, S. Kaan Kurtural, Dwight Wolfe, and Chris Smigell

The effect of cropload (kg yield/kg pruning weight) on yield components and fruit composition of 17 eastern European grapevine cultivars was evaluated from 2000 to 2004 in a vineyard, at the research station in western Kentucky, characterized by a long and warm season. There was a cubic relationship between number of clusters retained per vine and the cropload (R 2 = 0.6374, P < 0.0001). Similar relationship was evident between yield per vine and cropload (R 2 = 0.5908, P < 0.0001). Of the observed variation in cluster weight, 28% was attributed to variation among predictions, based on the value of cropload in a quadratic relationship (P < 0.0001). As cropload increased, pruning weight per meter of row decreased (R 2 = 0.4513, P < 0.0001). However, there was very little effect of cropload on the percentage of total soluble solids and juice pH measured at harvest. Optimum cropload values fell in between 13–18 (kg yield/kg pruning weight) depending upon cultivar evaluated, based on optimum ranges for pruning weight per meter of row for optimum vine balance in the lower Midwest.