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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth Grosskurth x
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Many Ohio growers import liners from the West Coast due to the increased growing season on the West Coast. Lengthening the season in Ohio may provide a way for Ohio growers to produce liners of their own. Retractable roof greenhouses (RRG) are one possible way to extend the growing season in Ohio. Research done previously at The Ohio State University suggests that retractable roof greenhouses do in fact lengthen the growing season, and tree liners can be produced using RRG. The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine the optimal growing environment from three different environments; and 2) to determine the optimal species for tree liner production in Ohio. In Oct. 2004, 180 liners each of Cladrastis kentuckea, Quercus rubra, Stewartia pseudocamellia, Syringa reticulata, and Tilia cordata were upshifted to 3-gallon pots. In Mar. 2005, 90 of each species were transferred to either a flat roof retractable house (FRRG), peak roof retractable house (PRRG), or polyhouse. Growth was measured in Mar. (initial), June, Aug., and Oct. 2005 by taking leaf area, shoot and root dry weights, height, and caliper. There were no differences across species and dates between the environments for any of the parameters measured. Tilia showed the greatest increase in growth from June to October in all the parameters measured except leaf area. Cladrastis showed the greatest increase in leaf area from June to October. There were species by date interactions. Quercus had the greatest root weight in October. Syringa and Quercus were not significantly different from each other and had the highest shoot weights and leaf areas in October. Tilia, Quercus, and Syringa had the highest calipers in October.

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Currently, the majority of tree liners used in the Ohio nursery industry are imported, mainly from the West Coast. The Ohio growing season is 156 days, whereas the Oregon season is 225 days. We are developing an Ohio liner production system, utilizing a retractable roof greenhouse (RRG) that extends the growing season. Liners grown in a RRG have shown greater caliper, height, and root and shoot dry weight than those grown outside of a RRG (Stoven, 2004). The objective of this research was to compare the growth of RRG-grown liners, outdoor-grown liners, and West Coast-grown liners when planted in the field. Four tree species [Quercus rubra, Malus `Prairifire', Acer ×freemannii `Jeffersred' (Autumn Blaze®), and Cercis canadensis] were started from either seed or rooted cuttings in early 2003. They were grown in a glass greenhouse and then moved to their respective environments in March (RRG) and May (outside). In Oct. 2003, the Ohio-grown liners were planted in the field at the Waterman Farm of The Ohio State University, Columbus. In Spring 2004, liners from the West Coast were purchased and planted in the same field setting. Caliper and height were measured in June and Sept. 2004. After one season in the field, trees grown from the RRG and outdoor environments resulted in greater height and caliper than the West Coast liners in Malus, Acer, and Cercis. Acer liners from Oregon had a greater increase in height from June to September than those grown outdoors or in the RRG. Quercus liners from the RRG and outdoor environments displayed greater caliper growth and growth in height than those from the West Coast. Across all species, liners grown from the RRG had the greatest increase in caliper growth.

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