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Enrique E. Sanchez and Timothy L. Righetti

`Cornice' pear trees (Pyrus communis L.) were fertilized with ammonium nitrate depleted in “N in Spring 1987 and 1988. In Aug., Oct., and Nov. 1988, midleaves on current season shoots were sampled at three positions from the periphery to the center of the canopy. Total N/cm' of leaf area remained almost constant through October, even though percent N concentration declined as specific leaf weight (SLW) increased. Furthermore, there was no substantial net change in either labeled or unlabeled N in either treatment until senescence began in October. Peripheral leaves contained higher levels of both reserve and newly acquired N than did less-exposed leaves. Despite large differences in N/cm2 for October samples, by November leaves from both high (HN) and low N (LN) trees exported similar percentages of their total N. The average N export to storage tissues irrespective of tree N status was 71%, 61%, and 52% for peripheral, medium, and interior leaves, respectively. The export of N was influenced more by the leaf position in the plant canopy than the nutritional status of the tree.

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Enrique E. Sánchez and Timothy L. Righetti

This study was carried out on mature `Delicious' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) on EM 9 rootstock. Labeled B (99.63 Atom % 10B) was applied as boric acid. Treatments were postharvest foliar B at 375 mg·L–1, postharvest foliar B (375 mg·L–1) plus urea (2.5% wt/vol), and a soil application at the same per-tree rate as the foliar treatments (16 g boric acid/tree). Postharvest foliar B applied with or without urea was efficiently transported from the leaves into storage tissues for the next year's growth. However, soil-applied B remained mostly in the roots while very little was translocated to the above-ground portions of the tree at full bloom. When urea was added to a foliar B spray, the amount of B in the roots and flower clusters increased at full bloom. Although increasing the efficiency of foliar B applications may not be necessary, combining urea and B into a single application is recommended when growers want to apply both N and B. Shoot leaves from all treatments collected late in the season (midsummer) had similar B concentrations, even though treatments altered the amount of added B that was present in different tree tissues early in the season.

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David Sugar, Timothy L. Righetti, Enrique E. Sanchez, and Habib Khemira

Management of pear (Pyrus communis L.) trees for low N and high Ca content in the fruit reduced the severity of postharvest fungal decay. Application of N fertilizer 3 weeks before harvest supplied N for tree reserves and for flowers the following spring without increasing fruit N. Calcium chloride sprays during the growing season increased fruit Ca content. Nitrogen and Ca management appear to be additive factors in decay reduction. Fruit density and position in the tree canopy influenced their response to N fertilization. Nitrogen: Ca ratios were lower in fruit from the east quadrant and bottom third of trees and from the distal portion of branches. High fruit density was associated with low N: Ca ratios. Nutritional manipulations appear to be compatible with other methods of postharvest decay control.