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  • Author or Editor: Gary Ueunten x
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Premature fruit drop of Macadamia integrifolia is a major limitation to yield. This study investigated the effects of raceme thinning and branch girding on find fruit set of macadamia nut 'Ikaika' and 'Keaau'. Eleven-year old grafted trees grown near Hilo, Hawaii were used. Racemes were thinned to 1, 2, or 4 racemes per branch two weeks after anthesis. The base of half these branches was girdled when the racemes were thinned.

Premature fruit drop occurred during the 97 and 151 days following anthesis for `Keaau' and `Ikaika', respectively. Peak fruit drop occurred within 70 days after anthesis for both cultivars. Raceme thinning and girdling had no effect on final fruit set (nuts/branch) of `Ikaika' 151 days after anthesis. There was a significant interaction between raceme thinning and girdling on final fruit set of `Keaau'. Branches with four racemes set more fruit than branches with one or two racemes. Raceme thinning and girdling had no effect on fruit retention (% of initial fruit set retained through final fruit set per branch) of `Ikaika'. There was a significant interaction between girdling and raceme thinning on fruit retention of `Keaau'. Branches with four racemes had greater fruit retention than branches with one or two racemes. Premature fruit drop may be altered on individual branches by altering raceme load and limiting phloem transport of assimilates into the girdled branch.

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Abstract

Leaf areas of Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche cvs. Kakea and Keaau were estimated by equations involving linear dimensions length and width in second degree polynomials. The equations accurately estimated leaf area at 2 locations for each cultivar.

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A new problem of macadamia trees (Macadamia integrifolia Maiden and Betche) in Hawaii is characterized by slight leaf chlorosis, followed by rapid leaf browning, and tree death. Ambrosia beetle [Xyleborus affinis Eichhoff and X. perforans Wollastan (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)] infestations and fungal fruiting bodies were present on trees that subsequently exhibited the decline pattern. `Ikaika' was the most susceptible cultivar, and tree death occurred 8.3 ± 2.6Sd months after beetle infestations were detected.

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