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  • Author or Editor: J. Hasey x
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Chloride and boron toxicity symptoms and tissue concentrations were characterized and distinguished in kiwifruit. Dormant cane, bud, emerging leaves, blade and petiole samples were taken from February through October 1989 from three vineyards - a high chloride, a high boron and a low boron, low chloride control. Chloride toxicity symptoms started showing in early summer on basal leaves. By late summer, necrosis symptoms were on mid-shoot and leaves near the shoot terminal. In boron toxicity, interveinal chlorotic areas appeared first followed by marginal necrosis. Symptoms were seen on basal leaves in early spring, progressively affecting upper leaves by harvest. The high chloride vineyard accumulated chloride from early spring with the petiole concentrating more chloride than the blade. In the high boron vineyard, boron increased greatly in the blade but not in the petiole. Another sampling procedure other than mid-season leaf samples could be emerging leaves for detecting high chloride and dormant cane tips, buds or emerging leaves for high boron.

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Four tree training methods have been evaluated since 1979 in California for their affect on yield of “Nonpareil” ctv. almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb] in a tightly spaced “Nonpareil”/”Price” ctvs 1:1 hedgerow planting. Four variations of open center training began at the first dormant pruning in a 2.2 × 6.7-m spacing (667 trees/ha): 1) Temporary Hedge—trees trained to three primary scaffolds, standard pruned with alternate trees gradually whisked back to allow space for permanent trees and then removed at 8th year leaving 4.4 × 6.7-m spacing(333 trees/ha); 2) Permanent Hedge—trees trained to three scaffolds, standard pruned at 2.2-m spacing; 3) Two-Scaffold Hedge—Trees trained into “perpendicular V” two scaffold configuration, standard pruned at 2.2-m spacing; 4) Unpruned Hedge—Trained to three scaffolds then left essentially unpruned at 2.2-m spacing. Replicated yield data accumulated over 15 years shows no difference in production between the three permanent 2.2-m hedgerow methods. Yield for the Temporary Hedge, however, declined 30% the year following alternate tree removal. Adequate canopy expansion resulted in some regained nut production, but yields never recovered and remain 20% below the permanent hedge treatments 13 years post-removal. Observations indicate considerable loss of fruitwood has occurred in the lower canopy of all three 2.2-m hedge treatments, especially in the Unpruned but good commercial production has been maintained at 2400 to 3000 kg/ha The size of almond kernels was not affected by training method. Trunk circumference was affected by treatment. Trees in Temporary Hedge plots grew sustantially larger after alternate tree removal than trees in all 2.2-m hedge treatments that were equal in size.

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To be useful for indicating plant water needs, any measure of plant stress should be closely related to some of the known short- and medium-term plant stress responses, such as stomatal closure and reduced rates of expansive growth. Midday stem water potential has proven to be a useful index of stress in a number of fruit tree species. Day-to-day fluctuations in stem water potential under well-irrigated conditions are well correlated with midday vapor-pressure deficit, and, hence, a nonstressed baseline can be predicted. Measuring stem water potential helped explain the results of a 3-year deficit irrigation study in mature prunes, which showed that deficit irrigation could have either positive or negative impacts on tree productivity, depending on soil conditions. Mild to moderate water stress was economically beneficial. In almond, stem water potential was closely related to overall tree growth as measured by increases in trunk cross-sectional area. In cherry, stem water potential was correlated with leaf stomatal conductance and rates of shoot growth, with shoot growth essentially stopping once stem water potential dropped to between −1.5 to −1.7 MPa. In pear, fruit size and other fruit quality attributes (soluble solids, color) were all closely associated with stem water potential. In many of these field studies, systematic tree-to-tree differences in water status were large enough to obscure irrigation treatment effects. Hence, in the absence of a plant-based measure of water stress, it may be difficult to determine whether the lack of an irrigation treatment effect indicates the lack of a physiological response to plant water status, or rather is due to treatment ineffectiveness in influencing plant water status. These data indicate that stem water potential can be used to quantify stress reliably and guide irrigation decisions on a site-specific basis.

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