Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 22 items for

  • Author or Editor: J.G. Williamson x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Full access

J.G. Williamson

I conducted an experiment to determine the effects of time of rootstock shoot removal on growth of citrus nursery plants forced by bending and lopping. `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] budded on Carrizo citrange [C. sinensis (L.) × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] and Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco) seedlings were grown in 2.8-L plastic pots and forced by bending or lopping the rootstock shoots. For Carrizo plants, rootstock shoots were removed 0, 21, 36, 170, or 235 days after forcing. For Cleopatra plants, rootstock shoots were removed 0, 11, 21, 36, 170, and 235 days after forcing. Bending and lopping with rootstock shoots remaining attached for 36 days after forcing resulted in greater nursery tree growth (scion, root, and wholeplant dry masses; scion length; and leaf area) than when rootstock shoots were removed the day of forcing. Growth of scion leaves (both rootstocks) and stems (Cleopatra) was greatest at a rootstock shoot removal time (RSRT) of 36 days after forcing. However, root and whole plant dry masses increased as RSRT increased up to 235 days after forcing. These results suggest that roots continue to be a major sink for rootstock photosynthates of bent or lopped plants during periods after the first scion growth flush. Proportionally greater root growth occurred on plants forced by bending or lopping when rootstock shoots were left attached for more than the usual 4 to 5 weeks after forcing.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and B.E. Maust

Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of bud forcing method and rootstock on scion budbreak and nursery tree growth of `Han-din' orange (Citrus sinensis Osb.) In Expt. 1, Carrizo citrange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] (Ca), Swingle citrumelo [C. paradisi (L.) Osb. × P. trifoliata (L.) Raf.] (Sw), and Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco) (Cl) were budded with `Hamlin' orange and forced by cutting off the rootstock tops, lopping (cutting half way through the rootstock stem above the scion bud), or bending the rootstock top and tying it to the trunk). For Cl and Ca percent budbreak was high for all forcing methods. For Sw percent budbreak was greater for cutting off than for lopping or bending. For Sw and Ca, bending or lopping resulted in greater whole plant and scion dry weights than cutting off. Expt. 2 was similar to Expt. 1 except that bending was used alone, or in combination with notching (cutting an invertal v-shaped notch above the scion bud), or with topping the bent rootstock shoot. Scion budbreak of Sw plants was greater for bending + notching than for bending alone. Other effects of rootstock and forcing method for cutting off, bending or lopping were similar to those found in Expt. 1.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and R.L. Darnell

Mature `Sharpblue' southern highbush and `Beckyblue' rabbiteye blueberry plants were mechanically pruned at two heights on three dates after fruit harvest during the 1994 growing season. No pruning had occurred for at least 3 years (`Sharpblue') or 5 years (`Beckyblue') before initiating experiment. Pruning heights were 45 and 85 cm and nonpruned for `Sharpblue' and 45 and 95 cm and nonpruned for `Beckyblue'. Pruning dates were 3, 6, and 9 weeks after peak harvest for each cultivar. Regrowth was measured in Mar. 1995 before initiation of spring growth. Pruning `Sharpblue' bushes to 45 cm increased new shoot number and mean and total shoot length but decreased fruit yield compared to the 90-cm pruning treatment. No difference in yield occurred between the 90-cm pruning treatment and the nonpruned control. As time between fruit harvest and pruning increased, new shoot number, mean and total shoot length, plant height, canopy volume, and fruit yield decreased. There was no difference in yield between the earliest pruning treatment and the control. For `Beckyblue', mean and total shoot length of regrowth and flower bud density decreased with increasing time from harvest to pruning. Yield data for `Beckyblue' were not collected in 1995 because of gall midge infestation.

Full access

J.G. Williamson and E.P. Miller

Three experiments were conducted in north-central Florida to determine the effects of fall defoliation on flower bud initiation and yield of southern highbush (SHB) blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrid). In 1998, randomly selected upright shoots of mature, field-grown `Misty' and `Sharpblue' plants were hand-defoliated at monthly intervals beginning 4 Sept. and ending 7 Dec. In 1999, a similar study was conducted using different plants of the same cultivars. Representative shoots were defoliated at monthly intervals beginning 14 Sept. and ending 15 Dec. Additional shoots were also partially defoliated by removing the distal two-thirds of each leaf at monthly intervals from 15 Oct. through 15 Dec. In a third experiment, 2-year-old container-grown `Star' SHB plants were completely defoliated at monthly intervals beginning 13 Sept. and ending 15 Dec. In each experiment, control shoots, or plants ('Star'), were not defoliated. Although there were differences among cultivars and years, all cultivars tested demonstrated negative effects on reproductive growth and development from September and October defoliations. For `Sharpblue', reduced fruit yield from early fall defoliation appeared to be due to fewer fruit set per flower bud. However, for `Misty', reduced fruit yield from early fall defoliation was the result of large reductions in flower bud numbers as well as fewer fruit set per flower bud. September and October defoliations of `Star' reduced yields or delayed fruit ripening. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate the importance of maintaining healthy foliage through October in the lower southeastern United States for adequate flower bud initiation and high yields of SHB blueberry the following spring.

Full access

J.G. Williamson and E.P. Miller

Growth and yield of ‘Misty’ and ‘Star’ southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrid) plants that were grown in pine bark culture were evaluated under several rates of granular or liquid fertilizers. Granular fertilizer resulted in larger canopy volumes and slightly greater annual fruit yield than liquid fertilizer. In 2003 and 2004, canopy growth increased linearly as fertilizer rate increased up to the highest rate tested [81 g nitrogen (N), 11.8 g phosphorus (P), and 44.6 g potassium (K) per plant per year]. Similarly, a positive relationship was found for fruit yield and fertilizer rate during all 3 years. Berry yield was positively correlated with canopy size, and there was no relationship between fertilizer rate and berry yield per canopy volume, indicating that yield and canopy volume increased proportionally with increased fertilizer rate. Mean ‘Star’ berry weight was greater for granular fertilizer treatments than for liquid fertilizer treatments, but mean berry weight of ‘Misty’ was unaffected by fertilizer form. At the end of the experiment, visual examination of eight plants excavated by hand indicated that root systems of blueberry plants were primarily located in the pine bark layer with very few roots penetrating into the underlying soil. Limited water and nutrient holding capacities of pine bark, coupled with frequent irrigations to the shallow root systems in pine bark culture, probably resulted in considerable nutrient leaching and a high fertilizer requirement.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and R.L. Darnell

Six-year-old, field-grown `Beckyblue' and `Bonita' rabbiteye blueberries were sprayed to drip with Pro-Gibb (250 ppm GA3, 0.1% surfactant, pH 3.1). Two spray applications were made. The first spray was applied at 80-90% full bloom followed by a second spray 10 days later. Fruit were harvested at five dates, from 21 May until 1 July, 1992. GA3 increased fruit set and doubled total fruit yield for both cultivars compared to the control. Fruit yield was greater for the GA3 treatment than for the control at harvest dates 3 through 5 for 'Beckyblue', and dates 4 and 5 for 'Bonita'. Average berry weight for both cultivars and for both treatments declined as the season progressed. For `Beckyblue', average berry weight did not differ between treatments at most harvest dates. For 'Bonita', average berryweight was less for the GA3 treatment than for the control at harvest dates 3 through 5. GA3 increased yield of rabbiteye blueberry with little detrimental effect on fruit size. However, results from Georgia suggest that greater positive effects on fruit set should be possible.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and B.E. Maust

Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of rootstock shoot defoliation or shading on growth during the first two scion flushes of budded, containerized, citrus nursery trees. Both experiments were conducted in a greenhouse with Cleopatra mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) and Swingle citrumelo [C. paradisi (L.) Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] seedlings budded with `Hamlin' orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osb.]. Scion buds were forced by cutting off the rootstock shoots above the bud union or by bending the rootstock shoots and tying them to the base of the plants (bending). In one experiment, shoots from both rootstocks that were forced by bending received one of four defoliation treatments: treatments were 0%, 40%, 60%, or 85% (based on leaf area) defoliation for Cleopatra and 0%, 30%, 60%, or 100% defoliation for Swingle. In the second experiment, rootstock shoots of plants forced by bending were subjected to a maximum photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 820, 225, 90, or 30 μmol·m–2·s–1. Growth of Cleopatra plants declined linearly with increasing levels of rootstock shoot defoliation. When rootstock shoot defoliation was ≤40%, whole-plant (minus rootstock shoot) dry weights were higher for plants forced by bending than for those forced by cutting off rootstock shoots. For Swingle, most growth responses to rootstock shoot defoliation were curvilinear. Higher levels of rootstock shoot defoliation resulted in less growth than lower defoliation levels. Low PPF reduced whole-plant (minus rootstock shoot) and root dry weights for both rootstocks compared to high PPF. For Cleopatra, whole-plant and scion dry weights were highest at the highest PPF. For Swingle, whole-plant and scion dry weights were highest at 225 μmol·m–2·s–1. For both rootstocks, plants forced by bending had higher dry weights at 820 and 225 μmol·m–2·s–1 than plants forced by cutting off the rootstock shoots. For Swingle, most of the reduction in scion growth from rootstock shoot defoliation occurred during the first scion flush. Our results suggest that recently produced rootstock shoot photosynthates are the primary source of greater plant growth achieved by bending compared to cutting off rootstock shoots.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and E.P. Miller

Field-grown `Misty', `Star', and `Southmoon' southern highbush, and `Climax' rabbiteye blueberry plants were sprayed to drip with 0, 7.7 and 15.4 g·L–1 concentrations of hydrogen cyanamide in north central Florida on 17 Dec. 1997 and 6 Jan. 1998. Plants were dormant with slightly swollen flower buds (stage 2) at the times of applications. The extent and earliness of vegetative budbreak were increased by both hydrogen cyanamide sprays. Hydrogen cyanamide also increased mean fruit fresh weights and reduced fruit development periods for `Misty', `Southmoon' and `Climax' but not for `Star'. Yield response to hydrogen cyanamide was variable among cultivars. Fruit yields of `Misty' and `Climax' increased slightly by 7.7 g·L–1 sprays and decreased significantly by 15.4 g·L–1 sprays. In that case, increased fruit yields appeared to be the result of greater mean fruit fresh weights while reduced yields resulted from significant flower bud thinning that occurred at the highest spray concentration. Both hydrogen cyanamide spray concentrations increased fruit yield for `Southmoon' and decreased fruit yield for `Star' when compared to controls. Spray date had no effect on fruit yield and little effect on fruit development period. Hydrogen cyanamide has potential for increasing fruit quality and earliness of some blueberry cultivars that are grown in the lower southeastern United States.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and R.L. Darnell

Two-year-old, container-grown `Misty' southern highbush blueberry plants were sprayed to drip with two concentrations of hydrogen cyanamide (HCN) (20.4 g·L–1 and 10.2 g·L–1) after exposure to 0, 150, or 300 hr of continuous chilling at 5.6°C. All plants were sprayed immediately after chilling and placed in a greenhouse for several weeks. The plants were moved outdoors during flowering to increase cross-pollination from nearby `Sharpblue' blueberry plants. HCN sprays killed some of the more advanced flower buds on shoot terminals and on small-diameter wood from the previous spring growth flush. Significantly greater flower bud mortality occurred for the 20.4 g·L–1 HCN sprays than for the 10.2 g·L–1 sprays. Flower buds subjected to 0 hr of chilling were more susceptible to spray burn than flower buds receiving 150 or 300 hr of chilling. Very little flower bud death occurred with the 10.2 g·L–1 HCN rate on plants receiving 300 hr of chilling. Vegetative budbreak was advanced for both HCN treatments compared to controls, regardless of chilling treatment. HCN-treated plants were heavily foliated at full bloom, while non-treated plants had very few to no leaves during bloom. HCN may be useful for stimulating vegetative growth in some southern highbush blueberry cultivars that suffer from poor foliation during flowering and fruit set.

Free access

J.G. Williamson and D.C. Coston

Several planting treatments modified vegetative and reproductive growth of young, own-rooted peach (Prums persica) trees evaluated at two levels of irrigation in a high-density orchard (5000 trees/ha). Trees planted in auger holes, narrow herbicide strips, and in fabric-lined trenches, but not those from raised beds, were smaller than control trees set in holes dug with a shovel. After two growing seasons, trees planted in the fabric-lined trenches were smaller and had more flowers per node and greater flower bud densities than trees in other planting treatments. Yield efficiency was greatest for this treatment, although fruit size was small throughout the orchard. Irrigation rates did not affect fruit yield or size. The effects of irrigation rate on vegetative growth were small compared to differences among planting treatments.