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  • Author or Editor: J.L Sibley x
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International experiences enhance opportunities for future employment in that many companies, and particularly government agencies desire graduates that comprehend the global economy of our world. Traditional and emerging opportunities with ports of entry, Homeland Security, and international companies are increasing. There are seven primary avenues to an International Experience for Auburn Horticulture students. In recent months, some students have been deployed to military assignments. Through the IPPS we have been able to facilitate student exchange programs. Several graduate students have accompanied faculty on plant expeditions or in agricultural development or research efforts. However, these three types of opportunities are not long-term or sustainable. The E.T. and Vam York Endowment provides monetary support, often equal to air fare, to faculty and graduate students for short duration trips. A similar endowment created by Bill and Margaret Stallworth provides monetary awards for airfare and other incidentals to undergraduates on international internships six months or longer in duration. The Henry P. Orr Fund for Excellence commemorates out-of-the-classroom experiences championed by Orr for almost 40 years at Auburn. The purpose of the Orr Endowment is to provide short-term study tours of gardens of the world for students and faculty. In Summer 2005 we begin our first Horticulture Study Abroad Program operated on a cost recovery basis providing 13 semester hours of academic credit at a cost similar to taking the same course load on campus. Altogether, our current goal is to involve about 10% of our students annually in international opportunities.

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Limited information exists for container production of red maple cultivars. The objective of this study was to evaluate first-year growth of container-grown `October Glory' at 3 locations with disparate climates in Georgia and Alabama (Tifton, Ga., Blairsville, Ga., and Auburn, Ala.). Rooted cuttings were planted in 9.2-L containers in one location in the same substrate in April 1995. Trees were transported to each location in mid-June and irrigated from overhead risers at 1.3 cm/day for 6 months until dormant, then transported to a single location for harvest. Despite weather differences among locations, final heights were not different (Blairsville 59.8 cm; Auburn 53.0 cm; and Tifton 60.2 cm). Shoot diameter increase and shoot dry weight was greatest at Tifton (8.4 mm, 17.5 g), least at Blairsville (6.3 mm, 9.2 g), with Auburn similar to both locations (6.8 mm, 12.2 g). Root dry weight and root: shoot ratio was greater in Tifton (17.2 g, 0.97) than Blairsville 14.9 g, 0.51) and Auburn (7.0 g, 0.64).

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Clematis socialis Kral, commonly known as the Alabama Leatherflower, is an endangered species with only six known populations in northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia. Cutting propagation of the species will aid in establishing additional self-sustaining populations and provide genetic material for future hybridization and genetic preservation. Such research would also benefit growers, especially native nurseries, who wish to produce this species commercially for its ornamental value. Several experiments were performed to determine the effects of four non-amended substrates on root initiation, root growth, and survival of C. socialis stem cuttings. The four substrates tested included sand, perlite, vermiculite, and a 1 peat (P): 1 pine bark (PB): 1 sand (S) mix (by volume). Some of the best results in the preliminary experiments in 2000 were observed when 2 to 3 node cuttings kept under shade and treated with higher IBA/NAA concentrations were used. In 2004, there was a correlation between root growth and cutting survival and particle size of the substrates. Cuttings rooted in the finer-particle substrates sand and vermiculite had higher cutting survival, root growth, root number, and root quality than those rooted in perlite and the 1 P: 1 PB: 1 S mix. Sand, perlite and vermiculite consistently outperformed the 1 P: 1 PB: 1 S mix which had some of the lowest growth data means. Sand was among the highest performing substrates in all years and it is the most inexpensive and readily available making it the most logical substrate for rooting C. socialis stem cuttings.

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Clematis socialis Kral, also known as the Alabama Leatherflower, is an endangered species with only six known populations in northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia. Cutting propagation of the species would be beneficial for establishing additional self-sustaining populations and providing genetic material for future hybridization. A study conducted in 2000 and 2004 determined the effects of four nonamended substrates on root initiation and growth, as well as survival of C. socialis stem cuttings. Of the four substrates tested, including sand, perlite, vermiculite, and 1:1:1 (by volume) peat (P): pine bark (PB): sand (S), cutting survival was highest in sand in both 2000 and 2004. In 2000, sand also produced the longest roots and highest root quality. Vermiculite produced the longest and most roots and highest root quality in the 2004 study. In 2004, cuttings rooted in fine-particled substrates, such as sand and vermiculite, had higher cutting survival, root growth, root number, and root quality than those rooted in perlite and 1:1:1 (by volume) P:PB:S. The 1:1:1 P:PB:S substrate produced the lowest averages for all data collected in both the 2000 and 2004 studies. Sand was among the two highest performing media in both years, regardless of differences in IBA concentration, misting times, and environmental conditions, making it the overall best substrate for rooting C. socialis stem cuttings. Increasing the concentration of IBA in the rooting solution, providing a cooler environment, and decreasing the number and duration of misting cycles the cuttings received increased cutting survival, root length, root number, and root quality for all four substrates from 2000 to 2004.

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Poultry and coal production are two major industries concentrated in north-central Alabama. Standard surface coal mine reclamation procedures were compared to procedures utilizing poultry litter in an 3.24-ha mine site. Three 0.4-ha plots amended with litter at rates of 25, 50, and 100 mt/ha, were compared to a plot with mineral fertilizer (13N–13–P13K) at standard reclamation rates of 672 kg/ha, and a plot receiving no fertilizer or litter. All plots were amended with ground limestone and disced in 31 cm. A mix of fescue, lespedeza, rye, and clover was broadcast over all plots uniformly. Eight tree species; northern red oak, nuttall oak, willow oak, red maple, yellow poplar, royal paulownia, loblolly pine, and eastern red cedar were planted in all plots at 1482 trees/ha. Forage yields (1995–96) in litter-amended plots were two to three times higher than statewide hay production averages. High litter rates have had no negative effects on ground cover, tree survival, or ground water nitrates (NO3). This project demonstrates broiler litter use as an organic-matter amendment in a self-sustaining reclamation success.

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`Formosa' azalea (Rhododendron indicum) was grown for 4 months in 7.6-L (2 gal) containers in four substrate blends: 100% pine bark (PB) (by volume), 1 PB: 1 cotton gin compost (CGC), 3 PB: 1 CGC, and 3 PB: 1 peat (PT) at three irrigation levels [600, 1200, and 1800 mL·d-1 (20.3, 40.6, and 60.9 floz/d)] in a polyethylene-covered greenhouse. Plants were evaluated for growth on a biweekly basis using a growth index. Roots were evaluated visually at the end of the study using a 0 (no root growth) to 5 (root bound) scale. Initial physical properties were determined and leachates were collected every 30 days. There was no difference in percent increase in growth across irrigation and substrate treatments. Visual root rating was greatest (4.5) for azaleas grown in 3 PB: 1 PT and least (3.5) in 1 PB: 1 CGC. The two PB/CGC blends improved water-holding capacity (WHC) in comparison to 100% PB, with 1 PB: 1 CGC exhibiting the greatest WHC among all four substrates. Bulk density was greatest with the CGC-amended substrates. Leachate pH tended to increase and electrical conductivity (EC) tended to decrease with increasing irrigation volume. Leachates from the CGC-amended substrates were less acidic and EC tended to be similar or greater than leachates from the 100% PB and 3 PB: 1 PT substrates.

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The unprecedented, yet sustained, growth of undergraduate enrollment in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University can be attributed to many factors, including an increased industry demand for horticulture graduates nationwide. Perhaps the basis of some of Auburn's growth, while appearing to be unique, may be of value in other programs. This paper chronicles the growth of the Auburn Department of Horticulture undergraduate program and highlights some of the traditional teaching methods employed within the department as well as some unique methods that contribute to the program. The paper offers ideas and practices that may be beneficial to other horticulture programs and may encourage teaching faculty at other institutions to publish similar departmental profiles that may prove beneficial to colleagues.

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The influence of three shade levels on propagation of golden barberry (Berberis koreana Palib. × B. thunbergii DC.) selection `Bailsel' was evaluated in studies initiated 29 Apr. and 18 Sept. 1998. After 57 days, root ratings were higher in plants under 70% and 80% shade treatments than 60% shade for both studies. In study one, viability was lower among plants under the 60% shade level than those under 70% or 80% shade levels. Viability among treatments was similar in study two. Based on visual observations, leaf retention appeared greater under the 70% and 80% shade treatments than the 60% shade treatment for both studies. Cuttings rooted under 70% and 80% shade levels generally had a uniform golden hue, whereas the foliage of those rooted under 60% shade often had a red hue and showed signs of desiccation for both studies. Root dry weights were greater for cuttings under the 60% shade levels than 70% or 80% shade.

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Average leaf area (LA) and petiole length (PL) was determined for 13 red maple selections May–Sept. 1993. Bloom types were determined based on the predominate flower structures present in Spring 1993 and 1994. Leaves were collected from an existing field study installed in Mar. 1990. Trees were drip-irrigated throughout the study, thereby eliminating moisture stress concerns. Acer×freemanii `Scarsen' (LA = 131.5 cm2), `Morgan' (LA = 93.6 cm2), and `Autumn Blaze' (LA = 83.9 cm2) had the largest leaves. Acer rubrum `Autumn Flame' (LA = 40.0 cm2) had the smallest leaves. Acer rubrum `October Glory' (PL = 17.1 cm) had the longest petioles followed by `Fairview Flame' (PL = 15.4 cm). Shortest cultivar petioles were on A. rubrum `Franksred' (PL = 9.3 cm) and `Tilford' (PL = 9.3 cm). Flowers were predominately pistillate on `Autumn Flame', `Franksred', `Morgan', `October Glory', `Redskin', `Scarsen', and `Schlesingeri'. Flowers were predominately staminate on `Fairview Flame', `Karpick', `Northwood', and `Tilford'. `Autumn Blaze' did not exhibit flowers in 1993 or 1994. Some seedlings in the study were pistillate, and others were staminate.

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The current study was conducted to relate ice formation to the pattern and rate of leaf and stem injury of Satsuma mandarins on trifoliate orange rootstock. Potted trees were unacclimated, moderately acclimated or fully acclimated by exposing trees to 32/21 °C, 15/7 °C or 10/4 °C, respectively. Freezing treatments consisted of decreasing air temperature at 2 °C·h-1 until ice formed as evidenced by exotherms determined using differential thermal analysis of stems. Air temperature was then decreased, held constant, or increased and held constant to simulate severe, moderate and mild freeze conditions, respectively. All treatment exhibited exotherms at -2 to -4 °C, which were smaller with milder freezing treatments. Only the fully acclimated trees exhibited multiple exotherms. Leaf watersoaking, an indication of ice formation, occurred concurrently with stem exotherms except for fully acclimated trees where there was up to a 30-min delay and which corresponded with the second exotherm. Electrolyte leakage of leaves began to increase near the peak of the stem exotherm, but increased more slowly with milder freezing temperature treatments. In some treatments, electrolyte leakage reached a plateau near 50% but leaves survived. Leaves died when whole-leaf electrolyte leakage exceeded 50%. These data are discussed within the framework of a proposed mechanism of injury of Satsuma mandarin leaves by subfreezing temperatures, especially multiple exotherms of fully acclimated trees, and the plateau of electrolyte leakage of leaves at the critical level for survival.

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