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  • Author or Editor: J.M. Ruter x
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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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On 1 May 2004, a 4 × 2 split-plot experiment was initiated in Athens, Ga., on Rhododendron ×kurume `Pink Pearl'. The four main-plot treatments were low irradiance, low irradiance May–October, low irradiance November–May, and high irradiance (high and low correspond to average daily PPF of 23.6 and 10.4 mol·m-2·d-1). The two subplot fall fertigation treatments were 75 mg·L-1 of nitrogen (N) and 125 mg·L-1 N. Plant stem tissue was harvested monthly from November to March, and analyzed for freeze resistance (LT50). Maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) was analyzed monthly with a Mini-pam photosynthesis yield analyzer. No interactions existed between fertilizer application and light intensity and the 125 mg·L-1 N fertilizer treatment reduced freeze resistance of azalea stems throughout the study. Fall fertilization had no effect on fluorescence and no interactions existed between fertilizer and irradiance treatments. In November, plants that received low irradiance May–October were less freeze-resistant than plants from the high-irradiance treatment. However, in January, plants that received low irradiance throughout the study were more freeze-resistant than plants that received the high-irradiance treatment. In November, Fv/Fm was higher in the low irradiance and low irradiance November–May treatments. In February and March, Fv/Fm was lower in the low May–November treatment that received low irradiance during summer than the low November–May treatment that received low winter irradiance. The use of shade to reduce irradiance may delay the acquisition of freeze resistance in fall. However, shade may reduce photosystem damage and increase a plants ability to acquire and maintain greater freeze resistance.

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