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E.H. Simonne, J.T. Eason, J.A. Pitts, and J.T. Owen

Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) fruit are typically green in color at the immature stage, 1/3 and 2/3 colored during ripening, and red at maturity. However, this sequence does not apply to new varieties with immature colors of white or purple, intermediate colors of brown or black, and mature colors of yellow or orange. The study of physiological changes during ripening in such cultivars requires the description of color changes. Therefore, color changes of new bell pepper varieties were evaluated by subjective description and objective measurement of L, a, and b. Color changes were described with a five-color stage scale. L, a, and b were affected significantly by variety (P < 0.01), and a and b were affected significantly by color stage (P = 0.95, 0.01, and 0.01 for L, a, and b, respectively). Location and cultivar*location had no significant effect. For each cultivar, differences in a and b values defined color stages that were clearly identifiable. When plotted, color measurements (a and b) were in good agreement with the verbal descriptions. Therefore, measurements of L, a, and b are not systematically necessary when referring to bell pepper colors.

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J. David Williams, Charles H. Gilliam, Gary J. Keever, and John T. Owen

The Auburn University Shade Tree Evaluation is an ongoing trial of a moderately diverse range of species, and varieties of larger-growing trees. The study was initiated in 1980 with the planting of 250 selections in three replications of three trees each, located at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Piedmont Substation in east-central Alabama. Among the fruit of the investigation have been an evaluation of 10 red maple (Acer rubrum) selections with respect to growth and fall color characteristics; a comparison of growth rate and aesthetic characteristics of 14 oak (Quercus) selections; a comparison of the growth and fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) susceptibility of 10 callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) selections; and a 12-year evaluation of the overall best performing trees. The Shade Tree Evaluation has served as a precedent for six additional landscape tree evaluations in Alabama. It has provided a living laboratory for a wide range of educational audiences including landscape and nursery professionals, county extension agents, urban foresters, Master Gardeners, garden club members, and horticulture students. Knowledge gained from the Shade Tree Evaluation has been shared through presentations at meetings and conferences.