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  • Author or Editor: James Klett x
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Planttalk Colorado, established in Fall 1997, is a 24-hour toll-free automated phone service available in English and Spanish and website that provides gardening consumers with reliable and timely information on a variety of horticultural and related areas topics. Planttalk Colorado is unique in that it is sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Green Industries of Colorado. Over 450 topics edited and approved by all entities ranging from general gardening to emerging issues, such as new disease and insect concerns. Recent efforts have included translation of a portion of the scripts into Spanish to reach a larger audience and the rising Hispanic population in the state and region. Marketing efforts have evolved to include a website with photos and illustrations along with linkages to other university research-based information. Other marketing tools have included: free incentives, mass media marketing, and tabletop and banner displays for use at educational functions. A review of phone usage vs. web hits will be discussed. Web hits averaged 92,528 monthly in 2004 vs. phone usage averaged 309 monthly in 2004. Consumers have the ability to post comments on both web and phone systems. They can rank the overall program on the web. Funding is a cooperative effort between all three partners. Planttalk Colorado has increased visibility to Cooperative Extension and built partnerships with the Green Industry of Colorado and Denver Botanic Gardens for delivering reliable and accurate information to all citizens of Colorado and beyond.

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During Summer 2005, green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica `Patmore') trees planted at the Colorado State University Agricultural Research Development and Education Center in 1996 were exposed to simulated drought by restricting irrigation for 33 to 41 days. During this period, predawn leaf water potentials in drought-stressed trees progressively dropped to a low of –2.04 MPa, while the control plot was maintained with full irrigation such that predawn leaf water potentials did not fall below –0.5 MPa. On 24 Aug. 2005, 31 days into this drought cycle, mid-day leaf water potentials and stomatal conductance were measured at –3.0 MPa and 22.63 mmol·m-2·s-1, respectively. Measurements in control trees collected at about the same time were –2.0 MPa and 169 mmol·m-2·s-1. The dramatic reduction in stomatal conductance in the drought-stressed trees began at about 10:30 a.m. and continued into the evening. Once irrigation was resumed, drought stressed trees rebounded from depressed predawn leaf water potentials and mid-day leaf water potentials and stomatal conductance and reached levels similar to control trees in 2 to 5 days. Stem flow gauges indicate that, during this period, fully hydrated control trees used about 250 liters/day.

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In May 2004, at the request of local nursery owners, young Acer ×freemanii 'Autumn Blaze' (Autumn Blaze maple) trees previously grown in a number 20 (#20) container pot-in-pot (PIP) system were planted at the Colorado State University Horticultural Farm alongside similarly sized trees field grown, balled and burlapped (B&B). These trees were planted using methods recommended by the International Society of Arboriculture with half receiving 30% by volume soil amendment consisting of Organix compost mixed with the native soils. In addition, five trees grown for one year using the #20 PIP container system were maintained a second year in the same containers and compared to five trees transferred to #45 containers. After one season, the PIP-grown trees showed significantly more shoot growth and increased trunk caliper than the B&B trees. The application of amendments had no effect on the growth for either the B&B or PIP trees. Trees maintained in PIP containers for a second year had similar growth regardless of the container size.

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Four woody plant species were grown during the 1988 and 1989 growing seasons under three irrigation treatments at two sites in two soil types. The three irrigation treatments which were implemented included: 1) control, 2) drip irrigated with no water stress, and 3) drip irrigated with water stress. Rainfall and additional water applied during the 1988 and '89 growing seasons were recorded. Analysis of this data showed the no stress treatment receiving more water at both sites, especially in 1989. After two years of growth, no statistical differences in new growth (height) were observed with any plant species evaluated at either site from the three water treatments. Comparing new growth, no statistical differences were observed except with Juniperus sabina. No visual differences were observed with Ribes alpinum and Cornus sericea. Visual differences were observed with Potentilla fruticosa and Juniperus sabina. The experiment will be continued during the 1990 growing season.

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Ninety trees are being used and have been in the field since 1994. The three species studied include: Fraxinus pennsylvanica Patmore (Green Ash), Quercus macrocarpa (Bur Oak), and Pinus nigra (Austrian Pine); 30 of each species. Each species has been harvested in three different nursery production methods including balled and burlapped, plastic container, and fabric container. During the 1996 growing season, the following data was recorded for each tree, growth increments, caliper size, and tree heights. For the two deciduous species, both dry weights and leaf area were recorded. Some sap flow measurements were taken using a non-intrusive stem heat balance method, on the same tree species with varying production methods. All three species showed the greatest growth increments and heights for those trees planted in fabric containers. In regards to trunk caliper size, Pinus nigra showed that the balled and burlapped, and fabric containers had larger calipers than those planted in plastic containers. Fabric container trees were larger in caliper than plastic container trees, which was larger than the balled and burlapped on Quercus macrocarpa. The plastic container and balled and burlapped resulted in greater calipers on Fraxinus pennsylvanica than the fabric containers. Quercus macrocarpa also showed that both leaf area and dry weight were greatest for trees planted in fabric containers, followed by the other production methods. Trees in plastic containers exhibited the greatest leaf area and dry weight for Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Overall, the fabric container trees in all three species illustrated the highest-quality trees, followed by those planted in plastic containers, and then balled and burlapped. Minimal data was recorded for transpiration rates in 1996 and will be further investigated in 1997.

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Perennials grown in 5.7-cm containers received two root treatments (mechanical root-pruned and non-pruned) prior to field planting. During the 1996 season, the two root treatments and five irrigation treatments, (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) ET0 (reference crop evapotranspiration), were tested on Delosperma cooperii, Delosperma nubigenum, Polygonum affine, and Veronica liwanensis and evaluated on the basis of plant growth and visual ratings. No significant change in height occurred in any species for both root or irrigation treatments. No significant change in width or density occurred in D. cooperii, from root treatment; however irrigation treatments below 50% resulted in a significant decrease in width. Significant deceases in width also occurred in all species from irrigation treatments. Mechanically root-pruned plants resulted in a significant decrease in density of D. nubigenum, P. affine, and V. liwanensis and a decrease in width in P. affine.

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Herbicides were applied to container grown landscape plants and evaluated on the basis of weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. Three preemergent herbicides were applied including: Oxadiazon (Ronstar) at 4.54 and 9.08 kg/ha, Oxyfluorfen + Oryzalin (Rout) at 3.41 and 6.81 kg/ha and Oryzalin (Surflan) at 2.27 and 4.54 kg/ha. There was also a weedy and non-weedy control. The plant species included: Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac), Wisteria sinensis (Chinese Wisteria), Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) and Dahlia hybrid (Garden Dahlia). They were all grown in number one containers in a media of soil, spaghnum peat moss, and plaster sand (1:2:1 by volume). All herbicides tested controlled weeds effectively with no phytotoxicity except with Phlox paniculata. Oryzalin resulted in a phytotoxic effect on Phlox paniculata at both the 1x and 2x rates.

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During the 1999 season, preemergent herbicides were applied to container-grown herbaceous perennials and evaluated on the basis of weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. The herbicides and rates were: Oxyfluorfen + Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Herbicide II) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Napropamide (G) (Devrinol) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Oryzalin (Surflan) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Oxadiazon (Ronstar) 4 and 8 lb ai/A, Oxyfluorfen + Oryzalin (Rout) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Prodiamine (Barricade) 0.65 and 1.3 lb ai/A, Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Weedgrass Control) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Trifluralin (Treflan) 4 and 8 lb ai/A. Herbicides were applied to Penstemon mexicali `Red Rocks'™, Osteospermum barberiae compactum `Purple Mountain'™, Gazania linearis `Colorado Gold'™, Agastache rupestris, Diascia integerrima `Coral Canyon'™, and Zauschneria arizonica. All plant and herbicide combinations did not result in any significant decline in plant growth. All herbicides provided good weed control.

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Herbicides were applied to container-grown herbaceous perennials and evaluated on the basis of weed control and phytotoxicity. During the 1994 season, seven preemergent herbicides, napropamide (Devrinol) at 4.5 and 9.1 kg·ha–1, metolachlor (Pennant) at 4.5 and 9.1 kg·ha–1, isoxaben (Gallery) at 1.1 and 2.3 kg·ha–1, oxadiazon (Ronstar) at 4.5 and 9.1 kg·ha–1, oxyfluorfen + oryzalin (Rout) at 3.4 and 13.6 kg·ha–1, oryzalin (Surflan) at 2.8 and 4.5 kg·ha–1, and trifluralin (Treflan) at 4.5 and 9.1 kg·ha–1, were tested on Aquilegia caerulea `McKana's Giant', Digitalis purpurea, Gaillardia aristata, Limonium latifolium, and Veronica spicata. Isoxaben (both rates) resulted in visual phytotoxicity symptoms and death to Digitalis. Metolachlor (both rates) resulted in plant death to Veronica. Pennant (both rates), when applied to Limonium, resulted in stunted growth. Aquilegia and Gaillardia were not adversely affected. Most herbicides controlled both dicot and monocot weeds effectively.

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The Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture offers majors in Horticulture with four concentrations (Floriculture, Horticultural Business Management, Horticultural Food Crops, and Horticultural Science) and Landscape Horticulture with three concentrations (Landscape Design and Construction, Nursery and Landscape Management, and Turf Management). A third major in Landscape Architecture is also offered. The department maintained the concentrations in past years of low enrollment by switching courses to alternate years, dropping nonmajor courses, and through hiring part-time staff. Currently, increasing enrollments, with limited additional funding and the need for broadened general requirements, increased career guidance, and capstone courses have increased pressures on consolidation of concentrations. Faculty have refocused senior courses to create capstone courses in several concentrations, moved the senior seminar to sophomore status for career enhancement, and are currently discussing other options.

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