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L.J. Grauke

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L.J. Grauke and J.W. Pratt

Seven open-pollinated pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] stocks were grown in a nursery in blocks. Bud growth of ungrafted seedlings was influenced by rootstock, with growth being more advanced on `Curtis', `Elliott', `Apache', and `Sioux' seedlings than on `Moore', `Riverside', and `Burkett'. Bud growth of grafted trees was influenced by scion, with growth of `Candy' being most advanced, while `Cape Fear' trees were more advanced than `Stuart'. Growth of `Candy' grafted trees was affected by rootstock, with growth being more advanced on `Elliott' and `Curtis' seedling rootstock as compared to `Apache', Sioux', `Riverside', and `Burkett' seedling rootstock. Tree damage caused by a May freeze was directly related to bud growth and was influenced by scion and rootstock.

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T.E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service conducts the largest and oldest pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] breeding program in the world. This program evaluates thousands of nut and kernel samples each year using a standard nut and kernel evaluation system developed and refined for more than 70 years. This report relates the effectiveness of these evaluations to commercial shelling efficiency by direct comparison of these data to commercially shelled samples from the same clone performance test. Visual ratings of shelled kernel samples (1-5, with 1 = best) were correlated with time required to hand clean kernel samples (r = 0.55). As percent kernel increased, visual ratings of shelled kernels improved (decreased) (r = -0.73). More intact halves were recovered from shelled samples with the best (lowest) visual ratings (r = -0.67). Conversely, fewer pieces of any size were present in samples with the best visual ratings. Visual ratings improved as nut density decreased (r = 0.33). Samples with the lightest kernel color also had the best visual ratings (r = 0.38). These data show that the standard U.S. Dept. of Agriculture pecan nut and kernel evaluation system needs to be refined by modifying selection pressure placed on various standard evaluation traits.

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Madhulika Sagaram, Leonardo Lombardini and L.J. Grauke

An assessment of leaf anatomic traits of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] cultivars (Pawnee, Mohawk, and Starking Hardy Giant) collected from three locations (Tifton, GA; Chetopa, KS; and Stillwater, OK) was conducted to provide an understanding of patterns of ecogeographical variation within the natural range. Acetate casts of representative leaves were prepared for microscopic characterization of epidermal traits (stomatal density, stomatal index, and epidermal cell density). There were differences among the three pecan cultivars at the same location, but there were no differences in stomatal density within the same cultivar grown at three distinct locations. The stomatal density of ‘Pawnee’ leaves (404 stomata/mm2) was intermediate between that of ‘Mohawk’ (363 stomata/mm2) and ‘Starking Hardy Giant’ (463 stomata/mm2). ‘Pawnee’ had the greatest epidermal cell density (2511 cells/mm2) whereas ‘Starking Hardy Giant’ showed the least (1414 cells/mm2). Within a location, stomatal index differed significantly among cultivars, with ‘Starking Hardy Giant’ having a greater stomatal index than the other two cultivars. There were no differences in stomatal index across locations. ‘Mohawk’ had the greatest trichome density (18.92 trichomes/mm2) whereas ‘Starking Hardy Giant’ had the lowest (9.6 trichomes/mm2). The study suggests that differences in stomatal density and epidermal cell density in pecans are cultivar specific rather than being determined by environmental factors. The stability of certain leaf anatomic characteristics, such as stomatal and epidermal cell density, for pecan cultivars grown at different locations confirms that these traits can be used for screening provenances with desirable leaf anatomic characteristics for breeding and cultivar development.

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Madhulika Sagaram, Leonardo Lombardini and L.J. Grauke

Leaf anatomical traits of Mexican and U.S. pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] seedstocks grown in a single location were studied to determine patterns of ecogeographic variation within the natural range. Stomatal density was uniform among open-pollinated seedlings of a common maternal parent with twofold differences in stomatal density separating some seedstocks. There was an inverse relationship between stomatal density and epidermal cell density. Stomatal density and stomatal index of Mexican seedstocks were related to longitude and annual precipitation of origin. Stomatal density increased along the longitudinal gradient toward the east coast of Mexico; seedstocks originating from areas on the east coast of Mexico had greater stomatal density than seedstocks originating from the drier areas on the west coast. Stomatal density and stomatal index did not follow a pattern along latitude or longitude in the U.S. seedstocks. Although isotopic carbon (13C) discrimination did not vary greatly in Mexican seedstocks, the reduction in stomatal density in pecan trees from areas with reduced annual precipitation suggest the presence of an anatomical feature to reduce water losses.

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L. J. Grauke and Tommy E. Thompson

Thirteen cultivars of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] were monitored for bud break, pollen shed and stigma receptivity for 4 years at LSU Pecan Station, Robson, LA. Cultivars were generally consistent in displaying clear patterns of protogyny or protandry, although patterns were uncertain for some cultivars in some years. Mean dates of cultivar phenology varied significantly by year. Years with warm winter and spring temperatures had earlier seasons of growth and flowering than years with cooler temperatures. The duration of pollen shed and stigma receptivity varied between years. Protogynous cultivars, as a group, had greater bloom overlap than protandrous cultivars, although overlap varied between years for both dichogamy classes. The sequence of cultivar flowering relative to other cultivars varied between years, resulting in variable amounts of bloom overlap between cultivars in different years.

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L. J. Grauke and R. D. O'Barr

`Oconee' pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) was grafted on seedling rootstocks from nine open-pollinated seedstocks. Rootstocks included three seedstocks each of pecan, water hickory (C. aquatica (F. Michaux.) Nutt.) and their hybrid, Carya X lecontei (Little). Pecan seedlings had the largest basal diameter, water hickory seedlings the smallest, and hybrid seedlings were intermediate. Seedlings of `Elliott' and 'Curtis' seedstocks were larger than seedlings from `Moore' seedstock. Pecan and hybrid seedlings were more successfully grafted than water hickory. Graft success varied between seedstocks of the hybrid, with some as high as pecan. Foliage color of seedlings, indicative of iron nutrient status, was influenced by the species of rootstock: pecan seedlings were darker green than water hickory seedlings, but were inseparable from hybrid seedlings. `Oconee' scions on pecan seedlings were darker green than when grown on hybrid seedlings.

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Tommy E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke

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Tommy E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke

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L.J. Grauke and Tommy E. Thompson

The commercial pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] nursery industry relies on open-pollinated seed for rootstock production. Current choice of seedstocks by commercial pecan nurserymen was surveyed by telephone. Nurseries were called if they appeared in the directory used for the 1994 release of `Navaho'. Factors influencing the choice of seedstock include seed availability, nut fill, nut size, nut shape, seedling vigor, stand uniformity, and root characteristics. Local availability is important in the choice of seedstock. Those who harvest from their own trees usually credit the seedstock with other valuable characteristics, such as improved germination or vigor. Those who purchase seed usually target a preferred seedstocks for particular reasons but plant available seed in its absence. Well-filled nuts are recognized as being important for good germination. Small nuts are often preferred, especially when seed is purchased because more nuts per pound increases potential production. Round nuts are generally preferred over long nuts due to improved performance in some mechanical planters. Distinct regional preferences are apparent in the choice of seedstocks. Regionally preferred seedstock selections are generally validated by a survey of the research literature. Patterns of selection are consistent with climatic and geographic constraints. Tree procurement patterns have changed: many small nurseries have gone out of business, many large nurseries transport trees far from the nursery for sales, and quarantine restrictions have altered procurement patterns in Arizona. Recommendations are made to nurserymen, pecan growers, and researchers concerning continued progress toward improving regionally adapted pecan rootstocks through seedstock selection.