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Taproots of 2-year-old `Apache' seedling pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wang)] trees were pruned to 1 ft (30 cm), 2 ft (60 cm), or 3 ft (90 cm) in combination with wounding treatments consisting of no wounding, scraping through pericycle tissue on one or two sides of the taproot, or longitudinally splitting the taproot for about half its length. The trees were planted in a Port silt loam soil and a Teller sandy loam soil and grown without irrigation. At the end of the first and second growing seasons, top growth was measured, trees were dug and root system regrowth was evaluated. Tree root weight and number of roots per tree decreased with increasing taproot length.

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Irrigation schedules were evaluated on `Cresthaven' to determine if water could be conserved without reducing fruit size or yield. Tensiometers were used to schedule trickle irrigation in 1984-88. Treatments were no irrigation or irrigation when soil matric potential reached 40 or 60 KPa 30 cm deep. When production began in 1986, trees were either irrigated until Oct. or until after harvest (1-7 Aug.). In 1989, class A pan evaporation was used to schedule irrigation by replacing 100% evaporation. Trees were irrigated from bud break to harvest or Oct., beginning at stage III fruit growth to harvest or Oct., or not irrigated. The irrigation treatments were in factorial combination with an annual ryegrass ground cover or herbicidestrip. The ryegrass was seeded in Oct., then killed at the onset of stage III fruit growth. Water application was reduced 50% when irrigation was discontinued after harvest compared to irrigation until Oct. Non-irrigated trees had smaller trunks than irrigated trees; however, there were no differences in trunk size among irrigation treatments. Non-irrigated trees yielded less total fruit and fruit over 7-cm diameter than trees irrigated until Oct., but there were no significant differences in yield among irrigated trees. Flower bud density or fruit set was not affected by treatment. The orchard floor management did not affect tree growth or yield.

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Abstract

Zinc solutions applied by aircraft did not increase the zinc concentration in leaflets of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wang.) K. Koch] above the deficiency level. Solutions applied by a hydraulic sprayer increased leaflet zinc concentration above that resulting from aerial application. Zinc concentration of pecan leaflets was not enhanced by addition of a surfactant or chelate but was enhanced by the use of zinc-urea-surfactant solutions. Data indicate that aerial foliar applications of solutions do not usually increase leaflet zinc concentration to the minimum level of 60 ppm required for normal growth.

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Abstract

Nitrogen zinc nitrate solution was applied to 18 species of container-grown woody ornamentals to determine if Zn levels could be increased and related to increased growth and plant quality. In 13 species there was an increase in Zn concentration as compared to untreated plants. Quality was improved in 3 species without a related increase in Zn content. Fe and Mn concentrations were unaffected in most species and no phytotoxicity was observed.

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When tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit come in contact with water at the packing house dump tanks, they can infiltrate water through the stem scar. If the water is infested with Erwinia carotovora, the fruit can infiltrate the bacteria, which will later develop into bacterial soft rot. To determine the inheritance of low water infiltration and thus tolerance to soft rot, a complete diallel was produced using six parents that infiltrate different amounts of water. The parents and hybrids were grown in a completely randomized block design with three blocks and 10 plants per block. The amount of water infiltrated by the fruit was measured by the change in weight after the fruit were immersed in water in a pressure cooker for 2 min. Both general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) were significant, with GCA having a higher significance than SCA. There appeared to be a cytoplasmic effect on water uptake, where less water was taken up when the low-uptake parent was used as a female. When orthogonal contrasts were performed on reciprocal hybrids from parents that were significantly different, 33% of them were significantly different.

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Irrigation schedules were evaluated on `Cresthaven' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] to determine if water application could he reduced or omitted without affecting fruit size or yield. Tensiometers were used to schedule trickle irrigation during 1984-M. Treatments were no irrigation or irrigation when soil pressure potential at a 30-cm depth reached 40 or 60 kPa, respectively. When production began in 1986, trees were either irrigated until harvest (1-7 Aug.) or until October. Beginning in 1989, class A pan evaporation was used to schedule irrigation by replacing 60% of evaporation. Trees were irrigated from budbreak to harvest or October, from beginning of stage III fruit growth until harvest or October, or trees were not irrigated. The irrigation treatments were in factorial combination using sod middles, with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiforum Lam.) seeded under the trees or a sod-herbicide strip. The ryegrass was seeded in October, then killed at the onset of stage III fruit growth. Water application was reduced 32% to 57% when irrigation was discontinued after harvest compared to irrigation until October. Irrigation before stage III fruit growth did not affect fruit yield, size, or pruning weights compared to trees irrigated at the onset of stage III fruit growth. Trunk size was increased by irrigation; however, there were no differences in trunk size among irrigation treatments. Irrigation occasionally increased fruit size and yield compared to no irrigation. There were few differences in flower bud density, fruit set, yield, or fruit size among trees with reduced irrigation schedules compared to trees receiving irrigation from budbreak until October. Annual ryegrass decreased shoot growth in 1990 and flower bud density in 1991; however, fruit set was not affected. Annual ryegrass depleted excess soil moisture during the spring in some years, then conserved soil moisture after it was killed. Using sod with annual ryegrass under the trees may be a viable alternative to management with sodherbicide strips.

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Red Delicious apple is the second most important cultivar grown in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Red Delicious apple is well known for pollination problems which can reduce yield. Previous research suggested female sterility might account for irregular fruit set in the apple growing region of Chihuahua. Pollen tube growth and ovule longevity were examined in 1990 under field conditions in Chihuahua. Fluorescent light with Aniline Blue dye was used to determine pollen tube growth and ovule viability. Five days after pollination, 86% of the styles sampled had pollen tubes through the entire style and only 1% of the ovules were non-viable. These results do not support female sterility as the cause of irregular fruit set. Future research might be directed to the question of pollen viability on the stigma.

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The productive life of a pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] orchard frequently spans two or more generations, but eventually orchards require renewal. Weather events damage tree canopies, pests affect tree health and productivity, and new cultivars offer greater yield potential or better nut quality. A popular method of orchard renewal is selective tree removal combined with interplanting new trees. Many old pecan orchards in the southeastern United States are infected with crown gall [Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Smith and Townsend) Conn.], potentially a problem for interplanted trees. Two tree types, nursery-grafted trees and seedling trees that were grafted 3 years after transplanting, were evaluated 6 years after transplanting. Transplanted trees varied in distances from established 80-year-old trees or residual stumps after tree removal. Ten trees near the study site, located 3.6 m from crown gall-infected stumps, were excavated to determine disease incidence. No crown gall was observed on any of the 87 trees in the study or the excavated trees. Trunk diameters of interplanted trees increased as distance from the nearest stump decreased and distance from the nearest established tree increased. Leaf elemental concentrations of the 6-year-old transplants were not related to observed growth differences. Conclusions include 1) stumps promoted rapid transplant growth; 2) crown gall infections of transplanted trees were unlikely even when crown gall symptoms were obvious on adjacent trees and stumps; and 3) transplant growth was suppressed by established trees.

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Pigment and micronutrient concentrations of New Mexico 6-4 and NuMex R Naky chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars as affected by low Fe levels were studied under soilless culture. A custom-designed, balanced nutrient solution (total concentration <2 mm) was continuously recirculated to the plants potted in acid-washed sand (pot volume 15.6 L). Each set of plants from each cultivar received iron concentrations at 1, 3, 10, and 30 μm Fe as Fe-EDDHA. The pigments of leaves, green fruit, and red fruit were extracted with acetone and measured with a spectrophotometer. Surface color of green and red fruit was measured with a chromameter. Total concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, P, and K of leaf blades and red fruit were measured by inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP). Ferrous iron in leaf blades, and NO3-N in petioles also were determined. Iron nutrition level affected total leaf chlorophyll and carotenoid content at early season, and the level of these pigments in green fruit at second harvest. No differences in extractable or surface color of red fruit were found among iron treatments in the nutrient solution, despite variations in red fruit iron content, total foliar iron, and foliar ferrous iron. Higher levels of iron in the nutrient solution increased both ferrous and total iron of the leaves, but depressed foliar Cu and P. High iron supply also increased fruit iron, and decreased fruit Cu content. High iron levels in the nutrient solution were associated with higher concentrations of leaf pigments at early season and higher pigment concentration in green fruit.

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The optimum time for removing pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] to enhance return bloom was determined. Fruit were removed from part of `Mohawk', `Giles', and `Gormely' trees five times during the season as determined by fruit phonological age: immediately after postpollination drop, at 50% ovule expansion, at 100% ovule expansion or water stage, during the onset of dough stage, and 2 weeks after dough stage. Return bloom of all cultivars was increased by fruit removal during ovule expansion. Removing `Mohawk' and `Giles' fruit shortly after pollination induced the greatest return bloom. Return bloom in the small-fruited `Gormely' was equally stimulated by fruit removal at any time during ovule expansion, a result indicating that early fruit removal may be more important for large-than for small-fruited cultivars. If a commercially feasible method to thin pecans is developed, our studies indicate that the optimum time for fruit thinning would be during ovule expansion.

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