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  • Author or Editor: R. L. Perry x
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Abstract

Mark is a new dwarfing, vegetatively propagated apple rootstock now released for commercial use. The stature of trees on Mark is similar to that on M 26, or about 50% compared to seedling stock (1, 2). It produces a strong root system, providing freestanding trees of ‘Red Prince Delicious’, now in their 15th year. With the same nonspur cultivar, Mark has demonstrated precocity similar to that of M 9. In a NC-140 rootstock trial at East Lansing, ‘Starkspur Supreme Delicious’/Mark, planted in 1980, has been superior to date in blossom production as compared to 7 other rootstocks (Table 1). Other NC-140 trials in several states and Canada have shown similar trends in blossom and fruit production (6).

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In 1987, the NC 140 Regional Rootstock Testing Committee established sweet and sour cherry rootstock trials in 16 locations in North America. This paper will present preliminary results on the performance of Hedelfingen (sweet) and Montmoreney (sour) cherry cultivars at the New York and Michigan sites. The rootstock under test include 3 clones from Gembloux, Belgium, Colt, 4 MxM hybrids, and 9 to 13 interspecific hybrid clones from Giessen, West Germany. Clonal rootstock also under test for Montmorency include St. Lucie 64, 275 and, in New York, Holly Jolivette. Rootstock treatments differ slightly among sites and are replicated 7-8 times in a randomized complete block design. The Giessen rootstock 148/1 and 195/1 have, to date, demonstrated excellent influence on sweet cherry precocity. Sweet and sour cherry on Colt and the MxM hybrids have been most vigorous at both sites. Montmorency is most precocious on Mahaleb seedling followed by Giessen 148/1 at both locations. Data for 1990 on rootstock performance will be included in the oral presentation.

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The root distribution of peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Redhaven/Halford] as affected by six orchard floor management treatments was evaluated after 3 years of growth. Two treatments were maintained vegetation-free and four had vegetative covers in the alleyway with a 1.2-m-wide herbicide strip in the tree row. The profile wall method was used to determine root distribution. Trees maintained vegetation-free with herbicide had the most roots. Trees in the vegetation-free plots, maintained with herbicide or cultivation, produced more roots 1.2 m from the tree than trees in the vegetative covers. The number of roots, 1.2 m from the tree, was lowest in the tall fescue treatment. The number of roots were higher in the Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) or alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) than with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea, Schreb.).

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The 1980 NC-140 uniform apple rootstock trial plantings located in Michigan and Ohio were used to determine root distribution patterns of the nine rootstooks involved in the trial. The scion for the trial was Starkspur Supreme (Malus domestica Borkh.) on Ottawa 3, M.7 EMLA, M.9 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.27 EMLA, M.9, MAC 9, MAC 24 and OAR 1 rootstock. Trenches were established parrallel with the tree rows 0.8 m from the center of the trunks on both sides. The trenches were 1.5 to 2 m deep. Grids were constructed 1.2 m deep × 1.8 m wide with 30 cm × 30 cm grid squares. Soil was washed from the profile and the grid was placed over the profile. Roots were classified into 3 size categories; less than 2 mm, 2 to 5 mm and greater than 5 mm. Soil physical properties were also characterized. Differences were found between rootstock root distribution patterns and will be discussed in relation to rootstock and location/soil properties.

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Abstract

The trench profile method was used to map peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Harken/Siberian C] roots in an 11-year-old experimental orchard with 3 levels of irrigation and 3 tree densities. Roots near the drip line, 150 cm from the trunk, were mapped to a depth of 120 cm, while those 30 cm from the trunk were mapped to a depth of 240 cm. Location, number, and diameter of roots near the drip line were greatly affected by irrigation and only moderately affected by tree density. The total number, and number of small-diameter (<2 mm) roots were highest in nonirrigated plots and decreased with increasing levels of irrigation. A similar but much reduced pattern was evident for medium- (2 to 5 mm) and large- (>5 mm) diameter roots. Irrigation promoted shallow rooting near the drip line. Trees receiving the low and high level of irrigation had 35% and 42%, respectively, of their roots in the top 30 cm of soil, compared with only 18% for those in nonirrigated plots. At depths of 30 to 120 cm in nonirrigated plots, 82% of the roots near the drip line were found in these soil layers, compared with 65% for the low and 58% for the high level of irrigation. Tree density had no effect on total root number near the drip line, although there was an increase in root number with an increase in tree density 90 to 120 cm from the trunk on both sides of the tree, and a decrease in root number with an increase in tree density within 60 cm of the trunk. Rooting occurred readily in the Ap, Bm, and Bt soil horizons, but very little rooting occurred in the gray sand comprising the Ck horizon, which had a high pH (7.8) and poor soil water retention characteristics.

Open Access

`Imperial Gala' apple trees on M.9 EMLA, MM.lll and Mark rootstocks were subjected to two drought and recovery periods in a rainshelter. The objectives were to determine rootstocks adaptation and parameter sensitivity to drought stress. Leaf growth rate, area, emergence; shoot length, trunk cross sectional area and gas exchange were measured for each stress and recovery period. Leaf growth rate was most consistently reduced by drought and returned to control levels when irrigated. Length of less vigorous shoots was consistently reduced by stress but did not recover upon irrigation. Leaf emergence and trunk cross sectional area were inconsistent in response to stress. Growth of trees on Mark rootstock was reduced to the greatest extent by drought followed by MM.lll and M.9 EMLA. At termination plants were separated into roots, 1-year and 2-year shoot growth and rootstock to determine dry weights. Dry weights confirmed the growth measurements with a 34%, 27% and 16% reduction in total plant dry weight for drought stressed trees on Mark, MM.lll and M.9 EMLA, respectively. The greatest differences in estimated whole plant photosynthesis were for trees on Mark rootstock followed by MM.lll with the least differences for M.9 EMLA which reinforced the growth measurements. It was concluded that Mark was most sensitive followed by MM.lll with M.9 EMLA being most tolerant to drought.

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`Imperial Gala' apple trees (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) on M.9 EMLA, MM.111, and Mark rootstocks were subjected to two drought-stress and recovery periods in a rainshelter. Water relations, gas-exchange parameters per unit leaf area and per tree, chlorophyll fluorescence, and leaf abscisic acid content were determined during each stress and recovery period. Whole-plant calculated gas exchange best indicated plant response to drought stress, with consistent reductions in CO2 assimilation, transpiration, and leaf conductance. Variable and maximal chlorophyll fluorescence and fluorescence quenching were not as sensitive to stress. Other fluorescence parameters showed little difference. The most consistent decreases due to stress for gas exchange per square meter were in transpiration and leaf conductance, with few differences in CO2 assimilation and fewer for mesophyll conductance, internal CO2 concentration, and water-use efficiency. Leaf water potential was consistently lower during drought stress and returned to control values upon irrigation. Leaf abscisic acid content was higher for drought-stressed trees on M.9 EMLA than control trees during the stress periods but inconsistently different for the other rootstock treatments. Trees on M.9 EMLA were least affected by drought stress, MM.111 was intermediate, and Mark was the most sensitive; these results are consistent with the growth data.

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`Imperial Gala' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees, trained to two shoots, on M.9 EMLA, MM.111, and Mark rootstocks were subjected to two drought-stress and recovery periods in a rainshelter. Leaf growth rate, leaf area, leaf emergence, shoot length, and trunk cross-sectional area were measured during each stress and recovery period. Leaf growth rate was reduced during both stress periods but most consistently during the second drought stress. Length of the less-vigorous shoot was reduced most consistently due to drought stress but did not recover upon irrigation. Leaf emergence and trunk cross-sectional area increment were inconsistent in response to stress. Tree growth was reduced by drought stress to the greatest extent for trees on Mark, with MM.111 intermediate and M.9 EMLA least affected. At termination, the plants were separated into roots, current-season shoot growth, previous-season shoot growth, and rootstock, and dry weights were measured. Dry weights confirmed the growth measurements taken during the experiment with a 16%, 27%, and 34% reduction in total plant dry weight for drought-stressed trees on M.9 EMLA, MM.111, and Mark, respectively, compared to corresponding controls. It was concluded that Mark was the most sensitive of the three rootstocks followed by MM.111; M.9 EMLA was the most drought resistant.

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Root distribution of `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' on nine apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) rootstock grown in two different soil types in the 1980 NC-140 Uniform Apple Regional Rootstock Trial (Michigan and Ohio sites) was determined using the trench profile method. Based on the number of roots counted per tree, rootstock could be separated into five groups for the Marlette soil from most to least: MAC.24 > OAR1 > M.26EMLA = M.9EMLA > M.7EMLA = 0.3 = M.9 = MAC.9 > M.27EMLA. For the Canfield soil, rootstock were ranked for number of roots counted from most to least as follows: MAC.24 > OAR 1. MAC.9 = M.7EMLA > M.26EMLA = O.3 = M.9 EMLA = M.9. Root distribution pattern by depth was affected by soil type with roots fairly well distributed throughout the Marlette soil but restricted primarily above the fragipan in the Canfield soil. Two rootstock performed differently from others in adapting to soil conditions at the different sites. MAC.9 had the second lowest number of total roots/dm2 in the Marlette soil yet the second most in the Canfield soil, while the opposite was found for M.9EMLA. Regression analysis demonstrated positive correlations between number of roots counted and vigor and yield of the scion.

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