Pruning and skirting (removal of low-hanging limbs) effects on canopy temperature, relative humidity (RH), and fruit yield and quality of `Orlando' tangelo trees (Citrus paradisi Macf. × Citrus reticulata Blanco) on `Carrizo' citrange rootstock [Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. × Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] were studied at the Univ. of Florida Fifield Farm in Gainesville, Fla., in 1996–97. In the first season, treatments consisted of skirted and non-skirted trees. In the second season, two skirting (skirted and non-skirted) and three pruning (gable-top, flat-top, and non-pruned) treatments were evaluated. Neither RH nor air temperature was affected in the lower canopy by any treatment. However, temperature in the upper canopy of flat-topped trees was higher than that in gable-topped or non-pruned trees, and reached >45 °C during spring and summer. Fruit number and yield were decreased by pruning and skirting in one season. Skirted, gable-topped trees had the lowest yields, followed by skirted, flat-topped and non-skirted, gable-topped trees. All other treatments produced yields similar to those of non-skirted, non-pruned trees. Pruning increased the percentage of large fruit and reduced the percentage of small fruit. Skirting and pruning had no effect on blemish incidence with the exception of wind scar, which was higher in skirted than in non-skirted trees in the first season. During both seasons the main causes of packout reduction were rust mite and wind scar damage. Regardless of treatment, rust mite damage was much higher in the lower than in the upper canopy because of lower average temperatures and higher RH. Pruning effects on fruit quality were similar to those reported previously, but skirting had no effect on most fruit quality factors.
Paula Morales, Frederick S. Davies and Ramon C. Littell
William S. Castle, James C. Baldwin, Ronald P. Muraro and Ramon Littell
Two field experiments with ‘Valencia’ sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] trees propagated on 12 rootstocks were conducted in commercial orchards. The objectives were to compare rootstock horticultural performance between two locations with soils representative of the Central Florida Ridge (AP) and coastal flatwoods (I), the major citrus-growing regions in Florida, and to see if financial analysis would provide an improved basis for interpreting rootstock performance. The randomized complete-block trials involved six-tree plots replicated eight or 10 times at planting densities of 358 trees (AP) or 252 trees (I)/ha, respectively. Tree growth and survival, yield, and juice quality were measured for 15 years. When losses occurred, trees were replaced annually with another one on the same rootstock. The data of seven rootstocks were subjected to a financial interpretation of three scenarios: tree loss and tree loss with or without tree replacement using the discounted cash flow and internal rate of return methods at a 15% rate. At the flatwoods location, when differences among replications became apparent on several rootstocks, soil data were collected to study its possible association to tree performance; also in this trial, 400-kg fruit samples were differentially harvested in 2 successive years from mature trees on each of five commercial rootstocks when the juice soluble solids/acid ratio was near 15. The juice was extracted, pasteurized, and evaluated for flavor by an experienced taste panel. The horticultural data obtained for trees on specific well-studied rootstocks [Volkamer (C. volkameriana Ten. & Pasq.)] and rough (C. jambhiri Lush.) lemons, Carrizo citrange [C. sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata (L.)], sour orange [C. aurantium (L.)], Cleopatra mandarin (C. reshni Hort. ex Tan.), trifoliate orange (P. trifoliata), a selection of sweet orange (C. sinensis), and Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi Macf. × P. trifoliata) at both locations were typical of their well-documented performance in Florida and elsewhere. Tree losses were virtually only from citrus blight and ranged from none (sour orange) to greater than 50% (Volkamer and rough lemons) at both locations, although tree loss began later at the Central Florida location. ‘Valencia’ cuttings (only at the flatwoods site) were long-lived and cropped well for their smaller size compared with the budded trees. Taste panelists were not able to distinguish differences over two seasons among pasteurized ‘Valencia’ juices produced from trees on different rootstocks and normalized by soluble solids/acid ratio. Yield and planting density were the main factors affecting financial outcome; also, in the highly variable soils of the coastal flatwoods, trees growing in sites with greater depth to an argillic layer had 30% to 200% higher yields. Trees on Volkamer lemon had only ≈50% survival at both locations but had the highest ($7,338/ha I) or one of the highest cash flows ($13,464/ha AP) as compared with one of the commercial standards, Carrizo citrange ($6,928 I; $16,826 AP), which had only ≈25% tree loss. Inclusion of financial analysis, with certain limitations, was concluded to considerably improve rootstock selection decisions compared with selection based only on horticultural data.
Graham H. Barry, William S. Castle, Frederick S. Davies and Ramon C. Littell
Variability in fruit quality of citrus occurs among and within trees due to an interaction of several factors, e.g., fruit position, leaf: fruit ratio, and fruit size. By determining variability in fruit quality among i) fruit, ii) trees, iii) orchards, and iv) geographic locations where citrus is produced in Florida, optimal sample size for fruit quality experiments can be estimated. To estimate within-tree variability, five trees were randomly selected from each of three `Valencia' orange orchards in four geographic locations in Florida. Six fruit were harvested from each of two tree canopy positions, southwest top and northeast bottom; fruit were not selected or graded according to fruit size. °Brix and titratable acidity of juice samples were determined, and the °Brix: acid ratio was calculated. Statistical analysis of fruit quality variables was done using a crossed-nested design. The number of trees to sample and the number of fruit per sample were calculated. To estimate between-tree variability, 10 trees were randomly selected from each of three `Valencia' orange orchards from four geographic locations in Florida. Fifty-fruit composite samples were picked from around the tree canopy (0.9 to 1.8 m). Juice content, SSC, acid content, and ratio were determined. Using a nested design, the number of orchards and number of trees to sample were determined. There was greater variability in fruit quality among trees than within trees for a given canopy position; the optimal sample size when taking individual fruit samples from a given location and canopy position is four fruit from 20 trees. There was less variability in fruit quality when 50-fruit composite samples were used, resulting in an optimal sample size of five samples from three orchards within each location.
Graham H. Barry, William S. Castle, Frederick S. Davies and Ramon C. Littell
Sources of variation in juice quality of `Valencia'sweet orange [Citrus sinensis(L.) Osb.] were quantified and their relative contributions to variability in juice quality were determined, from which sample sizes were estimated. Commercial orchards of `Valencia' sweet orange trees on Carrizo citrange [C. sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] rootstock were selected at four geographic locations representing the major citrus-producing regions in Florida. Within- and between-tree variation in soluble solids concentration (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA) were estimated in two experiments over two or three seasons, respectively. Variance components for all treatment effects were estimated to partition total variation into all possible component sources of variation. Seasonal variation in SSC and TA was relatively small, but larger for TA than SSC. Variation in SSC among blocks within a location was intermediate to low, and was less than variation among locations. In contrast, tree-to-tree variation in SSC and TA was large, in spite of sampling from trees of similar vigor and crop load, and variation in SSC and TA among fruit was relatively large. Based on results of this study, samples consisting of 35 fruit are required to detect differences (P ≤ 0.05) of 0.3% SSC and 0.06% TA, whereas 20-fruit samples can be used to detect differences of 0.4% SSC and 0.08% TA. Seven replications are required to detect differences of 0.5% SSC and 0.1% TA, with small gains in precision when tree numbers exceed 10.