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Rita L. Hummel

Four film-forming antitranspirants, Vapor Gard, Envy, Wilt-Pruf, and Folicote, and a new metabolic antitranspirant UC86177 were applied to container-grown Ulmus parvifolia Jacq. (Chinese elm), Malus sargentii Rehd. (Sargent's crabapple), Viburnum plicatum tomentosum Thunb. (doubleflle viburnum), Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Early Giant' (tomato), Petunia × hybrids Hort. Vilm-Andr. `Royal Pearls' (petunia), and Impatiens wallerana Hook. f. `Blitz Orange' (impatiens) plants. Water status was assessed by the following methods: transpiration as water loss per unit leaf area, wilt by visual evaluation, and xylem pressure potential (XPP) determined with a pressure chamber. Antitranspirant treatment had no beneficial effect on water status of doublefile viburnum. In comparison to control plants, results of wilt ratings, XPP, and transpiration measurements for the elm, crabapple, tomato, petunia, and impatiens plants can be summarized as follows: UC86177-treated plants showed significantly less stress in 11 measures and were not different once; Wilt-Pruf was beneficial 10 times and not different twice; Folicote was beneficial nine times and not different three times; Vapor Gard produced eight beneficial results and four similar results; and Envy was beneficial three times and no different nine times. Species differences in response to antitranspirants as well as differences in product efficacy were demonstrated. UC86177 antitranspirant was shown to be as or more effective in controlling water status than the film-forming antitranspirants and may have potential for protecting various plant species against water stress.

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Rita L. Hummel and Richard Regan

Cold hardiness of Fraxinus americana `Autumn Purple', Fraxinus oxycarpa `Raywood' and Fraxinus pennsylvanica `Summit' was measured in laboratory tests. Current season stem growth was collected from trees in Willamette Valley nurseries at 3 to 6 week intervals from November 1994 to February 1995 and from October 1995 to March 1996. Replicated 9-cm stem samples with two buds each were placed in tubes and immersed in an ethylene glycol bath. Samples were nucleated with crushed ice, held overnight at –2°C and then frozen at 3°C/hour. After freezing, samples were thawed overnight, incubated at room temperature and 100% relative humidity for 10 to 14 days, then sample viability was determined by visual browning. A Tk50, the temperature at which 50% tissue injury occurred, was calculated for buds and stems. Buds were generally less hardy than stems. `Raywood' was slower to cold acclimate in the fall and did not become as cold hardy in midwinter as `Summit' and `Autumn Purple'. Cold acclimation and midwinter hardiness of `Summit' and `Autumn Purple' was similar; however, `Summit' deacclimated more rapidly. Between the 11 Dec. 1995 and 9 Jan. 1996 freeze tests, `Summit' stems lost about 9 °C of freeze tolerance. In both the 1995 and 1996 February freeze tests, `Summit' stems were less hardy than `Raywood' stems.

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Reeser C. Manley and Rita L. Hummel

Mefluidide, a synthetic plant growth regulator, has been reported to protect chilling-sensitive plants from chilling damage and enhance the freezing tolerance of certain winter-hardy herbaceous plants. The potential of mefluidide to enhance the freezing tolerance of nonhardened and dehardening cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata Group) leaf tissue was investigated. Mefluidide at 0 to 60 mg·L–1 was tested on `Brunswick' and `Golden Acre' cabbage in five experiments. Leaf tissue freezing tolerance was measured 3 to 9 days postapplication by electrolyte leakage assay. The interval between application and freeze testing had no effect on leaf freeze tolerance. The effect of mefluidide at low rates on leaf freeze tolerance was small and inconsistent. At 30 and 60 mg·L–1, leaf freeze tolerance was decreased consistently. Chemical name used: N-{2,4-dimethyl-5-[[trifluromethyl)sulfonyl]amino]phenyl}acetamide (mefluidide).

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Rita L. Hummel and Peter R. Bristow

In Spring 1996, `Meeker' red raspberry root cuttings were planted into a sandy loam soil in 30 cm tall x 27 cm diameter black plastic containers. During Mar. 1997, a second bottomless container was placed over the overwintering canes of half of the plants. The second container was filled with the same sandy loam soil to simulate ridging of the plants. All plants were grown using standard cultural practices on an outdoor, gravel nursery bed. Freeze tolerance of potted whole plants and excised root sections was measured at 5 °C intervals between -5 and -20 °C in a series of laboratory freeze tests conducted during Jan. 1998. Electrolyte leakage data were used to calculate the index of injury for excised roots while whole-plant response to freezing was determined by measuring the subsequent growth of floricane lateral shoots and of primocanes. After 1 month in the greenhouse, results indicated the dry weight of primocanes harvested from plants that were exposed to -20 °C was 56% of the nonfrozen control primocane dry weight. Primocane dry weight from plants exposed to -5, -10 and -15 °C was not different from the controls. Similar results were obtained for the percent of floricanes that were alive and for the dry weight of laterals produced by these floricanes after 3 months in the greenhouse. The whole-plant freeze test results indicated plants at the lowest temperature, -20 °C, were injured but not killed. Root index of injury of single potted plants averaged 5%, 15%, 29%, and 58% at -5, -10, -15, and -20 °C, respectively.

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Rita L. Hummel and Patrick P. Moore

Freezing resistance of strawberry flowers from `Benton', `Honeoye', `Hood', `Puget Beauty', `Rainier', `Redcrest', `Shuksan', `Sumas', `Totem', and WSU 1988 was measured in laboratory tests. Flowers with approximately 13 mm of pedicel attached were placed in test tubes containing 2 ml DI water. Tubes were immersed in an ethylene glycol bath, the temperature lowered to -1°C, and the flowers inoculated with crushed ice. The temperature was lowered to -1.5°C, held overnight then lowered 0.5°C every 2 hours. Samples were removed at 0.5°C intervals, thawed overnight at approximately 3°C and incubated 24 hours at room temperature and 100% RH. Freeze damage of styles and receptacle was determined by visual browning. Flower survival with no visible damage averaged 27% at -1.5, 13% at -2.0, 7% at -2.5, and 4% at -3.0°C. There was clonal variation in flower survival: 56% of `Hood' flowers survived -1.5 and 45% survived -2.0 while 5% of `Redcrest' and `Sumas' flowers survived these temperatures. Results seem to indicate that strawberry flower freeze resistance was due to freezing avoidance via supercooling.

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Rita L. Hummel and Wilbur C. Anderson

Cabbage seed production in western Washington is at risk from freeze damage in the months of November to February. During the 1987-1988, 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 winters, the cold protection efficacy of 5 floating row covers (Agryl P17, Dewitt N-sulate, Reemay 2014, DuPont Typar, VisQueen Porous Row Cover) and straw was tested on field-grown cabbage. Air temperature in the cabbage crown, Tk50 of cabbage leaves, plant winter survival and seed yield were measured. During a severe freeze in February 1989, an average temperature of -11.1 °C was recorded in the uncovered controls while temperatures under the row covers were -6.7°C, -6.8°C and -8.4 °C under the N-sulate, VisQueen and Agryl covers, respectively. When compared to controls in June of 1989, row covers increased the survival of the more cold hardy `Brunswick' plants but did not significantly increase seed yields. The duration and severity of the February 1989 freeze was such that all of the less cold hardy `Golden Acre' plants were killed.

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Reeser C. Manley and Rita L. Hummel

Winter survival of cabbage seed crops is limited by the freezing resistance of the lower stem pith tissue. Both tolerance of extracellular freezing and avoidance of lethal temperatures are components of stem pith tissue freezing resistance. The avoidance mechanism involves the formation of ice within the pith tissue at relatively warm temperatures (little undercooling) and the subsequent release of heat of fusion, followed by significant slowing of the freezing rate so that stem temperatures are mitigated against ambient temperatures for several hours.

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Michele Krucker, Rita L. Hummel and Craig Cogger

As nursery and greenhouse growers adopt more sustainable production practices, interest has grown in local, recycled organic materials (ROM) as partial or complete substitutes for peat in container substrates. Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Ramat. ‘Shasta’ was grown in substrates formulated from ROM: 1) 100% Groco, an anaerobically digested biosolids composted with sawdust; 2) 100% Tagro, a thermophilically digested class A biosolid mixed with sawdust and sand; 3) 100% dairy compost, the solids screened from dairy manure slurry and then composted; 4) 100% dairy fiber, the solids fraction from an anaerobic dairy manure digester; 5) 50% Groco:50% douglas-fir bark (mixed by volume); 6) 50% Tagro:50% bark; 7) 50% dairy compost:50% bark; 8) 50% dairy fiber:50% bark; and 9) the control, a commercial peat–perlite mixture. Soluble fertilizer [200 mg·L−1 nitrogen (N)] was applied every second day (high N) or every fourth day (low N). Water was applied through capillary mat subirrigation or overhead sprinkler surface irrigation. Surface irrigation and high N produced shoot dry weight, shoot growth index (SGI), quality, and flower bud counts similar to controls in all ROMs but Groco. Groco SGI was similar to the control but the other parameters were lower. Surface-irrigated, low N shoot dry weight, SGI, and flower buds in all ROM equaled or exceeded the control and quality was similar to or better than controls in all but dairy compost:bark. Subirrigated and high N substrate comparisons indicated that growth, quality, and flower bud measurements were similar to the control except for Groco in which performance was reduced. Low N rate subirrigation produced dry weight, SGI, quality, and flower buds similar to or better than the control in all but the Groco and dairy compost:bark substrates. The generally inferior performance in Groco is likely the result of its low water-holding capacity. In substrates with higher available N (Groco, Tagro, Tagro:bark, and dairy fiber), plant growth parameters generally did not respond to doubling the applied N; in the other substrates, including the control, growth generally increased in response to additional N. Measured differences in leaf color across treatments were not large. Root growth of plants in the experimental substrates was similar to the control in both irrigation systems. Substrate effects on leachate nitrate-N were small and inconsistent. When properly constituted, biosolids and dairy manure can be used as substrates under reduced fertilization with both surface and subirrigation systems.

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Reeser C. Manley and Rita L. Hummel

The index of injury (It) and tissue ionic conductance (gTi) formulas for analyzing electrolyte leakage data from freeze-stressed tissues of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group) were compared. The two formulas produced similar results in calculating the relative freezing responses of stem pith, lamina, and petiole tissues. Disagreement occurred only with lamina tissues when the magnitude of ion leakage was low. Vital staining of pith and petiole tissues with triphenyl tetrazolium chloride indicated that the tissue TK50 (the temperature resulting in 50% injury), derived from It data, was a reliable indicator of the freeze-killing point. These results support the use of the simpler It method for analyzing electrolyte leakage data in studies of cabbage freezing tolerance.

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Rita L. Hummel and Patrick P. Moore

The roles of freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance in determining strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) flower freeze resistance were compared in laboratory freeze tests. Genotype, freezing point depression of expressed cell sap, and flower size were examined as potential sources of variation in freeze resistance. When ice was added as a nucleator to excised flowers, mean freeze damage was 97% at -3.0 °C, but in the absence of ice, flowers appeared to supercool and had only 15% damage at -4.0 °C. Without nucleation, cultivar differences in freeze damage were significant in three of four freezing temperatures, but the relative ranking of cultivar freeze damage was not consistent across temperatures. Cultivars that sustained the least amount of injury at -4 °C, were not necessarily the least injured at -7 °C. With an ice nucleator, damage occurred at warmer temperatures (-1.5 °C), but there was no relationship between percentage damage at -1.5 °C with nucleation and -4 °C without nucleation across cultivars. Freezing-point depression of expressed cell sap did not account for the variation in freeze resistance. In nucleated and nonnucleated treatments, larger flowers were more likely to be freeze damaged. Results of this research suggest that flowers of all cultivars are susceptible to freeze damage and survive spring frosts by freeze avoidance.