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  • Author or Editor: Rodulfo O. Pacumbaba Jr. x
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Sixty-six perennial ornamental cultivars were established and then grown under low maintenance, intensive weed competition, and severe mowing conditions. These cultivars were evaluated for their potential application for roadside/median beautification. Experimental plots were cleared with Roundup® prior to planting. During the first 3 weeks of establishment, plants were irrigated as needed. Plants were grown for one season, then pruned back to simulate bush-hog mowing. Plants were grown under low maintenance and no weed control conditions for two growing seasons. Plants were evaluated each season for simulated bush-hog damage recovery potential, survivability under severe weed competition, height, and spread. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measurements showed that height and spread variation had a significant interaction between plant cultivar and time of evaluation. Several Zephyranthes sp. cultivars performed poorly under severe weed competition and mowing damage resulting in a high mortality rate. Cultivars that did perform well for the 2-year evaluation period include Lagerstroemia indica ×fauriei `Natchez,' Lagerstroemia indica ×fauriei `Muskogee,' Vitex agnus-castus `Shoal Creek,' and Myrica cerifera. Rosa × `Chuckles' and Rosa × `Knock Out' cultivars, with their popular showy appearance, performed moderately well and showed high potential for roadside/median beautification applications.

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The growing popularity of Asian pears in the open market has generated a need for more information about their fireblight resistance and stress tolerance. In 1994, Alabama A&M Univ. established a large research planting of 10 cultivars of Asian pear on three different rootstocks. The cultivars included Kosui, Korean Giant, 20th Century, Hosui, Shinko, Ichiban Nashi, Shinseiki, Chojuro, Okusankichi, and Shinsui. The three rootstocks used were Pyrus betulaefolia, Pyrus calleryana, and Old Home × Farmingdale 333. The planting was arranged as a randomized complete block replicated 10 times with a total of 300 trees planted. Mortality was scored in late 1995 and data was subjected to Chi-square analysis. Rootstock did have a significant effect on mortality. P. betulaefolia had the lowest frequency of mortality of 11%, with Old Home and P. calleryana at 24% and 31% respectively. Cultivars also had a significant effect on mortality. Korean Giant and Shinseiki had the lowest mortality of 3.33% and 6.67%, respectively. Kosui and Hosui had the highest mortality of 46.67% and 36.67%. Stress conditions that occurred during 1995 and environmental factors that contribute to the development of fireblight were responsible for the mortality of the Asian pear.

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