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Abstract

Polyvinyl chloride columns (4 × 15 cm) containing by volume either 2 pine bark : 1 moss peat : 0 sand, 2 pine bark : 0 moss peat : 1 sand, 0 pine bark : 1 moss peat : 1 sand, or 2 pine bark : 1 moss peat : 1 sand amended with 3 kg m-3 of 32P-superphosphate (8.7% P) were leached daily with 16 or 32 ml of deionized water (pH 5.5) in 1 hour. Irrigation rate did not affect 32P leaching nor was there a media rate interaction or difference in the percentage total 32P and dissolved 32P leached. Medium 2:1:1 had the greatest percentage (76%) of 32P leached during the 3-week experimental period, however, 55% of the 32P amendment leached from each medium the 1st week.

Open Access

Heavy fruit set of apricot (Prunus armeniaca) cultivars grown in California often require hand thinning to insure that adequate fruit size is obtained. Alternatives to costly hand thinning would be welcome. GA treatments made during flower bud initiation/differentiation have been previously shown to inhibit the development of floral and vegetative buds in a number of different tree fruit species. The effects of post-harvest limb and whole tree aqueous gibberellic acid (GA) sprays on flower and fruit production were investigated over a 3 year period in `Patterson' apricot. Limb treatments indicated the potential for utilizing postharvest GA sprays to reduce the number of flowers produced in the following season. Harvest fruit size (June 1989) was increased by a 100 mg·liter-1 GA whole tree spray applied 7 July 1988 when compared to non-thinned and hand thinned trees. Yield per tree was reduced by that GA spray, but not enough to show statistical differences. No abnormal tree growth responses have been observed in GA-sprayed trees to date. These results and those from the 1989 and 1990 growing seasons will be presented in effort to identify a role for whole tree postharvest GA sprays in a chemical thinning program suitable for commercial apricots.

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A goal of irrigation best management practices in container nurseries is to conserve water while maintaining optimal plant growth and quality. A web-based, container irrigation management program (CIRRIG) was developed to automatically provide daily irrigation run times for sprinkler-irrigated crops in container nurseries. The program estimates evapotranspiration rates based on weather uploaded from a weather station located on-site and plant production conditions monitored in each zone and adjusts irrigation run times based on irrigation application rate, the plant’s irrigation-capturing ability (for sprinkler irrigation), desired leaching fraction, and irrigation system uniformity. For this project we interfaced CIRRIG output with a programmable logic controller (PLC) to automatically irrigate a sprinkler-irrigated crop at a container nursery in Florida. Sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum) in 10-inch-diameter containers were grown by the nursery for 24 weeks in adjacent irrigation zones, one controlled automatically using CIRRIG and the other by the nursery’s traditional practice of manually turning on and off irrigation. Water use was monitored with flowmeters and plant growth by measuring plant size and shoot dry weight periodically throughout the trial. Plant growth was not different (P < 0.05) because of irrigation practice. CIRRIG reduced water use during the study period by 21% (42 vs. 53 inches) compared with the nursery’s irrigation practice. An assessment of the water-saving benefits of making daily adjustments to irrigation run times based on weather including rain indicated savings of 25% and 40% compared with biweekly adjustments with and without automatic rain cutoff, respectively. This trial demonstrated that CIRRIG coupled with an on-site weather station and a computer-controlled irrigation system can be used to manage irrigation while conserving water in a container nursery.

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Sweet cherries produce vigorous upright growth from Apr.-Sept. and are slow to bear in California. Our tree training objectives include earlier bearing, easier harvesting, high productivity of good quality fruit. `Bing' cherry on mazzard and mahaleb rootstock were planted in 7 blocks and trained 6 ways. One group was headed 12-18 inches above the bud union and 4 branches were retained at the 1st dormant pruning. Lateral buds were treated with promalin at bud-break to induce lateral shoot formation. Trees were spring-summer pruned to reduce terminal growth. At the second dormant pruning, strong shoots were removed and lateral shoots were treated with promalin to induce spur formation. Trees were treated likewise through the 3rd dormant season and produced a fair crop in the 4th season. Central leader trees were created by tying/weighting limbs, dormant and summer pruning, and retaining less vigorous limbs as well as utilizing promalin. Slow growing trees tended to bear fruit more rapidly. Both training methods yielded fruit in the 4th season while traditional pruning procedures produced few fruit. Data and procedures will be presented to document these practices.

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Abstract

Incorporation of superphosphate into a pine bark growing medium did not increase growth of ‘Hellen’ holly if the plants were subsequently fertilized with slow-release granular or a water soluble fertilizer. Tissue P levels, except for the water soluble fertilizer treatment, and medium P levels were higher as a result of superphosphate incorporation.

Open Access
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Abstract

Higher N rates applied to Ilex crenata‘ Helleri’ holly liners grown in the greenhouse increased shoot growth but-decreased root growth resulting in a greater shoot:root ratio. Higher N rates reduced the time required for a shoot growth flush to occur. Ρ at 85-500 ppm had no effect on shoot or root growth. Continued growth of liners at 50 ppm N lowered the shoot:root ratio due to stimulation of root growth while 300 ppm N caused the shoot:root ratio to increase due to increased shoot growth.

Open Access
Authors: and

Abstract

Greenhouse-grown branched liners of ‘Helleri’ holly were fertilized with either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 ppm P to establish a P level in the pine bark medium that resulted in maximum shoot dry weight. Pine bark P levels greater than 10 ppm did not result in increased shoot dry weight. Total mg of P in shoot tissues continued to increase with P treatments higher than 10 ppm, indicating luxury consumption of P. Total mg of P in root tissues increased to the 5 ppm P treatment. Total μg of Mn in shoot tissues increased while total pg of Mn in root tissues decreased with increasing pine bark P levels. In a subsequent experiment, dry shoot weights of ‘Helleri’ holly grown in a pine bark medium amended with either 270, 540, or 810 g/m3 of P supplied as superphosphate (9% P) or fertilized with 10 ppm P were not different, while root dry weights decreased with increasing P amendment. Water extractable P for the 810 g/m3 treatment decreased 245 ppm during the experiment and by week 5 was below 10 ppm.

Open Access

Abstract

The effect of initial heading height on primary branch development in ‘Bing’ sweet cherry (Prunus avium) was examined in the first year of growth. Trees headed 51 cm above the soil surface resulted in fewer primary branches produced by 1-year-old trees than those headed at 75 cm and delay-headed at 142 cm, respectively. Branches on trees with lower heading height had narrow angles and longer branches than those on trees that were headed higher. Trees delay-headed at 142 cm produced the greatest number of primary branches with the widest crotch angles and shortest branch length. Branches were distributed along the entire length of the main leader in each treatment, but more branches with narrow angles and longer lengths were located 50 cm below the heading cut along the tree trunk. A significant linear relationship existed between branch angle and branch length in the 0- to 50-, 50- to 100-, and 100- to 142-cm sections along the tree trunk.

Open Access

Photinia ×fraseri Dress and Podocarpus macrophyllus (Thunb.) D. Don were grown in a Metro-Mix 500 medium amended with 0.0%,0.25%,0.5%,0.75%, or 1.0% (by volume) of a K-based hydrophilic polymer and were irrigated every 3,6,9, or 12 days with a solution that contained either 100, 200, 300, or 400 mg N/liter, respectively: Photinia ×fraseri plants irrigated every 6 days with 200 mg N/liter in irrigation water and grown in 0.75 % polymer-amended medium had higher root and shoot dry weights (6.3 and 28 g, respectively) after 144 days than plants grown in the unamended medium (3.4 and 17 g, respectively). Shoot dry weights of P. macrophyllus grown 192 days in the amended medium were similar to those of plants grown in the unamended medium. Average shoot dry weights increased from 10 to 18 g, respectively, as number of irrigations increased from every 12 days with 400 mg N/liter in irrigation water to every 3 days with 100 mg N/liter in irrigation water. Podocarpus macrophyllus root dry weights were 1.9 and 3.6 g for plants irrigated every 12 and 3 days, respectively, while plants grown in the unamended medium had the highest root dry weight (3.2 g). Data from this study indicated that growth response to a cross-linked, K polyacrylate/polyacrylamide, hydrophilic polymer-amended Metro-Mix 500 medium varied with species and number of irrigation and concomitant fertilizer applications.

Free access

`Loadel' cling peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees were sprayed with Release® LC (Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, Ill.) in 1993. Preharvest (harvested 16 July) sprays of 50, 75, 100, and 120 ppm applied on 15 June improved fruit firmness without altering fruit maturity (flesh color by commercial standards) in 1993. In the following 1994 season, flower number per centimeter of shoot length was reduced by sprays ranging from 50 to 120 ppm applied on 15 June and 9 July. No hand-thinning was required on trees treated on 15 June. Trees treated 9 July had 50% fewer fruit removed than on untreated trees, where more than 3000 fruit were removed by hand-thinning. Salable yield was higher than untreated control trees where Release® LC had been applied at 50 ppm on 15 June and 9 July. Fruit size equaled those of hand-thinned controls. As concentration increased on 15 June, salable yield decreased linearly. Fruit size (diameter and individual weight) increased with reductions in salable yield. Interestingly, fruit were evenly distributed along shoots after Release® LC treatment, similar to those found after hand-thinning. Release® LC will be available for commercial chemical thinning of stone fruit in California during 1995. Additional results from peach and other stone fruit will be presented.

Free access