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  • Author or Editor: Thomas J. Tworkoski x
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Thomas J. Tworkoski and D. Michael Glenn

Competitive effects of different grass species were evaluated on growth, yield, leaf N, and leaf water potential of 8-year-old peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees and on weed abundance. Two cultivars (`Loring' on Lovell rootstock and `Redhaven' on Halford rootstock) of peach trees were planted in separate orchards in 1987. Nine orchard floor treatments were installed beneath the peach trees in 1995: Festuca arundinacea Schreber (tall fescue); Lolium perenne L., var. Manhattan II (perennial ryegrass); Lolium perenne L., var. Linn; Agrostis gigantea Roth (red top); Dactylis glomerata L. (orchardgrass); Phleum pratense L. (timothy); Bromus carinatus Hook. and Arn. (brome); weedy control; and herbicide weed control (simazine, glyphosate). In general, grasses reduced vegetative growth and yield in both cultivars. Orchardgrass was one of the most competitive species and reduced vertical water sprout length by 15% to 27% and lateral shoot length on fruit-bearing branches by 19% to 30% compared with herbicide treatments. Orchardgrass reduced yield by 37% and 24% in `Loring' and `Redhaven', respectively. All grasses were not equally competitive; `Linn' perennial ryegrass did not significantly reduce growth or yield in `Redhaven'. Control treatments with weeds also did not differ from herbicide treatments in peach tree growth and yield. Grass and weed ground covers consistently reduced peach tree leaf N by at least 10%, compared to herbicide treatment, possibly due to reduced root growth. `Redhaven' root density in the top 10 cm of soil was ≈12 cm·cm-3 in herbicide strips vs. 1 cm·cm-3 in weedy or ground-covered strips. Peach leaf water potential was not affected by grass and weeds. Weed weights were significantly reduced by all grasses compared with weedy control. The results indicate that peach cultivars respond differently to grass competition, but the relative competitiveness of each grass species was similar for both cultivars. Grass competition reduced growth, yield, and pruning weights of mature peach trees, but the reduction in vegetative growth did not significantly reduce pruning time per tree. Grasses that are less inhibitory to peach yield may be useful for weed management in orchards.

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Thomas J. Tworkoski, Michael E. Engle and Peter T. Kujawski

A polypropylene fabric containing control-release pellets of the herbicide, trifluralin, can be oriented in the soil to regulate the distribution of plant roots. In 1990, trenches were dug near 10-year-old red oak (Quercus rubra L.) and 10-year-old yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) and fabric containing trifluralin control-release pellets and polypropylene fabric alone were installed vertically to redirect root growth. Roots grew alongside trifluralin fabric and fabric alone and did not penetrate either fabric 38 months after installation. Shoot growth of yellow poplar was reduced about 47% each year by the trifluralin fabric treatment compared to control. Red oak shoot growth was not affected by trifluralin fabric. Leaf water potential was not affected by treatment in either species. Trifluralin residues in trifluralin fabric decreased from 23.3% to 22.0% from July 1990 to October 1993. During this time, trifluralin levels increased from 0.4 to 3.6 mg·kg-1 in soil sampled 0 to 15 cm below trifluralin fabric. These results suggest that controlled-release trifluralin will provide persistent inhibition of root and shoot growth of some species and will not migrate significantly in the soil. Chemical names used: α,α,α-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N-N-dipropyl-p-toluidine (trifluralin).

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Gary W. Stutte, Tara A. Baugher, Sandra P. Walter, David W. Leach, D. Michael Glenn and Thomas J. Tworkoski

A study was conducted to quantify the effects of rootstock and training system on C allocation in apple. Dry-matter distribution was determined at harvest in 5-year-old `Golden Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on four rootstocks (MM.111 EMLA, M.7a, M.26 EMLA, and M.9 EMLA) and in three training systems (three-wire palmette, free-standing central leader, and nonpruned). Mobilizable carbohydrate content was determined at harvest and leaf fall in trees from the same planting on MM.111 EMLA and M.9 EMLA in all three training systems. Training system effects interacted with rootstock effects in dry weights of branches and of fruit. Nonpruned system shoot and fruit dry weights reflected known rootstock vigor; whereas, pruned system (three-wire and central leader) shoot dry weights were greatest and fruit dry weights were lowest in trees on M.7a. Rootstock affected the partitioning of dry matter between above- and below-ground tree components, with MM.111 EMLA accumulating significantly more dry matter in the root system than trees on the other rootstocks. Trees in the central leader and the three-wire palmette systems partitioned more dry weight into nonbearing 1-year shoots than trees in the nonpruned system. Root starch content at harvest was greater in trees on MM.111 EMLA than on M.9 EMLA, and root sucrose and sorbitol were less in trees on MM.111 EMLA compared to M.9 EMLA. At leaf fall, starch in young roots was equal in trees on both rootstocks, and sorbitol again was lower in trees on MM.111 EMLA. Harvest starch content of roots, shoots, and branches was lower in nonpruned than in pruned trees. At leaf fall, root, shoot, and branch starch content increased in nonpruned and central leader-trained trees but did not increase in three-wire palmette-trained trees.