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Esmaeil Fallahi, W. Michael Colt, Bahar Fallahi, and Ik-Jo Chun

Tree fruit rootstocks are used to influence precocity, tree size, fruit quality, yield efficiency, mineral uptake, and to withstand adverse environmental conditions. In this paper, we will briefly discuss the history and literature of apple (Malus domestica) rootstocks and their effects on scion tree growth, yield, fruit quality, leaf mineral nutrition, and photosynthesis. Then, the results of our long-term study on the effects of rootstocks on tree growth, yield, fruit quality and leaf mineral nutrition, and one season of photosynthesis measurement in `BC-2 Fuji' will be presented and discussed. In this study, `Fuji' trees on `Malling 9 NAKBAT337' (M.9) rootstock had the smallest trunk cross-sectional area (TCA), highest yield efficiency, and were the most precocious followed by those on `East Malling-Long Ashton 26' (M.26 EMLA) and `East Malling-Long Ashton 7' (M.7 EMLA). Trees on M.7 EMLA often had larger fruit with less color than those on M.9 and M.26 EMLA. Trees on M.7 EMLA frequently had greater leaf K than those on other rootstocks. Trees on M.26 EMLA always had greater leaf Mg than those on other rootstocks. Leaves from the current terminal shoots (CTS) of trees on M.9 had higher net photosynthesis and transpiration than those on M.7 EMLA rootstock during 1998 growing season.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, John K. Fellman, and W. Michael Colt

Influence of various concentrations of hydrogen cyanamide (HC) on fruit thinning of `Rome Beauty' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.), `Friar,' and `Simka' plums (Prunus salicina Lindley) were studied. A full bloom application of HC at all tested concentrations decreased `Rome Beauty' apple fruit set and yield, and increased fruit weight. Hydrogen cyanamide at 0.25% (V/V) resulted in adequate apple thinning, indicated by the production of an ideal fruit weight. Prebloom and full bloom applications of HC at greater than 0.75% reduced plum fruit set and yield in `Friar.' Full bloom application of HC at 0.25% to 0.50% showed a satisfactory fruit set, yield, and fruit size in `Friar' plum. Full bloom application decreased fruit set and yield in `Simka' plum. Hand thinning, as well as chemical thinning, is recommended for plums.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, W. Michael Colt, Craig R. Baird, Bahar Fallahi, and Ik-Jo Chun

The influence of three rates of nitrogen (N) and fruit bagging on fruit peel and flesh mineral concentrations and fruit quality in `BC-2 Fuji' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on Malling 9 (M.9) was studied. Increasing N application decreased fruit peel red color, fruit N, iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn). Fruit from trees receiving 10.72 oz (303.9 g) N per year had higher evolved ethylene and respiration during poststorage ripening tests. Bagging of fruit reduced fruit peel red color, soluble solids concentrations (SSC), and dry weight as compared to nonbagged fruit. Bagged fruit had higher N, potassium (K), and copper (Cu) than nonbagged fruit. Fruit peel had a greater percentage of dry weight, and higher concentrations of all tested minerals compared to fruit flesh.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, John K. Fellman, Mark A. Longstroth, W. Michael Colt, and Delmer O. Ketchie

Twenty-six strains of `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) were evaluated over several years for growth, yield, and fruit quality at harvest and after 6 months of storage. `August Red', `Rose Red', and `Sharp Red' had larger trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) 3 and 18 years after planting compared to most other strains. `August Red' and `Starking' had larger TCSA and cumulative yield. `Apex,' `Improved Ryan Spur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Wellspur' were also among strains with high cumulative yields and yield efficiencies. `Hardi-Brite Spur' and `Red King Oregon Spur' had moderately high yields and small TCSAs, thus, high yield efficiencies. `Atwood', `Hardispur', `Imperial', `Improved Ryanred', `Starkspur Supreme', and `Topred' had low cumulative yields. `Ace' and `Improved Ryanred' had low yield efficiencies. `Ace', `Imperial', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Rose Red', `Starking', and `Wellspur' had heavier fruit, while fruit weight in `August Red', `Hardispur', and `Starkrimson' was lighter than that in most other strains. `Redspur' and `Starkspur Supreme' had the largest length to diameter (L/D) ratios. `Early Red One' had a similar red skin color rating as `Rose Red.' The red skin color rating of `Early Red One' was significantly higher than that of all other strains. `Hi-Early', `Improved Ryanred', `Redspur', and `Starking' had the poorest skin color ratings. `Hardispur', `Nured Royal', `Silverspur', and `Starkrimson' had high soluble solids concentrations (SSCs) at harvest and after storage. `Early Red One', `Imperial', `Improved Ryan Spur', and `Red King Oregon Spur' had lower SSCs at harvest and after storage. Fruit of `Apex' and `Redspur' had relatively high firmness at harvest, while `Hardispur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Starkspur Supreme' had firm fruit at harvest and after storage. `Hardi-Brite Spur' had the softest fruit after storage, and fruit from `Rose Red' had a lower firmness than most other strains at harvest and after storage. Considering cumulative yield, yield efficiency, or some quality parameters, `Apex', `Classic Red', `Improved Ryan Spur', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Silverspur', and `Wellspur' had satisfactory overall performance. Strains are also suggested for planting depending on the market situation and the demand for a particular quality factor. `Hardispur' and `Sturdeespur' (Miller) are not recommended for planting under climatic conditions similar to those of this experiment.