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J.G. Williamson, W.S. Castle and K.E. Koch

Three commercially employed treatments to force scion bud growth were compared using greenhouse-grown `Carrizo' citrange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] seedlings budded with `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.]. Scion buds were forced either by 1) cutting off (removing the rootstock shoot above the bud union); 2) lopping (cutting half-way through the rootstock shoot above the bud union and breaking over the rootstock stem); or 3) bending (bending the rootstock shoot to its base and tying it in position). Plants were harvested, dried, and weighed at various times after scion shoot emergence. Plants on which rootstock shoots remained attached (lopping or bending) had the largest scion leaf area and gained the most scion and whole-plant dry weight. Bending rootstock shoots also resulted in a longer scion, more leaves, and higher root dry weight than did removal of rootstock shoots by cutting off. Few differences in overall growth were observed among trees retaining their rootstock shoots after two scion growth flushes. Removal of rootstock shoots after the first scion growth flush reduced leaf area and dry weight gain of the second scion growth flush; however, it did not affect total scion leaf area or dry weight. Analysis of 14C-photosynthate transfer from labeled rootstock leaves showed that bending allowed the greatest movement of labeled assimilates to other plant parts during the 24 hours after 14CO2 fixation. Radiolabeled photosynthates from rootstock leaves were partitioned primarily to shoots during scion growth flushes and to roots during periods between growth flushes.

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William S. Castle, Kim D. Bowman, James C. Baldwin, Jude W. Grosser and Frederick G. Gmitter Jr.

Two adjacent rootstock trials were conducted in the east coast Indian River region of Florida with ‘Marsh’ grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) scion. The objective was to find rootstocks to replace sour orange (C. aurantium L.) because of losses to citrus tristeza virus, and to replace Swingle citrumelo [C. paradisi × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] because of its limited usefulness in certain poorly drained coastal sites. The trials were conducted in randomized complete blocks with 12 single-tree replicates spaced 4.6 × 6.9 m. The soils were of the Wabasso and Riviera series. The first trial consisted largely of trees on citrange [C. sinensis (L.) Osb. × P. trifoliata] and citrumelo rootstocks, ‘Cipo’ sweet orange (C. sinensis), and various hybrid rootstocks. The second trial involved mandarin rootstocks (C. reticulata Blanco) and sour orange and related rootstocks. Trees were grown for 7 years and yield and juice quality data were collected for the last 4 years of that period. Those rootstocks identified as the most promising, based on combinations of smaller tree size and high productivity and juice quality, were two Sunki mandarin × Swingle trifoliate orange (TF) hybrids (C-54, C-146), a Sunki mandarin × Flying Dragon TF hybrid, C-35 citrange, and a Cleopatra mandarin × Rubidoux TF hybrid (×639). The trees on these five rootstocks cropped well leading to soluble solids (SS) values of 3000 to 4000 kg/ha when they were 7-years old. The trees on C-54 and C-146 were relatively large, somewhat taller than trees on sour orange, whereas those on C-35 and the Sunki × Flying Dragon hybrid were smaller and similar to sour orange in tree height. Fruit quality among the trees on C-35 and the Sunki × Flying Dragon hybrid had relatively high SS concentration (better than sour orange), and the other three rootstocks had relatively lower solids concentration (poorer than sour orange). The trees on C-35 and the Sunki × Flying Dragon hybrid would be good candidates for higher density orchards.

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T.A. Wheaton, W.S. Castle, J.D. Whitney and D.P.H. Tucker

`Hamlin' and `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.], `Murcott' tangor (C. reticulata Blanco × C. sinensis), and `Redblush' grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.) on 15 rootstock and own-rooted cuttings were planted at a 1.5 × 3.3-m spacing providing a density of 2020 trees/ha. Growth rate, productivity, and fruit quality varied among the scion and stock combinations. Combinations of moderate vigor and precocious fruiting performed better than very vigorous or dwarfing materials. Several freezes slowed canopy development and delayed production. Most trees had filled their allocated canopy space 7 years after planting. At that age, the orange trees yielded 23 to 75 t·ha-1. Scion and stock combinations with desirable vigor and fruiting characteristics were satisfactory in this high-density planting. However, there appears to be little advantage of high tree density under Florida conditions, and moderate densities of fewer than 1000 trees/ha may be preferable.

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T.A. Wheaton, J.D. Whitney, W.S. Castle, R.P. Muraro, H.W. Browning and D.P.H. Tucker

A factorial experiment begun in 1980 included `Hamlin' and `Valencia' sweet-orange scions [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.], and Milam lemon (C. jambhiri Lush) and Rusk citrange [C. sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] rootstocks, tree topping heights of 3.7 and 5.5 m, between-row spacings of 4.5 and 6.0 m, and in-row spacings of 2.5 and 4.5 m. The spacing combinations provided tree densities of 370, 494, 667, and 889 trees ha. Yield increased with increasing tree density during the early years of production. For tree ages 9 to 13 years, however, there was no consistent relationship between yield and tree density. Rusk citrange, a rootstock of moderate vigor, produced smaller trees and better yield, fruit quality, and economic returns than Milam lemon, a vigorous rootstock. After filling their allocated space, yield and fruit quality of trees on Milam rootstock declined with increasing tree density at the lower topping height. Cumulative economic returns at year 13 were not related to tree density.