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Wesley R. Autio

In 1990, trials were established at 13 sites including `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', `Empire', and `Rome' apple cultivars in all combinations on M.9 EMLA, B.9, Mark, O.3, and M.26 EMLA rootstocks. After 10 growing seasons, rootstock and cultivar interacted significantly to affect trunk cross-sectional area and yield efficiency but not yield per tree or survival. Generally, trunk cross-sectional area was greatest for M.26 EMLA, followed by O.3, M.9 EMLA, B.9, and Mark. However, differences between B.9 and Mark and between M.9 EMLA and O.3 varied with cultivar. B.9 was 34% to 46% larger than Mark with `Golden Delicious' and `Empire,' but they were similar for `Jonagold' and `Rome.' O.3 was 27% larger than M.9 EMLA with `Golden Delicious' and `Empire,' they were similar for `Rome', and O.3 was 12% smaller than M.9 EMLA with `Jonagold'. M.26 EMLA resulted in the greatest cumulative yield per tree, followed by O.3, M.9 EMLA, B.9, and Mark. Generally, cumulative yield efficiency (1992–99) was greatest B.9 and Mark and least for M.26 EMLA. M.9 EMLA and O.3 were similar and intermediately efficient. However, differences between B.9 and Mark and between M.9 EMLA and O.3 varied with cultivar. M.9 EMLA and O.3 were similarly efficient with `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', and `Rome,' but M.9 EMLA was 11% more efficient than O.3 with `Empire'. B.9 and Mark were similarly efficient with `Golden Delicious' and `Jonagold', but Mark was 15% more efficient and 25% less efficient than B.9 trees with `Empire' and `Rome', respectively. Site played an important role, but survival was best for B.9 and poorest for O.3. Cooperators included: J.L. Anderson, W. Autio, J. Barden, G. Brown, R. Crassweller, P. Domoto, A. Erb, D. Ferree, A. Gaus, R. Hayden, P. Hirst, F. Morrison, C. Mullins, J. Schupp, and L. Tukey.

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Wesley R. Autio

The effects of rootstock on `Delicious' apple maturity, quality, size, mineral composition, and storability were studied over a 4-year period. Removing the effects of crop load and crop load within year by analysis of covariance produced results suggesting that M.27 EMLA and Ott.3 advanced fruit maturity and that M.7 EMLA delayed fruit maturity. M.9, MAC 9, OAR 1, M.9 EMLA, and M.26 EMLA either were inconsistent in their effect on maturity or consistently resulted in an intermediate maturity. Size, after adjusting for the effects of crop load and crop load within year, was consistently high for fruit from trees on M.9 EMLA, and lowest for fruit from trees on OAR 1. After adjusting for fruit size, fruit from trees on MAC 9 generally had high Ca contents, and fruit from trees on OAR 1 had low Ca contents. The effect of rootstock on storability appeared to be secondary and related to maturity and Ca level.

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Wesley R. Autio

The effects of rootstock on `Delicious' (Malus domestics Borkh.) apple ripening, quality, size, mineral composition, and storability were studied over 4 years. Removal of the effects of crop load by analysis of covariance suggested that M.27 EMLA advanced fruit ripening and that M.7 EMLA delayed fruit ripening. Ott.3, M.9, MAC 9, OAR 1, M.9 EMLA, and M.26 EMLA either were inconsistent in their effects on ripening or consistently-resulted in an intermediate time of ripening. Fruit size consistently was largest from trees on M.9 EMLA and smallest from trees on OAR 1. Fruit from trees on MAC 9 generally had relatively high Ca contents, and fruit from trees on OAR 1 had relatively low Ca concentrations. The effects of rootstock on storability appeared to be related to their effects on maturity arid Ca levels.

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Wesley R. Autio

In 1990, a trial was established at 17 locations in the United States and Canada including the scions `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', `Empire', and `Rome” and the rootstocks M.9 EMLA, B.9, Mark, O.3, and M.26 EMLA. In 1994, trees on M.26 EMLA were the largest and trees on B.9 and those on Mark were the smallest, regardless of scion. Trees on M.9 EMLA were intermediate. `Golden Delicious' and `Empire” trees on O.3 were larger than those on M.9 EMLA. `Jonagold' and `Rome' trees on O.3 were similar in size to those on M.9 EMLA. With all scions, B.9 and Mark resulted in the lowest cumulative yields. With `Jonagold', `Empire', or `Rome' as the scion, O.3, M.26 EMLA, and M.9 EMLA resulted in the greatest and similar yields. With `Golden Delicious' as the scion, however, trees on M.9 EMLA yielded only as much as those on B.9 or Mark. Trees on B.9 and those on Mark were the most yield-efficient, regardless of scion. `Golden Delicious' and `Rome' trees on O.3 were similar to those on B.9 and those on Mark, but `Jonagold' and `Empire' trees on O.3 were less efficient than those on B.9 or on Mark. Overall, M.26 EMLA resulted in the lowest efficiency; however, M.9 EMLA resulted in more efficient trees only with `Empire' as the scion. Participants include: J.L. Anderson (Utah), W.R. Autio (Mass.), J.A. Barden (Va.), G.R. Brown (Ky.), P.A. Domoto (Iowa), D.C. Ferree (Ohio), A. Gaus (Colo.), R.L. Granger (Quebec), R.A. Hayden (Ind.), F. Morrison (Kan.), C.A. Mullins (Tenn.), S.C. Myers (Ga.), R.L. Perry (Mich.), C.R. Rom (Ark.), J.R. Schupp (Maine), and L.D. Tukey (Pa.).

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Wesley R. Autio

`Summerland Red McIntosh' apple trees propagated on M.9/A.2,O.3, M.7 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.7A. OAR1, or Mark rootstocks were planted in 1985 in a randomized complete block design with seven replications. Fruit ripening and quality were assessed in 1988-93. Internal ethylene concentrations were measured weekly throughout each harvest season. Once each season, fruit weight, starch-index value, soluble solids concentration, flesh firmness, and surface ted color were assessed on a sample of fruit from each tree. Size was smallest for fruit from trees on OAR1 or Mark, after accounting for the effects of crop load with analysis of covariance. Surface ted color was greatest for fruit from trees on Mark and least for fruit from trees on M.7 EMLA. Ripening was variable, but generally, fruit from trees on 0.3 ripened first, and fruit from trees on M.7 EMLA or M.7A ripened last. Crop load impacted ripening, but its effects were removed with analysis of covariance.

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Duane W. Greene and Wesley R. Autio

Benzyladenine (BA) stimulated lateral branching on young apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees at concentrations as low as 100 mg·liter-1. BA reduced lateral shoot length indirectly through increased intersboot competition, whereas daminozide reduced lateral shoot growth as a direct effect of the chemical inhibition. Daminozide reduced the number of spurs that were induced by BA to grow into lateral shoots. BA reduced the size of terminal buds on spurs that were stimulated to grow into lateral shoots. When daminozide was included with BA, spur quality was increased, as determined by Increased bud size. The positive effect of daminozide on BA-treated spurs was indirect, and other growth retardants used in combination with BA may be equally effective at improving spur quality. It may not be possible to stimulate lateral branching with BA on young trees just coming into production without causing an unacceptable amount of thinning. However, on bearing `Empire' trees, lateral shoot growth was increased with BA while still achieving an appropriate level of thinning. In general, there was no advantage to applying BA in a split application. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine-6-amine [benzyladenine (BA)]; butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide).

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Wesley R. Autio and Duane W. Greene

The effects of summer pruning on the yield and quality of apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) from mature `Rogers McIntosh'/M.7 trees were assessed in 1986-88. Summer pruning from 1 July through 1 Sept. enhanced red coloring and increased the percentage of the crop graded U.S. Extra Fancy. Fruit weight was not altered by summer pruning. Total yield was reduced by summer pruning only in 1 year, however, in no year was the harvested yield reduced. The portion of the crop that was picked in the first harvest was increased by summer pruning. Dormant-pruning time was decreased by summer pruning, and the total time required for pruning was increased only 1 of the 2 years where it was measured. Summer pruning and daminozide treatment significantly increased the estimated net returns.

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Duane W. Greene and Wesley R. Autio

A series of experiments were initiated to evaluate the influence of notching on improving lateral branching of young apple trees. Buds on 2-year-old wood of `Redspur' Delicious/MM.111 were notched at 2-week intervals from 6 weeks before bloom to 2 weeks after. Notching increased lateral branching cubically with the greatest response occurring when notching was done 2 to 4 weeks before bloom. Bud break occurred equally well and shoots grew comparably when `Redcort'/M.7 were notched at the tip, middle, or base. Bud break and shoot growth from unnotched buds was greatest at the tip, intermediate in the middle and least at the base. Limbs of `Spygold'/M.7 were spread to a 45 degree angle then one bud from each 1-year-old shoot was notched at either the top, side or on the bottom of the shoot. Notching increased lateral branching from all bud positions, but the greatest response was from buds notched at the top and least from those located at the bottom of a branch. Buds of `Marshall McIntosh' were notched on either 1 or 2-year-old wood. Notching increased lateral branching more on 2-year than on 1-year old wood.

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Wesley R. Autio and Duane W. Greene

In 1991, experiments were conducted to assess the effects of several growth controlling techniques on tree growth and fruit set, abscision, ripening, and other qualities. The first two experiments assessed the effects of root pruning (4-8 days after petal fall, 1 m from the trunk, 30 cm deep) in commercial orchards. Compared to controls, root pruning reduced fruit abscision from mature `Cortland'/M.7A trees by 70% on 17 Sept. In another orchard, root pruning reduced fruit abscision from mature `McIntosh'/MM.106 trees by 47% on 24 Sept. The third experiment utilized vigorous `Gardiner Delicious'/MM.106 trees. Treatments included root pruning (as described above), trunk scoring (single, complete circle, approximately 40 cm from the soil), trunk ringing (single, complete circle, 1 mm wide, approximately 40 cm from the soil), ethrel spray treatment (500 ppm), and dormant-pruned and unpruned controls. Treatments were applied on 15 May, when terminal growth was 12-15 cm. No treatment affected fruit set. Trunk growth was less for ringed and scored trees than other treatments. Ringing and scoring advanced ripening compared to controls, and ethrel resulted in intermediate ripening. Treatments had no effect on fruit size, flesh firmness, or the development of bitter pit and cork spot. Fruit abscision was least from controls and root-pruned trees. Trees that were treated with ethrel in May had the most rapid abscision rate.

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Duane W. Greene and Wesley R. Autio

A series of experiments were initiated to evaluate the influence of notching on improving lateral branching of young apple trees. Buds on 2-year-old wood of `Redspur' Delicious/MM.111 were notched at 2-week intervals from 6 weeks before bloom to 2 weeks after. Notching increased lateral branching cubically with the greatest response occurring when notching was done 2 to 4 weeks before bloom. Bud break occurred equally well and shoots grew comparably when `Redcort'/M.7 were notched at the tip, middle, or base. Bud break and shoot growth from unnotched buds was greatest at the tip, intermediate in the middle and least at the base. Limbs of `Spygold'/M.7 were spread to a 45 degree angle then one bud from each l-year-old shoot was notched at either the top, side or on the bottom of the shoot. Notching increased lateral branching from all bud positions, but the greatest response was from buds notched at the top and least from those located at the bottom of a branch. Buds of `Marshall McIntosh' were notched on either 1 or 2-year-old wood. Notching increased lateral branching more on 2-year than on 1-year old wood.