The ability to remove the pistillate flowers and young nuts from precocious lateral-bearing English walnut (Juglans regia L.) cultivars during the first several years following planting would be useful both in reducing competition with vegetative growth and eliminating potential infection sites for blackline disease (cherry leafroll virus). Applications of ethephon shortly after full bloom were shown to effectively remove all or most pistillate flowers depending upon spray timing and ethephon concentration. Moderate phytotoxicity and reduced seasonal growth limit the usefulness of this technique in the field. Removal of staminate flowers (catkins) prior to pollen release may reduce the excessive pistillate flower abscission of the `Serr' cultivar. Applications of ethephon shortly before the onset of pollen shedding were shown to be ineffective in catkin removal.
Mohammed A.M. Aly, Robert G. Fjellstrom, Gale H. McGranahan and Dan E. Parfitt
Somatic embryos derived from walnut (Juglans regia L.) ovule tissues were evaluated to determine whether they were of zygotic or maternal origin. Molecular markers were used to permit evaluation at an early stage, before whole plant development. Somatic embryos developed from potentially apomictic `Sunland' and `Cisco' ovule tissue isolated from bagged putatively unpollinated flowers. Phosphoglucomutase (PGM) isozyme analysis showed that all of these embryos, except one from each cultivar, carry the same zymotype as the maternal tissue. However, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RPLP) analysis combined with isozyme evaluation demonstrated that the tested embryos originated from zygotic rather than maternal tissues. This study demonstrates the application of molecular marker analyses, particularly RFLPs, evaluation of somatic embryo origin.
I. Klein, T.M. DeJong, S.A. Weinbaum and T.T. Muraoka
Exposure to photosynthetically active radiation and the consequent effect on leaf mass per unit leaf area (SLW) and nitrogen (percent dry weight and μg·mm-2) allocation within tree canopies was investigated in walnut (Juglans regia `Serr' and `Hartley') trees. Percent contribution of discrete light flux densities below light saturation (100-700 μmol·s-1·m-2) to the total light exposure of individual spurs, exposed up to 9 hour·day-1 to saturating light (>700 μmol·s-1·m-2), was minimal (<1 hour), indicating that individual spurs were either exposed or shaded most of the day. SLW and N content per unit leaf area of individual spurs were highly correlated (second-order polynomial curve fit) with light exposure within the tree canopy, indicating uneven allocation of available N for optimal utilization. Nitrogen expressed as percent dry weight was not correlated with light exposure and SLW. Leaf N content per leaf area was highly correlated (linear fit) with SLW.
Richard P. Buchner*, Allan Fulton, Bruce Lampinen, Ken Shackel, Terry Prichard, Larry Schwankl, Sam Metcalf and Cayle Little
Ninth leaf California Chandler Walnuts (Juglans regia) on Northern California Black (Juglans hindsii) or Paradox (English/black hybrid) rootstock were irrigated to achieve three levels of Midday Stem Water Potential (MSWP). Target potentials were: 1) low water stress (average MSWP of -3.2 bars); 2) mild water stress (average MSWP of -6.2 bars); and 3) moderate water stress (average MSWP of -7.3 bars). Stem Water Potential was measured midday (12-4 pm) by placing leaves inside water impervious, light blocking foil bags. Leaves remained bagged for at least ten minutes to achieve equilibrium. Bagged leaves were removed, placed inside a pressure chamber and stem water potential was measured at endpoint. Data are presented for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Withholding irrigation water had a significant impact on `Chandler' growth, productivity, and profitability particularly on young, vigorously growing trees. Chandler/Black appears to be more tolerant to water stress compared to Chandler/Paradox For Chandler on Paradox, water stress significantly reduced growth, yield, price per pound, percent edible kernel, and resulted in darker kernels. In addition, water stress significantly increased the total percent offgrade. Withholding irrigation does not appear to be a good strategy in young, vigorously growing `Chandler' orchards. Mature trees and trees grafted onto Northern California black rootstock may be more tolerant of moisture stress.
John P. Edstrom*, William Krueger and Wilbur Reil
Orchard hedgerow production systems have been used successfully in fruit and nut crops in California for decades to enhance yield, particularly in the early years of production. English walnuts (Juglans regia) are compatible with hedgerow techniques under prime soil conditions but are thought to require deep well drained soil to be commercially productive. Combining the production techniques of micro-irrigation, close spacing, minimal pruning and frequent fertilization in almonds has improved yield substantially on soils exhibiting a shallow, course textured topsoil underlain with a dense clay layer. Paradox hybrid rootstock (J. regia × J. hindsii) has shown greater tolerance to root lesion nematodes and heavier textured or poorly drained soils than Northern California Black (J. hindsii). Fourteen years of evaluation (1986-99) using `Chandler' and `Howard' Ctvs English walnuts in a replicated field trial on marginal soil has shown that 1) yields of 6700 kg·ha-1 (inshell) are attainable under these substandard soil conditions 2) Paradox hybrid rootstock out-yields Northern California Black by 30% on both cultivars tested, 3) kernels of high commercial quality for can be produced for both cultivars and 4) slip plow soil modifications may not improve tree growth, yield or crop quality in drip irrigated walnut hedgerow plantings.
Kourosh Vahdati, Charles Leslie, Zabihollah Zamani and Gale McGranahan
In vitro rooting of three commercial cultivars of Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.), `Sunland', `Chandler', and `Vina', was examined using a two-phase rooting procedure: root induction in the dark on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with 15 μm IBA followed by root development in the light on a mixture of one-quarter strength Driver Kuniyuki Walnut (DKW) basal medium and vermiculite (1:1.25, v/v). Rooting percentages were: `Sunland' (94%), `Chandler (55%), and `Vina' (27%). A positive relationship was observed between the vigor of cultivars and rooting ability, but shoot length did not affect rooting success. Rooting was optimum when shoots were cultured on root induction media for 6 to 8 days. Increasing the sucrose level in the root induction medium to 40 g·L-1 improved rooting, and shoots induced to root at 22 °C rooted more readily than those induced at 30 °C. Either increasing or decreasing the nitrogen level in the multiplication medium had a negative effect on rooting. Rooted walnut shoots often cease growth during acclimatization, resulting in shoot rosetting. Spray application of Promalin® (25 mL·L-1) caused buds to break and induced elongation of shoots. Chemical name used: indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).
Asadolah Aslani Aslamarz, Kourosh Vahdati, Majid Rahemi and Darab Hassani
The objective of this work was to determine the chilling and heat requirements of Persian walnut cultivars and genotypes using excised twigs. The experiment was carried out from Nov. 2006 and 2007 to Mar. 2007 and 2008. One-year-old twigs were prepared from four cultivars and four domestic genotypes of Juglans regia L. After leaf fall, the twigs were taken and placed in plastic bags and kept at 4 ± 1 °C to stimulate 400 to 1500 chilling hours. After chilling, the excised twigs were transferred to the greenhouse with a natural photoperiod and a temperature from 18 to 27 °C. The evaluation of budbreak was made three times a week and the number of accumulated growing degree hours (°C) was determined until the buds reached the balloon or green tip stage. The chilling requirements were lowest (400 h) for catkins and highest (1000 h) for lateral buds. The Serr cultivar and ‘Z30’ genotype had the lowest chilling requirements (650 and 650 h). ‘Lara’, ‘Z63’, ‘Z53’, ‘Pedro’, and ‘Z67’ showed intermediate chilling requirements with values of 900, 900, 800, 750, and 750 h, respectively. Finally, ‘Hartley’ completed its dormancy after an accumulation of 1000 h, being the walnut cultivar with the highest chilling requirement in our study. As the final result, the cultivars and genotypes were classified into three groups based on their heat requirements: low requirement (‘Z30’ and ‘Serr’), medium requirement (‘Z53’, ‘Z67’, ‘Lara’, and ‘Pedro’), and high requirement (‘Hartley’ and ‘Z63’).
William H. Olson and Richard P. Buchner
English walnut (Juglans regia) producers in California compete with many insect and disease pests to produce an acceptable crop. Traditional control strategies work reasonably well for most pests. However, environmental concerns, loss of certain pesticides and new or impending regulations threaten the use of many traditional techniques for control of many of the pests. Codling moth (Cydia pomonella), walnut husk fly (Rhagoletis completa), and walnut aphid (Chromaphis juglandicola) are the major insects that affect California walnut production. Control strategies that use integrated pest management programs, beneficial insects, mating disruption, insect growth regulators, improved monitoring techniques and precise treatment timing based on the insect's life cycle are leading edge techniques currently available for insect control in walnuts. Major diseases include walnut blight (Xanthomonas campestris pv. juglandis), crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) and crown and root rot (Phytophthora spp). Both copper resistant and copper sensitive strains of the walnut blight bacterium are best controlled with combinations of copper bactericides and maneb instead of copper materials alone. A new computer model, Xanthocast, used to forecast the need for walnut blight treatment is under evaluation. Crown gall is managed using a preplant biological control agent and a heat treatment to eradicate existing galls. Phytophthora crown and root rot is dealt with primarily by site selection, irrigation management and rootstock selection.
David A. Goldhamer, Robert Beede, Steve Sibbett and Dave Ramos
Mature hedgerow walnut trees (Juglans regia L. cv. Chico) were irrigated at rates of 33, 67, and 100% of potential orchard ETc (about 350, 700, and 1050 mm/season, respectively) for three years. All trees were then returned to 100% ETc for the subsequent three year period.
Deficit irrigation reduced vegetative growth as measured by shaded area of the orchard floor and trunk growth. Yield reductions, which were minimal after one season, were significantly greater in years two and three. However, the relationships between crop yield and applied water were linear for all deficit irrigation seasons. Upon a return to full irrigation, trunk (and presumably shoot) growth of the previously stressed trees accelerated to levels greater than the control. The subsequent increase in fruiting positions resulted in a return to full production after two years. This suggests that hedgerow walnuts have the potential to recover rapidly from drought-induced production losses if no secondary effects of tree water stress, such as disease or pests, occur.
Janet Caprile and Steve Grattan
In areas of California with a high incidence of walnut blackline disease, walnut orchards are increasingly being planted on English walnut (Juglans regia) rootstocks that are tolerant to the virus. There is limited documentation on the salt tolerance of this rootstock. This work was done to quantify the response of English walnut rootstocks to high boron (B), chloride (Cl), and sodium (Na) and to compare this to the more common rootstocks, Northern California Black (J.hindsii) and Paradox (J. hindsii × J. regia). The trial was configured as a randomized complete-block design with 20 plots. Plots consisted of three proximate, matched `Chandler' trees, each on a different rootstock. Leaf samples over a 2-year period showed that trees on the English rootstock had a significantly higher salt uptake than trees on Paradox, which had a significantly higher uptake than trees on Black. Bark cores showed little difference in B uptake between any of the rootstocks. Bark cores also showed that all rootstocks accumulated significantly more B than the scion portion of the tree, indicating that B transport may be limited by the graft union. Trees on English rootstock had significantly more B in the scion bark cores than trees on either Black or Paradox, indicating that rootstocks with a J. hindsii parent may be better at reducing salt transport across the graft union.