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relationships among the proposed factors potentially influencing the desirable and weedy plant cover are not significant on some sites, sites 2, 3, 4, and 5 (40% of GRs) did have a high desirable plant cover with relatively low maintenance time and cost ( Tables

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treatments. Minimum winter RZTs in PiP were a few degrees lower than soil temperatures and no plant death or injury was attributed to low RZTs in these trials. There was no evidence to indicate that additional winter protection is required for PiP nursery

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Georgia has an excellent window for organic blueberry production since much of the crop ripens ahead of production in the northern U.S. Major challenges facing Georgia organic blueberry growers are weed control, organic fertilization, insect control and disease control. A team of Georgia growers, extension agents and scientists are working together to solve these production problems. Since 2002 a series of experiments have been conducted on blueberry establishment and maintenance. Various mulch materials were tested. On young plants, pine straw produced the highest yields, but pine bark and landscape fabric were also successful. With the pine straw treatment, a respectable yield of 0.97 kg/plant occurred 24 months after planting. In addition, a bed shaper–plastic mulch layer was modified by developing a removable center. Using this system, beds are formed, plants are mechanically transplanted, plants are pruned to 75 mm, and plastic is then pulled over the stem. This produces a fairly tight fit around the stem and a nearly weed free system except for weeds growing from the edges. On mature plants, pine bark and wheat straw were tested. Wheat straw produced excellent weed control and improved blueberry growth in year one and two. However, pine bark mulch provided the best weed control in year three. Various organic burn down compounds such as vinegar, Xpress, Alldown, and Matran 2 were tested for winter weed control efficacy. In these trials Matran 2 was the most effective, and the product also performed well on woody weeds that were winter pruned, allowed to resprout and then treated. A propane torch was also tested, but discarded because of the fire hazard. Entrust insecticide was tested for thrips control and gibberellic acid for fruit set. Thrips populations were low, so no effect on fruit set was noted from Entrust. Gibberellic acid significantly improved fruit set.

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Producers in the central United States are showing considerable interest in growing alternative crops such as specialty forest products for food, herbal medicinal, decorative floral and craft markets. Crops showing particular promise are shrubs and trees that produce decorative woody stems such as curly willow (Salix matsudana), scarlet curls willow (S. matsudana `Scarlet Curls'), french `Scarlet Curls'), french pussy willow (S. caprea), red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea), and branches of flowering trees and shrubs, including apple (Malus spp.), cherry (spp.), cherry (Prunus spp.), and forsythia (Forsythia spp.). spp.). The objectives of this study were to 1) determine yields and performance of 10 woody plant cultivars used in the floral industry, and planted in an alley-cropping configuration, and 2) quantify wholesale prices, establishment and maintenance costs, management and harvest labor inputs, and financial returns by cultivar. Production and performance data are derived from a 40-acre (16.2-ha) alleycropping trial in Nebraska containing 10 species or cultivars of shrubs that produce woody florals. Results are based on two harvests that commenced two and three growing seasons after establishment. Harvested woody stem size and quality were measured and determined, and sold to wholesale florists to determine prices and identify buyer requirements. Annual gross financial returns ranged from a high of $24.94/plant for scarlet curls willow to a low of $0.63/plant for bloodtwig dogwood (C. sanguinea var. atrosanguinea), while net returns per plant for these species ranged from a positive $17.46 to a loss of $1.30. Financial returns varied among species and cultivars due to the combined effects of annual marketable stem production, harvesting and processing labor requirements, and price/stem. Stem production increased over time due to subsequent coppicing of harvested plants. Overall findings indicate that commercial production of selected cultivars of woody florals in an alleycropping arrangement can be a profitable alternative to using conventional woody species.

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The objective of this study was to determine if fertilization and irrigation practices in the nursery affect plant growth and stress resistance following outplanting in the landscape. Flowering crabapple (Malus) `Sutyzam', grown in containers under factorial combinations of two irrigations schedules (containers irrigated at 25% or 50% container capacity) and three rates of fertilization (N at 50, 200, 350 mg·L–1) in a nursery in 1997 were outplanted in a low maintenance landscape in 1998. Trees from the high fertility regime grew faster in the landscape the year of transplant. Tree growth in the landscape was positively correlated with N concentration in plants in the nursery and negatively correlated with concentrations of phenolics in the foliage in the landscape. However, the trees showing the greatest amount of diameter growth had the lowest concentrations of foliar phenolics. Trees with low concentrations of phenolics also exhibited a greater potential for herbivory by larvae of the eastern tent caterpillar, gypsy moth, and white-marked tussock moth. Additionally, trees exhibiting rapid growth in the landscape also had reduced photosynthesis during summer drought compared to slower growing trees, suggesting a reduced drought tolerance in the landscape. Differences in growth and stress resistance did not carry beyond the year of transplant. Our results illustrate that irrigation and fertilization methods in the nursery can influence growth post transplant, however fertilization also appears to have a significant impact on stress resistance traits of the trees. These impacts from the nursery production methods had no effect after plants had acclimated to the conditions in the landscape during the year following transplant.

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Abstract

Amorpha fruticosa L. has a national distribution from the American west coast to the east coast and from Wyoming to Sonora, Mexico (Correll and Johnston, 1970). There has been much confusion, due to the large amount of variation that exists, as to the correct botanical nomenclature of the species. A tentative nomenclature change would leave A. fruticosa with at least 16 synonyms (Kartesz and Kartesz, 1980). The cultivar discussed would be listed by some authors under A. fruticosa L. var. angustifolia Pursh. (Correll and Johnston, 1970; Shinners, 1972). ‘Dark Lance’ was selected for its beauty of spring flowering, being literally covered with dense spikes of violet flowers with yellow-orange anthers in late April. This floral display is apparent for 7 to 14 days, depending on weather conditions. This is a desirable landscape plant with low requirements of fertilizer and maintenance, and apparent freedom from disease and insect pests. However, it is the first Texas A&M Univ. resource-efficient plant released to the Texas and southwestern nursery industry that does not have strong drought tolerance.

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Dyssodia pentacheta, a prostrate-growing perennial Texas wildflower with potential for use in low-maintenance landscapes, was propagated in vitro and by stem cuttings under mist. Optimum rooting for IBA-treated semihardwood terminal stem cuttings (3 to 30 mm IBA) and in vitro-grown nodal segments (30 to 100 mm IBA) occurred after 4 weeks under an intermittent mist system. A 300-mm IBA basal dip was lethal to macroand microcuttings. In vitro, D. pentacheta produced more shoots per nodal explant on Woody Plant Medium (2 g Gelrite/liter) with 1 to 10 μ m BA than with combinations of BA and 0.5 μm NAA. After shoot proliferation, the shoots were subculture twice and grown on growth regulator-free medium. When maintaining D. pentacheta in vitro on media devoid of plant growth regulators, 1% sucrose was more effective than 2% for promoting shoot growth and suppressing apparent production of phenolics. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl) -1H-purin-6-amine (BA); 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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The Production of the cut flowers of Anthurium andreanum was in decline after Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and the subsequent wide-spread problem of bacterial blight in Jamaica and the Caribbean. New methods of cultivation and new varieties were necessary for the development of the industry. In addition, with the destruction of coconut trees, the supply of commonly used coconut husk became difficult. The present work has focused on the development of alternative media to coconut husk and on the development of cultural and fertilizer practices that increase plant productivity and reduce incidence of disease. The variety Honduras was chosen for the study. A 3 × 3 latin square design was used to evaluate four media—coconut husk, brick chips, gravel, and basalt igneous rock—two methods of cultivation—pots and beds; at three levels of fertilizer—244, 448 and 896 kg N/ha per year. While the coconut husk was still the better medium, the other media have resulted only in about 15% decline in the marketable blooms. This was offset by the requirement for low maintenance and lower fertilizer rates in inorganic media compared to coconut husk. Pot culture proved to be better for management purposes as well as production for the same area of production, as density of the plants could be increased and the incidence of disease could be easily managed. These results will be discussed with emphasis on a simple cost–benefit analysis of various combinations of cultivation methods and practices for commercial cultivation of A. andreanum var. Honduras in the Caribbean.

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Micropropagation of three Echinacea species, E. angustifolia DC., E. pallida Nutt., and E. purpurea Moench., was investigated as a potential means of germplasm preservation of species faced with overcollection in the wild and rapid clonal propagation of elite individuals with unique medicinal or ornamental properties. Very high contamination rates occurred with shoot-tip explants but not with nodal segments. Contamination rates for seed explants were inversely related to the number of seedcoat layers removed, ranging from 100% contamination from intact seeds to near 0% contamination from excised embryos. Dormancy of seed explants was also eliminated when the pericarp and integument were removed. Addition of benzyladenine (BA) to the culture medium induced shoot multiplication and inhibited root formation in all three species. Shoot multiplication rates were low (1-3 shoots per culture) when seed explants were placed on a medium with BA levels low enough to avoid adventitious shoot formation (0.45 μm). Shoot count was higher on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) minerals, while leaf size was greater on full-strength MS minerals. Cultures did not perform well in Woody Plant Medium. Reducing subculture frequency from 4 to 2 weeks increased shoot multiplication from 1.4 to 1.8 shoots per subculture and total shoots produced per subculture after 12 weeks from 2.8 to 23.9. Rooting occurred readily on shoots isolated from E. purpurea cultures and was not promoted by addition of IBA to the rooting medium. Rooting was low and nil on shoots from cultures of E. angustifolia and E. pallida, respectively. Methods described in this study allow rapid multiplication of three Echinacea species and subsequent rooting of E. purpurea. Future improvements in root induction treatments will allow these methods to be used effectively for micropropagation and maintenance of disease-free germplasm of Echinacea species. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine-6-amine (BA); 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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A survey of landscape service providers was conducted in conjunction with the 2004 Tree and Landscape Short Course in Tampa, Fla. A greater proportion of participants (56%) provided landscape maintenance services, and 60% of the businesses were independently owned. About 67% of the respondents indicated that their businesses were in operation for over 10 years with 33% of the participants making one million dollars or more in gross sales per year. Although 43% of the respondents indicated that they served only one type of account, at least 29% of the providers served two types of accounts, and 24% served three types. In response to various questions on a Likert scale of 1–5, about 39% of the respondents completely agreed that word-of-mouth is the best marketing method and 41% agreed that an attractive logo on company trucks works as a great marketing tool. Many participants either agreed (27%) or were neutral (27%) when asked if they thought that the customers have no understanding of the costs involved in providing services to them. The survey results show that 73% of the respondents believe the most important factor that impacts and helps retain a customer base at a steady level is quality of work performed followed by professional employees, appearance, and knowledgeable employees. Cheap prices or discounts offered were rated as being low factors in retention of customers. Most service providers (31%) do not communicate with their customers using brochures, newsletters, flyers, emails, or websites. About 61% of service providers promote low water use plants followed by use of Florida native plants.

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