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Margaret E. Wolf and Michael W. Smith

Leachates of living Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. and Amaranthus sp. were applied to Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch. seedlings to compare effects on growth and elemental absorption. Water applied to the weed pot or control pot (no weeds present) leached through the pot and into a funnel with a tube attached, then directly into the corresponding pecan seedling pot. After 4 months of growth, pecan seedlings receiving weed leachates had less leaf area and were shorter than those watered through control pots. These results suggest that leachates from these two weed species inhibit pecan growth, independent of any competition effects.

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Ray E. Worley and Ben Mullinix

Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] tree height was gradually reduced by removing one to three limbs per year at a height <12 or <9 m or none. Pruning at either height reduced yield but increased tree vigor, terminal shoot growth, nut size, and percentage of “standard” grade kernels. Pruning reduced leaf Mg and percentage of “fancy” grade kernels.

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Ray E. Worley

Nitrogen was applied at 112 kg·ha-1 to mature 'Stuart' pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] trees, but the radii of the application were limited to 4.6, 6.1, 7.6, or 9.1 m. Yield, nut size, percentage of kernel, tree growth, and appearance were not affected by concentrating the N application. Leaf N was highest for the largest N application radius, but all treatments supplied abundant N. Concentrating N reduced soil pH and occasionally P, K, and Ca in the 0–15 or 15–30 cm soil layers, but all three soil nutrients and Mg were medium to high after 19 years of treatments.

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Tommy E. Thompson, Samuel D. Senter, and L.J. Grauke

Pollen from five cultivars of pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] was analyzed for cytoplasmic lipid classes and constituent fatty acids. Lipid classes in all cultivars included free fatty acids, triglycerides, and the phosphatide of inositol, serine, choline, glycerol, and ethanolamine. Triglycerides were the predominant class of lipids in all cultivars analyzed. Gas chromatography and mass spectral analysis were used to identify and quantify the fatty acids, which included palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic. Quantities of individual and total fatty acids varied greatly and were influenced significantly by cultivar, year, and location, as well as by interactions of main effects The percent composition of individual fatty acids was remarkably stable, despite wide variation in quantities of fatty acids. Therefore, pollen fatty acid ratios may be a valuable measure of taxonomic relationship across Carya sp. Total fatty acids varied from 2.53% to 0.25% of dry weight. Variability in stored energy in the form of lipids may affect orchard production.

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William Reid, Susan M. Huslig, Michael W. Smith, Niels O. Maness, and Julia M. Whitworth

The optimum time for removing pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] to enhance return bloom was determined. Fruit were removed from part of `Mohawk', `Giles', and `Gormely' trees five times during the season as determined by fruit phonological age: immediately after postpollination drop, at 50% ovule expansion, at 100% ovule expansion or water stage, during the onset of dough stage, and 2 weeks after dough stage. Return bloom of all cultivars was increased by fruit removal during ovule expansion. Removing `Mohawk' and `Giles' fruit shortly after pollination induced the greatest return bloom. Return bloom in the small-fruited `Gormely' was equally stimulated by fruit removal at any time during ovule expansion, a result indicating that early fruit removal may be more important for large-than for small-fruited cultivars. If a commercially feasible method to thin pecans is developed, our studies indicate that the optimum time for fruit thinning would be during ovule expansion.

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Tommy E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke

Putative resistance to the blackmargined aphid (Monellia caryella Fitch) in `Pawnee' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] was first noted in greenhouse tests by rating cultivars for relative amounts of honeydew on adaxial leaf surfaces. This resistance was confirmed in two field tests monitored from mid-June to mid-October. `Pawnee' supported significantly lower aphid populations during every rating period when relatively large numbers of these insects were present. `Navaho' also showed resistance, with `Desirable' having intermediate resistance and `Stuart' being very susceptible. Insect populations were also monitored on the four quadrants of each tree, with quadrant effect being significant in only one test. This test had the highest populations on the western quadrant and lowest populations on the eastern quadrant. In determining individual clone resistance, it is recommended that the general orchard aphid infestation level be determined so that only two or three well-timed clonal ratings are needed. We also recommend that all sides of the tree be monitored.

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Ricardo Lozano-Gonzalez, J. Benton Storey, and Marvin K. Harris

Three-dimensional leaf and fruit distribution was studied in a 26-year-old `Success' pecan tree [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. The tree was typical of the trees in this orchard and typical of thousands of hectares of mature pecan trees growing in a crowded condition. There are fewer leaves and fruit in the lower and central canopy than in the rest of the tree. To obtain an adequate sample, measurements should be taken from branches arising at a height ≥4.75 m and from 1.9 m from the center of the tree trunk to the edge of the canopy around the trees. Fruit could be sampled from branches arising at ≥3.76 m from the ground and from 3.37 m from the center of the tree trunk to the edge of the canopy around the tree.

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Shyi-kuan Ou, J. Benton Storey, and Tommy E. Thompson

Preharvest germination (viviparity) can be a problem with nuts of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. Two southern-adapted cultivars (`Cherokee' and `Wichita') and one northern-adapted cultivar (`Johnson') were paternal parents in controlled crosses with the maternal parent `Wichita'. `Wichita' × `Johnson' seed took much longer to germinate than seed from either the `Wichita' × `Cherokee' cross or the `Wichita' self, therefore indicating that pollen source may influence germination characteristics.

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Amnon Levi, Glenn A. Galau, and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

A simple and efficient protocol is reported for the isolation of RNA from embryos and leaves of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. The method relies on suppression of the polyphenols from interaction with the RNA and their rapid removal from the homogenate by chloroform extraction. This method produced abundant amounts of high-quality RNA. This protocol is likely to be useful for Juglandaceous species and other recalcitrant plants with high levels of phenolic compounds.