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Steven McKay

Recent interest in expanding commercial currant and gooseberry (Ribes L.) plantings in the United States has put pressure on the states with Ribes restrictions to review their regulations. A meeting on 9 January 1998 initiated discussion between the state agriculture regulatory agencies, forest pathologists, and horticulturists. Since then a white pine blister rust (WPBR), Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fischer) World Wide Web (Web) site (McKay, 1998) and list serve have been activated to facilitate communication. Vermont is a state that has no regulations on the books at this time. Connecticut and New York also have mentioned that infection rates are low. Maine retains a Ribes reduction program, and Massachusetts is strictly enforcing their regulations. The following summarizes the general consensus among the majority of regulating states: 1) It is desirable to find a way for both white pines (Pinus L.) and commercial Ribes plantings to coexist. 2) More research is needed to survey existing Ribes and pines, the potential impact of commercial plantings versus the impact of existing Ribes, and the potential impact of escape /volunteer seedlings from immune Ribes cultivars. 3) There is interest in permitting immune Ribes cultivars to be planted. 4) There is interest in having consistency in regulations from state to state.

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Sylvie Jenni, David de Koeyer, and George Emery

physiological disorders such as rib discoloration, tipburn, bolting, and ribbiness ( Lorenz and Maynard, 1988 ). The association of rib discoloration symptoms with high daytime temperature has been observed in the field ( Jenkins, 1959 ) and has been

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Ed Mashburn

In North America for many years the commonly held solution to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fischer) (WPBR) was to eradicate all currants and gooseberries (Ribes L.). That approach was tried to no avail. Can currants and gooseberries be successfully grown in North America? You bet they can! Vast areas of the United States and Canada are ideal for Ribes production. Black currants (Ribes nigrum L.) are a processed fruit and production may compare to that of grain. Many of the areas that presently grow other berries could easily grow Ribes. The main barriers for production in North America are state restrictions and the availability of up-to-date information and data for growers, processors, legislators and the consuming public. I suggest that this conference and the people herein form that task group and initiate the cooperative dialogue and set forth a process to approach the WPBR problem in a holistic manner.

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Adam Dale

Fruit from black, red and white currants, and gooseberries (Ribes L.) were grown commercially in North America at the beginning of the 20th Century. However, when white pine blister rust (WPBR) (Cronartium ribicola J. C. Fisch.) was introduced into the new world, their cultivation was discontinued. About 825,000 t (908,000 tons) of Ribes fruit are produced worldwide, almost entirely in Europe. The fruit is high in vitamin C, and is used to produce juice, and many other products. Now a wide range of imported Ribes products is available particularly in Canada, and the pick-your-own (PYO) market is increasing. Two diseases, powdery mildew [Spaerotheca mors-uvae (Schwein.) Berk. & Curt.] and WPBR, are the major problems encountered by growers. Fortunately, many new cultivars are resistant to these two diseases. Commercial acreage of Ribes in North America is located where the growing day degrees above 5 °C (41 °F), and the annual chilling hours are at least 1200. Initially, the Ribes industry will develop as PYO and for farm markets. But for a large industry to develop, juice products will needed. Our costs of production figures indicate that about 850 Canadian dollars ($CDN) per 1.0 t (1.1 tons) of fruit will be required to break even.

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Kim E. Hummer

Several species of Ribes have ornamental qualities worthy of consideration in residential and commercial temperate zone landscape plantings. Ribes sanguineum Pursh has been selected and cultivated throughout the Pacific Northwest, and boasts of early spring flowers of white, pink, or red. The two species of golden currants, R. aureum Pursh and R. odoratum Wendl. f., have brilliant yellow-fl owered racemes. Ribes species exhibit a broad diversity of plant habit and texture ranging from the upright 2.5 m, vigorous, and fully armed Menzieís Gooseberry, R. menziesii Pursh, to the prostrate shade-loving Crater Lake currant, R. erythrocarpum Coville & Leiberg. R. viburnifolium A. Gray remains evergreen in mild climates throughout the year. The foliage of some selections of R. americanum Miller and R. cynosbati L. brighten to a brilliant crimson red in the fall. The fall foliage of other species, such as R. hirsuta L., develop a continuum of color on their branches, from bright red at the apex, through orange and yellow to green towards the base. Spring bloom data and ratings of fall color for species in the Corvallis Repository collection will be described.

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Danny L. Barney

During the 1800s and early 1900s, red and white currants (Ribes L. subgenus Ribes), black currants (Ribes subgenus Coreosma), and gooseberries (Ribes subgenus Grossularia) were grown commercially in the United States. Because Ribes serve as alternative hosts of white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J. C. Fischer) (WPBR), which was introduced from Europe, the federal government and many states either banned or severely restricted currant and gooseberry production beginning about 1933. The development of WPBR resistant pines and black currants (the most susceptible cultivated Ribes) renewed interest in commercial Ribes production. Climatic and soil conditions in selected areas of the U.S. inland northwest and intermountain west (INIW) are favorable for commercial currant and gooseberry production. Challenges to the establishment of a Ribes industry are labor, marketing, diseases, and pests. Careful site and cultivar selection are critical for successful commercial production. This article describes Ribes opportunities and risks associated with currant and gooseberry production in the INIW. The region includes Idaho and surrounding areas in Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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Kim E. Hummer and Stan Pluta

In the late 1800s a European disease called white pine blister rust, Cronartia ribicola Fisher, was introduced into the United States. By 1937 this disease had naturalized and was firmly established in native Ribes across the country. White pine blister rust causes economic damage to white pines and infects leaves of some Ribes late in the summer after harvest. Ribes serve as obligate alternate hosts for this disease. Our objective was to determine which Ribes species were susceptible to white pine blister rust under field conditions in Corvallis, Ore., where inoculum is naturally present. In 1995 and 1996, 57 Ribes taxa from North and South America, Europe, and Asia, were evaluated in mid-August and mid-September for presence of white pine blister rust. Susceptibility was determined by the rust infection of the abaxial leaf surfaces. Rust infection was rated on a scale from 1, no infection observed, to 9, severe infection covering almost the entire surface of at least three or more leaves. Data from 1995 indicated that 22 Ribes taxa were susceptible to white pine blister rust, while 35 others had no infection. The 1996 data will be reported. Species without infection may offer resistance genes to breeders who wish to develop rust-resistant commercial fruit cultivars.

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Wes Messinger, Aaron Liston, and Kim Hummer

The Pacific Northwest boasts a remarkable diversity of wild currants and gooseberries (Ribes). Of nearly 150 species worldwide, 34 occur in the region. All but two infrageneric taxa are represented, including close relatives of the black currants, red currants, and cultivated gooseberries. High ecological diversity parallels this taxonomic diversity: a Ribes species occurs in nearly every terrestrial habitat, from sea level to above treeline, and from swamp to desert. This diversity is a valuable source of agronomically important genes for the plant breeder. In addition, wild Ribes represent a relatively unexplored source of ornamental shrubs. Habit and habitat of a number of species of interest are described and illustrated. An annotated list of species, subspecies, and varieties native to the Pacific Northwest is presented with discussion of taxonomic proximity to Cultivated varieties, range, natural habitat, and ornamental potential.

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Kim E. Hummer, Joseph D. Postman, John Carter, and Stuart C. Gordon

During Dec. 1997 and Jan. 1998, the gooseberry mite, Cecidophyopsis grossulariae Collinge, was observed to infest 48 currant and gooseberry (Ribes L.) cultivars in a field plantation in Corvallis, Ore. The mite was observed on 29 black currant, (Ribes nigrum L.), two red currant [Ribes rubrum L. and R. sativum (Rchbch.) Syme], 12 gooseberry [R. uvacrispa L., R. oxyacanthoides var. setosum (Lindley) Sinnot], and three R. ×nidigrolaria Bauer cultivars and the hybrid R. nigrum × R. pauciflorum Turcz. ex Pojark. A range of mite infestation levels was observed, with some cultivars not being infested, some with light infestation, having 1 to 100 adult mites per bud, and some heavily infested, with more than 100 mites per bud. On lightly infested buds, the mites were inside bud and leaf scales; in heavily infested buds, mites were also observed on floral primordia. Scales of infested buds were often loose and appeared more open than noninfested ones. Mite distribution varied by branch within a plant. Black currant cultivars with the heaviest infestation of C. grossulariae were of Scandinavian, Russian, Scottish, and Canadian origin. The Russian black currant cultivar Tunnaja was the most heavily infested with more than 1000 mites per bud. Floral primordia were damaged in heavily infested buds.

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Kim Hummer and Donna Gerten

In commercial growing regions the bloom period for currants and gooseberries is critical to crop development because of potentially damaging spring frosts. Breeding programs in northern latitudes include selection for frost avoidance mechanisms such as late blooming tendencies. Corvallis climate is milder than Ribes production regions, with the average winter minimum temperature about 10C and the coldest recorded April temperature of -5C in 1926. The last spring frost occurs by April 14 on average. About 30 cultivars and species selections of currants and about that same number of gooseberries were evaluated for blooming and fruiting at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Dates of first bloom, last bloom, first ripening, and last ripening during 1987 through 1989 were collected. The longest ripening period, 93 days, occurred in 1989 on a selection of R. burejense F. Schmidt. The shortest ripening period in 1989 was 70 days, occurring in many black currant cultivars including Black September, Crusader, Coronet, and Invigo. These same cultivars required a range from 62 to 66 days to ripen m 1987. For the years examined thus far, the earliest ripening dates occurred in 1987, starting as early as Julian date 150; the latest ripening date (192, Julian) occurred in 1988. Data from 1990 will be presented. The climate in the Pacific Northwest is favorable for the production of currants and gooseberries.