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Michael W. Smith and Charles T. Rohla

another limb. Fig. 4. Limb breakage at the crotch of ‘Giles’ pecan. Note the included bark substantially weakened the connection between the limb and trunk. Tree size. Pecan trees less than 15 ft tall typically avoided major ice damage, but damage was

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Lenny Wells

the study site. Hedged trees had 60% less ( P < 0.05) wind damage in the form of major limb breakage and tree loss than did nonhedged trees ( Table 2 ). It is likely that the reduced tree height, more compact limb structure, and reduced canopy size of

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Kelly T. Morgan, Smita Barkataky, Davie Kadyampakeni, Robert Ebel and Fritz Roka

et al., 2009 ), it has not been widely accepted in commercial orchards as a result of: 1) loss of leaves and twigs and scuffing of the bark on trunk and branches; 2) limb breakage and removal of flowers and young green fruit; and 3) exposure of

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Larry R. Parsons and T. Adair Wheaton

Undertree microsprinkler irrigation has protected 1 or 2 year old trees to a height of 1 meter during severe advective freezes. During the severe December 1989 freeze, microsprinklers elevated to 0.9 meter protected 5 year old citrus trees to a height of 2 meters. Limb breakage due to ice loading was negligible. Protection was achieved with water application rates less than half that required by some overhead sprinkler models. Survival is attributed to 1) continuous spray from the microsprinkler rather than periodic spray from a rotating overhead sprinkler, and 2) effective localized application rate on branches intercepting spray is more than average overall spray application rate. Elevated microsprinklers provide freeze protection to a greater height and allow for more rapid post-freeze recovery.

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Monte L. Nesbitt, N.R. McDaniel, Robert C. Ebel, W.A. Dozier and David G. Himelrick

Several microsprinkler treatments were tested on 5-year-old satsuma mandarin orange (Citrus unshiu Marc.) trees to compare survivability of trunks and scaffold limbs in severe freezes. Three damaging freeze events occurred during winter, with two in 1995-96 and one in 1996-97. Air temperature dropped to -9.4, -5.6, and -6.7 °C, respectively. Almost 90% of the foliage was dead on the control plants after the first freezing event and 98% after the second. A single microsprinkler 1.6 m high in the canopy delivering 90.8 L·h-1 reduced injury; only 54% of the canopy was dead after the first freeze and 71% after the second. There was slightly more shoot-tip dieback on the plants in the microsprinkler treatments than on the control plants after the first two freezes. The amount of limb breakage by ice was minor. The third freeze killed 34% of the canopy in the control plants, but only 26% in the plants in the microsprinkler treatments. Use of microsprinklers increased yield in 1996, but yield for all treatments was very low. Yield for all treatments fully recovered in 1997, averaging 153 kg/tree. Although no death of scaffold limbs or trunks occurred, these results demonstrate that microsprinkler irrigation reduces damage to foliage and increases yield somewhat in severe freezes.

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Mark Rieger and Stephen C. Myers

“The feasibility of using an over-tree microsprinkler irrigation system for spring freeze protection of `Loring' peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was evaluated under a range of meteorological conditions during Winter 1988-89. Microsprinklers were attached to the underside of polyethylene laterals 2.5 m above ground level and centered over the tree rows. Irrigation rates of 0, 27, 36, and 44 liters/hour per tree were tested on trees trained to an open-center habit using microsprinklers that produced a circular wetting pattern. Microsprinkler irrigation maintained average bud temperature above -2C and 2 to 5C above those of nonirrigated trees under calm conditions, but provided no protection under windy conditions. Flower bud temperatures of irrigated trees were similar for 36 and 44 liters·hour-1, but were slightly lower for 27 liters·hour-1 under conditions typical of spring freezes. Limb breakage due to ice loading was negligible for all application rates, even under advective freeze conditions. Calculated water and energy consumption were reduced by at least 50% and 88%, respectively, by the microsprinkler system, compared to a typical overhead sprinkler system.

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Monte L. Nesbitt, N.R. McDaniel, Robert C. Ebel, W.A. Dozier and David G. Himelrick

Several microsprinkler treatments were tested on 5-year-old satsuma mandarin orange (Citrus unshiu Marc.) trees to compare survivability of trunks and scaffold limbs in severe freezes. Three damaging freeze events occurred during winter, with two in 1995–96 and one in 1996–97. Air temperature dropped to –9.4, –5.6, and –6.7 °C, respectively. Almost 90% of the foliage was dead on the control plants after the first freezing event and 98% after the second. A single microsprinkler 1.6 m high in the canopy delivering 90.8 L·h–1 reduced injury; only 54% of the canopy was dead after the first freeze and 71% after the second. There was slightly more shoot-tip dieback on the plants in the microsprinkler treatments than on the control plants after the first two freezes. The amount of limb breakage by ice was minor. The third freeze killed 34% of the canopy in the control plants, but only 26% in the plants in the microsprinkler treatments. Use of microsprinklers increased yield in 1996, but yield for all treatments was very low. Yield for all treatments fully recovered in 1997, averaging 153 kg/tree. Although no death of scaffold limbs or trunks occurred, these results demonstrate that microsprinkler irrigation reduces damage to foliage and increases yield somewhat in severe freezes.

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T.E. Thompson

Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] fruit presents a considerable weight for the tree to support during the growing season. A major part of this weight is due to the pecan shuck that surrounds the developing nut and kernel. Pecan clones vary considerably for the amount of shuck per nut, and little is known as to the value of this weight in determining final nut quality. Six cultivars differing in basic nut shapes and sizes were studied and found to vary greatly for shuck thickness, and weight of shuck per unit final nut weight and volume. Shuck thickness was shown to be a favorable genetic characteristic since fruit with thicker shucks had slightly greater nut fresh and dry weight, nut volume, nut density, kernel weight and content, and shuck weight per nut volume. `Sioux' had the thickest shucks (4.70 mm), while `Pawnee' had the thinnest shucks (3.72 mm). Fresh weight per fruit varied from 21.25 g for `Podsednik' to 10.18 g for Osage. Weight of fruit per tree was extrapolated using average shuck and nut weights, and it was determined that the fruit on each tree would weigh about 104 kg. This is a considerable weight, and adds substantially to limb breakage. However, thicker shucks contribute to final nut quality.

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Gerard W. Krewer, Thomas G. Beckman, Jose X. Chaparro and Wayne B. Sherman

size fruit and prevent limb breakage. Table 1. Tree performance and fruit characteristics z of ‘Gulfcrimson’ (Attapulgus, GA, 2002 to 2006). Table 2. Tree performance and fruit characteristics z of ‘Gulfcrimson’ and ‘June Gold

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Thomas G. Beckman, Jose X. Chaparro and Patrick J. Conner

bloom ( Weinberger, 1967 ). Fruit thinning is required in the absence of thinning by spring frost to size fruit and prevent limb breakage. Table 1. Tree performance and fruit characteristics z of ‘Gulfsnow’ (Attapulgus, GA, 2006–12). Table 2. Tree