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Frank Kappel

Low-temperature injury to sweet cherry fruit buds during bloom can significantly reduce production. Careful site selection to avoid spring frosts is an important consideration when planting new sweet cherry orchards ( Longstroth and Perry, 1996

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Chunxian Chen, William R. Okie, and Thomas G. Beckman

Arctic); the latter by radiational cooling ( ). Spring frost, a frequent concern in many peach ( Prunus persica )-growing areas, may freeze buds, blooming flowers, and fertilized fruitlets causing them to

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S. Khanizadeh, J.R. DeEll, and N. Hakam

Frost tolerance of flower buds is one of the most important characteristics of strawberry cultivars that produce fruit early or very early in the season. The objective of this study was to evaluate chlorophyll fluorescence (CF) as a suitable rapid method to assess spring frost injury of strawberry flowers. More specifically, to determine if there was a relationship between a decrease in CF and the appearance of visual symptoms (visual expression of necrosis (VEN) based on the amount of dark, damaged, and/or water soaked tissue of the pistil) due to frost. Sixty-six strawberry genotypes with varying levels of chilling susceptibility were used. The plants were grown in a greenhouse under a 16-h light period at 20-22 °C during the daytime and 16-18 °C at night. For the CF and VEN measurements, the plants were stored at -3 °C for 24 h followed by 24 h in the greenhouse. The CF measurements were made on dark-adapted tissue, using the Fv/Fm test of an OS-500 modulated fluorometer. For the VEN method, the flowers which had dark, damaged, and/or water soaked pistils were counted. The results showed that variable fluorescence (Fv) decreased as the temperature was lowered. The spring frost resistant cultivars maintained Fv at a stable level and had a smaller regression slope (ß1), whereas the susceptible cultivars showed a very dramatic decrease in Fv. The CF method gave results that correlated with the VEN results. The strong relationship between chilling tolerance determined via visual and florescence techniques supports the use of CF in selecting resistant spring frost selections in a breeding program. The use of CF will allow the breeder not only to select for spring frost-resistant selections independently of environmental changes, but also to select frost resistant seedlings prior to planting in the field.

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Jennifer L. Emerson, John Frampton, and Steven E. McKeand

A series of open-pollinated progeny tests of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] was analyzed to determine genetic variation of spring frost damage to the terminal leader and lateral branches after a late season frost in May of the third year in the field. The level of spring frost damage was also compared with bud flush dates that had been measured in the nursery before field planting. Seed sources differed significantly for lateral branch frost damage, and families within source differed significantly for both terminal leader and lateral branch frost damage. Greater terminal and lateral frost damage were significantly associated with greater height for all years. As expected, parent elevation was negatively associated with progeny height. Less lateral frost damage was also associated with later terminal and lateral bud flush dates in the nursery. In addition, higher parent elevation was associated with later lateral bud flush dates of progeny in the nursery. Terminal and lateral bud flush dates in the nursery showed high individual tree within-population heritability values of 0.85 and 0.73, respectively. Similar heritability values for the frost damage measurements were low, 0.045 for terminal leader damage and 0.14 for lateral branch damage. Many of the fast-growing families quickly made up for any loss of height from frost damage so that frost damage should not greatly affect the rotation length.

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Carlos Miranda Jiménez and J. Bernardo Royo Díaz

Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, Peach Group] tree productivity is improved if trees are thinned early, either in full bloom or when the fruit is recently set. Chemical thinning reduces the high cost of manual thinning and distributes the fruit irregularly on the shoots. The effect is similar to a late spring frost that mostly affects early flower buds on the tip of the shoot. To simulate frost damage (or chemical thinning) and evaluate the effect of fruit distribution on production, fruit growth of several peach cultivars—'Catherine', `Baby Gold 6', `Baby Gold 7', `O'Henry', `Sudanell' and `Miraflores'—and the nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, Nectarine Group] `Queen Giant' was studied in the central Ebro Valley (Spain) in 1999 and 2000. The factors investigated were the intensity of thinning and fruit distribution on the shoot (concentrated in the basal area or uniformly placed). The treatments were performed at 30 days after full bloom in 1999 and at bloom in 2000. For `Baby Gold 6' and `Miraflores' and when fruit load was high after thinning (over four fruit per shoot), a high concentration of fruit on the basal portion of the shoot had a negative influence on final yield and fruit size. The intensity of thinning (or simulated frost) greatly affected fruit diameter but was also strongly related to cultivar, tree size, and length of shoots. Thus, relationships between thinning intensity and fruit diameter varied, even among trees of the same cultivar.

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Carlos Miranda, Luis G. Santesteban, and José B. Royo

The influence of the species in spring frost sensibility was determined for the Prunus species peach (P. persica (L.) Batsch), sweet cherry (P. avium L.), almond (P. dulcis (Mill.) Webb/P. amygdalus Batsch), japanese plum (P. salicina Lindl.), and blackthorn (P. spinosa L.). The confidence intervals for lethal temperatures of 10% (LT10) and 90% (LT90) bud injury were also determined. In 2000 and 2001, seven frost treatments were made for each one of the phenological stages comprised between B (first swell) and I (jacket split) in two cultivars per each species. The relationships between frost temperature and the proportion of frost damaged buds for each cultivar, year, and phenological stage were adjusted to linear regression models. The 95% confidence intervals were also calculated. The spring frost hardiness order of the species, from the least to most hardy, was as follows: sweet cherry, almond, peach, japanese plum, and blackthorn. Despite the highly homogeneous nature of the frost and bud characteristics, the temperature range for a given injury degree was quite broad, since the confidence interval's breadth for LT10 was as high as about 3 °C and as high as about 6 °C for LT90. Consequently, when critical temperatures are used in making decisions as to when to begin active frost protection, a prudent measure would be to take the temperature references from the upper limits in the confidence intervals.

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Nurdan Tuna Gunes

The frost hardiness of five apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) cultivars used for drying and/or the fresh market was investigated under controlled conditions and in the orchard. The hardiness of flower buds at three different development stages, such as first white, first bloom, and full bloom, was tested at –4 °C for 1 hour and 3 hours in the laboratory. The flower buds of `Kabaasi', `Sekerpare', and `Alyanak' were hardier. The field observations obtained from the apricot orchard where the late frost occurred at night on 3 to 4 Apr. 2004 supported this result, and the temperatures at frost date varied from –2 to –9 °C.

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Shawn A. Mehlenbacher and Anna M. Voordeckers

The relationship between dormancy of seeds and buds of apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) might provide breeders with an early opportunity to select for delayed development. Seeds of late-flowering genotypes require much longer exposure to chilling temperatures than those of early flowering” genotypes, and they germinate over a much longer period. In three progenies that exhibit much variation for the two traits, seed germination time was correlated with time of leafing-out of the resulting seedlings, and could be used to select for delayed budbreak. However, selection would be ineffective when little genetic variation for seed germination and budbreak is present. Leafing-out ratings in the nursery in the 2nd year were highly correlated with those in the 3rd year, indicating that selection for late leafing in the nursery during the 2nd year would be more effective than selection based on seed dormancy, especially in progenies exhibiting little genetic variability for this trait. Breeders can effectively use both relationships by first eliminating early germinating seeds and then eliminating early leafing seedlings.

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Kevin Lombard, Bernd Maier, Franklin J. Thomas, Mick O’Neill, Samuel Allen, and Rob Heyduck

before and after forecasted spring frost events. Spring frosts occurred on two occasions in 2010 (30 Apr. to 2 May and 12 May), 16 Apr. 2011, and 27 May 2012. On the following day’s assessment, frost-damaged vines greater than E-L 4 stage exhibited brown

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Lisa J. Rowland, Elizabeth L. Ogden, Mark K. Ehlenfeldt, and Rajeev Arora

understood. The United States is the world's leading producer of blueberries. In a survey of blueberry research and extension scientists in the United States, lack of winter hardiness and susceptibility to spring frosts were identified as two of the most