Heritability estimates for pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] nut weight, nut buoyancy, nut volume, nut density, kernel weight, and percentage kernel were determined from 8748 nut samples representing 152 families collected during 25 years in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) pecan breeding program at Brownwood, Texas. Measurements were corrected for year-to-year environmental variability using least-squares constants of individual year effects. Adjusted values were then regressed on midparent means. Generally, heritability (h2) estimates were low to moderate: nut weight 0.35, nut buoyancy 0.18, nut volume 0.35, nut density 0.03, kernel weight 0.38, and percentage kernel 0.32. The low values are probably due to the extreme alternate bearing tendency of this species, since crop load affects pecan nut characteristics so directly. Phenotypic correlations among these traits showed that larger or heavier nuts had significantly higher kernel weight, buoyancy, and percentage kernel. Nut density increased with higher nut and kernel weight, but decreased with nut volume.
Results are presented for performance of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] clones at six established National Pecan Advanced Clone Testing System (NPACTS) sites for 16 nut quality factors from 1980 through 1985. Total nut weight and percent kernel were significantly greater at Tulare, Calif. than at any other location, with ≈80% of the clones averaging 6.5 g/nut or more and ≈90% averaging at least 54.5% kernel. Nut weight was smallest at El Paso, Texas. Daily mean temperatures during nut expansion may be a major factor determining nut weight response. Low nut density was characteristic of more clones at Baton Rouge, La. than at any other location. Kernel color was lightest at El Paso and darkest at Baton Rouge, with darker color appearing to be related to high field moisture conditions before harvest. Nut weight was not related to kernel percentage, color, or percent kernel covered with fuzz (packing material); thus, large nuts are not necessarily of lower quality and can be selected in an effective breeding program. Amount of nut “packing material” retained in the sutures of kernel halves after shelling was generally not related to other traits, except that material retained in ventral grooves increased with nut and kernel weight. Depth and width of dorsal grooves were not related to retention of packing material and can be disregarded in future pecan nut evaluation systems. Many other expected character relationships were verified and the overall NPACTS nut evaluation system will be revised based on these results.
were at a similar stage of crowding. The second aim was to examine the effects of manual and mechanical pruning on yield, nut characteristics, tree size, and economics in crowded orchards. Three pruning experiments were conducted. In the first
( Gilmour et al., 2009 ). Phenotypic and genetic (based on BLUPs) correlations (Pearson’s) were calculated among the three nut characteristics. Narrow-sense heritability was calculated using the GRM with the pin.r function in R ( White 2013 ), and broad
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.
Pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] tree height was gradually reduced by removing one, two, or three limbs per year at a height <9 m. Pruning improved tree vigor and color, increased trunk circumference, terminal shoot growth, nut size, and leaf N, P, and Mg, but reduced leaf K and percentage of fancy grade kernels relative to unpruned trees. Yield was not influenced by selective limb pruning.
Drip irrigation on 1 and 2 sides of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wang.) Koch.] trees was programmed to irrigate when soil water suction 61 cm from the emitter was greater than 0.1 bar at either 15, 30, or 45 cm depth. Results were compared with no irrigation. The data indicate little advantage of 2 lines of emitters over one line when the same number of emitters/tree are used. The data often favored 1 line over 2 lines. Total yield of pecans was increased substantially by drip irrigation on one side (‘Desirable’ and ‘Elliott’) or both sides of the tree (‘Elliott’), but increases from ‘Farley’ were not significant. In 1968, an extremely dry year, ⅓–½ of the shucks did not dehisce completely on nonirrigated trees while 1 to 7% of the shucks did not dehisce on irrigated trees. Irrigation increased nut size. Percentage kernel was increased by irrigation in 1968 but not in other years. In 1968, percentage fancy kernels was almost doubled by irrigation for ‘Desirable’ but was reduced for ‘Elliott’.
the export market for pecan nuts during the past several decades ( Lillywhite et al., 2014 ). Irrigation has been found to be crucial in the establishment and growth of young nut-bearing trees in areas such as Alabama ( Patterson et al., 1990 ) and
; Ebrahimi et al., 2015 ; Keles et al., 2014 ). In the current study, 25 walnut superior genotypes were selected based on phenotypic characteristics having the highest yield, nut weight, lateral bearing, kernel percentage, and quality among the evaluated
were adequately thinned. An objective of this study was to determine the maximum cropload ‘Pawnee’ trees in this study could carry and return a similar crop the next year. In addition, selected nut quality characteristics were correlated with cropload