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exposed to water deficits decreased 7.7 kg/tree for each 1-MPa decline in midday stem water potential below –1.2 MPa during the previous growing season ( Esparza et al., 2001 ). Midday stem water potential of –0.7 to –1.4 MPa reduced fruit relative yield

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discrimination because of a closer relationship to soil water potential and transpiration. In contrast, Intrigliolo and Castel (2006a) reported that midday ψ stem values could not discriminate between irrigation treatments, which were shown to differ based on

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The fruitful discussions with Ed Proebsting on water relations in apple trees are gratefully acknowledged. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be

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to improve pecan production. The objectives of this study were to compare the effects of hedge pruning on pecan nut quality, yield, and midday stem water potential of pecan trees in the temperate climate of the southeastern United States and to

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Producing high quality rooted stem cuttings on a large scale requires precise management of the rooting environment. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the rooting environment on adventitious root formation of stem cuttings of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Hardwood stem cuttings of loblolly pine were collected in Feb. 2002 from hedged stock plants and stored at 4 °C until setting in Apr. 2002. One hundred stem cuttings per plot in each of two replications received 45, 61, 73, 102, 147, or 310 mL·m-2 of mist delivered intermittently by a traveling gantry (boom) system. Mist frequency was similar for all treatments and was related inversely to relative humidity (RH) within the polyethylene covered greenhouse. Rooting tubs in each plot were filled with a substrate of fine silica sand, and substrate water potential was held constant using soil tensiometers that activated a subirrigation system. Cutting water potential was measured destructively on two cuttings per plot beginning at 0500 hr every 3 hh until 2300 hr (seven measurements) 7, 14, 21, or 28 days after setting. During rooting, leaf temperature and RH were recorded in each plot to calculate vapor pressure deficit (VPD). Cutting water potential and VPD were strongly related to mist application. Cutting water potential was also related to VPD. Rooting percentage had a linear and quadratic relationship with mean cutting water potential and VPD averaged between 1000 and 1800 HR. Eighty percent rooting occurred within a range of values for VPD. Data suggest that VPD can be used to manage the water deficit of stem cuttings of loblolly pine to increase rooting percentage. These results may be applicable to other species and to other rooting environments.

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Abbreviations: ET, evapotranspiration; ψ, water potential; VPD, vapor pressure deficit. 1 UC Cooperative Extension, 733 County Center III Court, Modesto, CA 95355. This work supported in part by a grant from the California Prune Board. The cost of

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Covering a plant leaf with a reflective, water impervious bag ensures that equilibrium is reached between the nontranspiring leaf and the stem, and appears to improve the accuracy of determining plant water status under field conditions. However, the inconvenience of covering the leaf for 1 to 2 hours before measuring stem water potential (SWP) has constrained on-farm adoption of this irrigation management technique. A second constraint has been that the requirement of midafternoon determinations limits the area that can be monitored by one person with a pressure chamber. This paper reports findings from field studies in almonds (Prunus dulcis),prunes (P. domestica), and walnuts (Juglans regia) demonstrating modified procedures to measure midday SWP, making it a more convenient and practical tool for irrigation management. For routine monitoring and irrigation scheduling, an equilibration period of 10 min or longer appears to be suitable to provide accurate SWP measurements. Based on the large sample sizes in this study, we estimate that measurement error related to equilibration time for SWP can be reduced to an acceptable level [0.05 MPa (0.5 bar)] with a sample size of about 10 leaves when using a 10-min equilibration period. Under orchard conditions where tree growth and health appears uniform, a sample of one leaf per tree and 10 trees per irrigation management unit should give an accurate mean indicator of orchard water status. Under more variable orchard conditions a larger sample size may be needed. Midmorning and midday SWP both exhibited similar seasonal patterns and responded alike to irrigation events. On some occasions, midday SWP was accurately predicted from midmorning SWP and the change in air vapor pressure deficit (VPD) from midmorning to midday, but both over- and underestimate errors [to 0.3 MPa (3.0 bar)] appeared to be associated with unusually low or high diurnal changes in VPD, respectively. Hence, direct measurement of SWP under midday conditions (about 1300 to 1500 hr) is still recommended.

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The interactions between irrigation and crop level with respect to fruit size distribution and midday stem water potential were investigated for 3 years in a nectarine (Prunus persica L. `Fairlane') orchard located in a semi-arid zone. Wide ranges of crop loads and irrigation rates in stage III were employed, extending from practically nonlimiting to severely limiting levels. Irrigation during stage III of fruit growth ranged from 0.63 to 1.29 of potential evapotranspiration (ETp). Fruit were hand thinned to a wide range of fruit levels (300 to 2000) fruit/tree in the 555-tree/ha orchard. The yields and stem water potentials from 1996, 1997 and 1998 were combined together and the interrelations among yield, crop load and stem water potential were examined. Fruit <55 mm in diameter growing at 400 fruit per tree were the only ones not affected by irrigation level. The yield of fruit of 60 to 75 mm in diameter increased with irrigation level, but only a slight increase was observed when the irrigation rate rose above 1.01 ETp. A significant decrease in the yields of 60 to 65, 65 to 70, and 70 to 75-mm size grades occurred at crop levels greater than 1000, 800, and 400 fruit per tree, respectively. Midday stem water potential decreased with increasing crop level, and it is suggested that midday stem water potential responds to crop load rather than crop level. Relative yields of the various size grades were highly correlated with midday stem water potential. It was suggested that the midday stem water potential integrates the combined effects of water stress and crop load on nectarine fruit size.

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Ninth leaf California Chandler Walnuts (Juglans regia) on Northern California Black (Juglans hindsii) or Paradox (English/black hybrid) rootstock were irrigated to achieve three levels of Midday Stem Water Potential (MSWP). Target potentials were: 1) low water stress (average MSWP of -3.2 bars); 2) mild water stress (average MSWP of -6.2 bars); and 3) moderate water stress (average MSWP of -7.3 bars). Stem Water Potential was measured midday (12-4 pm) by placing leaves inside water impervious, light blocking foil bags. Leaves remained bagged for at least ten minutes to achieve equilibrium. Bagged leaves were removed, placed inside a pressure chamber and stem water potential was measured at endpoint. Data are presented for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Withholding irrigation water had a significant impact on `Chandler' growth, productivity, and profitability particularly on young, vigorously growing trees. Chandler/Black appears to be more tolerant to water stress compared to Chandler/Paradox For Chandler on Paradox, water stress significantly reduced growth, yield, price per pound, percent edible kernel, and resulted in darker kernels. In addition, water stress significantly increased the total percent offgrade. Withholding irrigation does not appear to be a good strategy in young, vigorously growing `Chandler' orchards. Mature trees and trees grafted onto Northern California black rootstock may be more tolerant of moisture stress.

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