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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Root Characteristics of Peach Trees with Different Short Growth Habits

Authors
item Tworkoski, Thomas
item Scorza, Ralph

Submitted to: Society of America Plant Growth Regulator Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: PEACH TREES (PRUNUS PERSICA L.) WITH DIVERSE SHOOT GROWTH HABITS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED BUT LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THEIR ROOT SYSTEMS. THIS RESEARCH DETERMINED SHOOT AND ROOT CHARACTERISTICS OF FOUR PEACH TREE GROWTH HABITS (COMPACT, DWARF, PILLAR, AND STANDARD). SEED FROM 4 PEACH GROWTH HABITS WERE PLANTED IN 1281 CONTAINERS, GROWN OUTSIDE DURING THE 1998 GROWING SEASON, AND THEN HARVESTED. COMPACT TREE LEAF NUMBER (1350/TREE) WAS TWIC BUT LEAF AREA (6CM2/LEAF)WAS HALF THAT OF PILLAR AND STANDARD TREES. THE NUMBER OF LATERAL BRANCHES IN COMPACT TREES (34) WAS NEARLY 3-TIMES MORE THAN IN PILLAR AND STANDARD TREES. THE LEAF AREA INDEX (LAI)OF PILLAR TREES WAS GREATER THAN COMPACT AND STANDARD TREES (13 COMPARED WITH 4 & 3 RESPECTIVELY) DUE TO A NARROWER CROWN DIAMETER. DWARF TREE SHOOTS WERE DISTINCT WITH FEW LEAVES (134 PER TREE) AND A LARGE LAI OF 76. MORE SECOND ORDER LATERAL (SOL) ROOTS WERE PRODUCED BY COMPACT THAN STANDARD TREES (1.2 2VS. 0.8 SOL ROOTS/CM FIRST ORDERAL LATERAL ROOT.) PILLAR TREES HAD HIGHER SHOOT-TO-ROOT DRY WEIGHT RATIOS (2.4) THAN COMPACT AND STANDARD TREES (1.7 FOR BOTH) DUE TO SMALLER ROOT DRY WEIGHTS. THE RESULTS INDICATE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES IN ROOT CHARACTERISTICS AMONG THE PEACH TREE GROWTH HABITS. COMPACT TREES HAD MORE HIGHER ORDER LATERAL ROOTS IN ROOTS ORIGINATING NEAR THE ROOT COLLAR (I.E. MORE FIBROUS ROOTS) AND THIS CORRELATED WITH MORE LATERAL BRANCHES IN THE CANOPY. SHOOT WEIGHTS WERE THE SAME AMONG PILLAR, COMPACT AND STANDARD TREES BUT ROOT WEIGHTS WERE LESS IN PILLAR TREES, RESULTING IN GREATER SHOOT-TO-ROOT DRY WEIGHT RATIOS. THESE RESULTS INDICATE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN ROOT AS WELL AS SHOOT ARCHITECTURE AMONG GROWTH HABITS THAT CAN AFFECT THEIR USE AS SCION OR ROOTSTOCK VARIETIES.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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