Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2004
Publication Date: 7/1/2004
Citation: Okie, W.R., Nyczepir, A.P. 2004. Effect of winter root-zone temperature on root regeneration of peach rootstocks. Hortscience. 39(7):1607-1610. Interpretive Summary: Soil temperatures in the Southeast are warm enough for the roots of peach trees to grow. A major cause of peach tree death in the Southeast is a syndrome known as Peach Tree Short Life (PTSL), which is caused partly by ring nematode in the soil. This research shows that different peach tree rootstocks regenerate roots at different rates on dormant trees. Generally, rootstocks more susceptible to PTSL seem to regenerate roots faster than those that are more tolerant. This difference may play a role in how the nematode affects the tree in causing PTSL.
Technical Abstract: Roots of dormant peach trees can grow when soil temperatures are above 7EC, which commonly occurs in the southeastern U.S. during the winter. Root growth on one-year-old nursery trees is minimal at 7EC, and increases with temperature up to at least 16E. Trees on Guardian, Halford and Lovell rootstocks regenerate roots more slowly than Nemaguard at the soil temperatures tested. Bailey rootstock regenerates very slowly.