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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #162226


item Wood, Bruce
item Reilly, Charles
item Nyczepir, Andrew

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2003
Publication Date: 1/15/2004
Citation: Wood, B.W., Reilly, C.C., Nyczepir, A.P. 2004. Nickel deficiency is occurring in orchard trees [abstract]. Hortscience. 39(4):858.

Interpretive Summary: Mysterious physiological modalities of unknown cause occur for a variety of horticultural crops, especially woody perennials. Discovery that nickel deficiencies are occurring in field plantings indicates that nickel is much more limiting to horticultural crops than previously supposed. Timely nickel application to affected trees provides a means of controlling the problem. This information supports the role of nickel as an essential plant nutrient element and indicates that nickel nutrition may be the cause of a host of modalities seen in other crops.

Technical Abstract: Nickel was discovered to be deficient in pecan orchards, causing replant problems and symptoms known as "mouse ear". It was discovered that timely foliar sprays of nickel corrected or prevented mouse-ear and replant problems. Subsequent observations of other crops indicate that nickel is a limiting factor in many crop situations. Examples include River Birch, plum, peach, walnut, almond, apple, citrus, grapes, containerized woody ornamentals, and in certain tissue culture associated situations. Observations also indicate that Ni is a limiting factor in disease resistance of a variety of crops. Findings indicate that lack of understanding in nickel nutrition could be a major factor limiting profitability in a host of horticultural crops. Circumstantial evidence indicates that there are many modalities of unknown cause (or causes previously attributed to other biotic or abiotic factors) that are in reality tied to insufficient nickel.