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Long-term study of orchard ground cover management systems
Date:2/26/2009

ng, soil moisture content, and soil temperature data were collected annually throughout the study.

The researchers discovered substantial differences among the GMS treatments. For instance, tree growth and yield observations from 1992 to 2003 showed that the hardwood bark mulch and post-emergence herbicide treatments produced more tree growth and higher yields than other treatments during most years. The mowed sod grass treatment usually had the smallest trees and lowest yields. Pre-emergence treatment trees had more total roots and new roots than all other treatments, and trees in mowed sod grass plots had fewer total roots than others.

Explaining the impact of the study, Merwin observed; "This study provides information on the relationship between orchard GMS' and tree root demography and dynamics, about which little has been reported previously. GMS treatments affected root growth, turnover, and distribution at this orchard, and these differences were linked with long-term trends in tree growth and fruit production in this research."


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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