- Author: Toni Siebert, Ottillia Bier, David Karp, Georgios Vidalakis and Tracy Kahn
In the last two decades, many distinctive citrus selections have become available at retail markets in the US. These include cultivars such as 'Cara Cara' navel orange, 'Cocktail' pummelo-mandarin hybrid, 'Variegated Pink' lemon, 'Seedless Kishu' mandarin and 'Buddha's Hand' citron. Among specialty ctirus growers, there is intense interesst in acquiring nev varieties with novel or unusual chracteristics of appearance, coloration, flavor, size and functional properties.
The newly released pummelo hybrid 'Valentine', combines the large size and low acidity from its pummelo parent, complex, floral taste from 'Dancy' mandarin and juicy red pulp from 'Ruby hybrid. It matures in mid-February near the Valentine's holiday and when it is cut lengthwise and turned upside down, the flesh of the fruit resembles a vibrant red heart. It is unique in being a grapefruit-like fruit with anthocyanin pigmentation, which is a potential marketing advantage at a time when many anitoxidant-rich fruits, such as pomegranate, bleuberry and blackberry, have seen sales increase because of their percieved health benefits.
Learn more about this new fruit and other citrus in the UC Variety Collection at:
- Author: Larry Schwankl, Freddie Lamm, Dana Porter
Maintenance of Microirrigation Systems
Predicting Clogging Problems
Solutions to Existing Clogging Problems
System evaluation for emission device clogging
Routine Maintenance Tasks
Microirrigation systems include microsprinklers for tree crops, drip emitters for trees, vines, and some row crops, and drip tape for row and field crops. Microirrigation systems apply water to the soil through emitters that are installed along drip lines and contain very small flow passages. Microirrigation systems can apply water and fertilizers more uniformly than other irrigation methods. This uniformity results in potentially higher yields, higher revenue, and reduced irrigation operating costs.
Uniformity, a performance characteristic of irrigation systems, is a measure of the evenness of the applied water throughout the irrigation system. Distribution uniformity (DU), sometimes called emission uniformity (EU), is an index that describes how evenly or uniformly water is applied throughout the field. A uniformity of 100% means the same amount of water was applied everywhere. Unfortunately, all irrigation systems apply water at a uniformity of less than 100%, and thus some parts of a field receive more water than others. Field evaluations have shown that microirrigation systems have the potential for higher uniformity than other irrigation methods. However, clogging reduces the uniformity of applied water in microirrigation systems, thus increasing the relative differences in applied water throughout a field.
The small flow passages in the emitters and microsprinklers make microirrigation systems highly susceptible to clogging. Clogging reduces the uniformity of the applied water and decreases the amount of applied water. Clogging also decreases the amount of salt leaching around the lateral line in saline soils.
The objective of this web site is to provide information to irrigators about the causes of clogging and the methods for preventing or correcting clogging problems in microirrigation systems. Among the topics covered are the sources of clogging, chlorination, preventing chemical precipitation, filtration, flushing, and monitoring microirrigation systems.
This web site is divided into sections to allow the users to more quickly access the information they want. For example, if you already know you have a clogging problem and you want to solve it, go to the section Solutions to Existing Clogging Problems - "I have a problem and I want to solve it".
- Author: Neil O'Connell
By the beginning of the irrigation season, the entire root zone is usually wetted by winter rainfall. Under low volume irrigation during the irrigation season only fifty percent or less of the root zone is wetted with each irrigation on most soil types. Soils with slow infiltration do not allow enough water to penetrate into the root zone to meet the plant’s water requirement. During an irrigation the water puddles while the soil beneath remains dry. Less than ten percent of the soil in the root zone may be wetted during an irrigation when water infiltration is a problem. Water storage in such a small volume of soil may amount to only two to three days of evapotranspiration. The tree may be under stress even though the amount of applied water exceeds the amount lost by evapotranspiration (ET). An infiltration problem is often associated with irrigation water low in salt and/or soils with inherently slow infiltration rates. Soil particles contain sites occupied by electrically charged ions such as calcium, sodium, and magnesium. In an optimum situation, a sufficiently high percentage of these sites are occupied by calcium which results in an aggregating or clumping effect among soil particles allowing water to penetrate. When the percentage of sites occupied by calcium is low and sodium predominates there is a repelling or dispersion of particles and water penetration is reduced. With increasing numbers of the exchange sites occupied by sodium ions the soil particles swell and repel each other creating a dispersion or loss of aggregation resulting in single particles. As this happens the porosity (or pore space) is reduced and the ability of water to enter is reduced. On the other hand as the exchange sites become more occupied by calcium the particles move closer together and aggregate or clump resulting in an increase in pore space. Therefore, soils that have a high percentage of the exchange sites occupied by sodium ions are dispersed and deflocculated and resist the entry of water while those with a high percentage of calcium ions are flocculated and favor water infiltration. With the use of low salt water over time, such as snow melt water, calcium may be removed from the soil particles exchange sites and these sites may then become occupied by another ion such as sodium.
Research addressing this problem of low infiltration was conducted in citrus under low volume irrigation by University of California researchers Peacock, Pehrson and Wildman. The soils type, at the experimental site of mature navel oranges, was a San Joaquin sandy loam characterized by a low infiltration rate. Canal water with a low salt content was used for irrigation. The trees were irrigated with a drip system every week day. Treatments began in June when soils typically begin to exhibit a reduced infiltration rate and were continued until mid-August but measurements continued until September. Simple devices for measuring the infiltration rate, called infiltrometers, were made from 12 inch PVC pipe and installed in the orchard. Chemical treatments and water were applied and rates of water infiltration were measured within these infiltrometers. Gypsum was applied weekly to the soil surface to maintain a slight excess continually on the soil surface and watered in resulting in gypsum application with each irrigation. Calcium nitrate and CAN-17 were each injected into the irrigation water. Calcium nitrate was introduced into the irrigation water at the rate of ten pounds per acre per irrigation. Calcium nitrate was applied daily, biweekly and in a single application. CAN -17 was applied daily, biweekly and in a single application. With these injections into the irrigation water, calcium was being introduced into the water at the rate of 3 milliequivalents per liter. Adding calcium continuously to irrigation water doubled infiltration rates over that of untreated low-salt water. It took 2-3 weeks before a treatment difference could be measured. However, the occasional additions of calcium nitrate or CAN-17 were not effective in maintaining infiltration rates. There were concerns that nitrogen application from these treatments could result in the nitrogen level in the tree being in excess of the tree’s nutritional requirements. Following this research equipment was made available on a commercial basis for regulated injection of materials into low volume irrigation systems.
- Author: Ben Faber
Stem and leaf blights are symptoms that appear for various reasons – high rainfall or humidity, spray burn, chewing insect infestation. Here in California we can add other causes, such as drought and salinity burn. These conditions can cause wounding of leaf and stems allowing entry of fungal spores that can cause leaf and stem dieback. This condition is most common near the coast where weather conditions can change from mild and low temperatures to extremely high temperature with winds, such as the Santa Anas or the Sundowners in Santa Barbara. Leaves suddenly dry out, causing cracking either at that time or when they are rehydrated with irrigation. This allows spore entry into the wounds and permits the pathogen to grow in the dead tissue. Symptoms appear 7 – 10 days after the stress. These are decay fungi that create these spores and they are the ones that cause decay of dead tissue on the ground. So their spores are everywhere.
The greater part of a tree is dead – the woody part of the branches and trunk. And it is dead tissue that these fungi are feeding on. Most trees will limit the growth of the fungus by sealing off the infection with gums of various sorts. In that case, the disease is limited and you may only see a leaf or small branch dying back. In mature trees it is possible to see a small branch here and there that has died back, but the bulk of the canopy is still green. It has been called “salt and pepper syndrome”, because of that speckled appearance. In the case of young trees with their smaller root systems and a lesser ability to seal of the disease process, a whole tree can die.
Since this is a severe water stress or salt stress induced problem, the most important management issue is to watch the weather forecasts predicting unusual hot, dry weather and make sure the trees are adequately irrigated going into the stressful period. Shallow rooted trees like avocados are more prone to dry out rapidly in these high water demand situations, but it can be occur in other trees (citrus, apple, peach) and shrubs if the weather conditions are severe enough. With poor leaching due to low rainfall, this can be more of a problem
The only solution to the symptoms is to cut out the diseased parts to prevent its further spread. Once the disease starts spreading, the fungus can produce copious amounts of spores, which in the case of avocado can cause cankers and rots on the fruit.
Figure. In the case of young trees, the whole tree may die from blight.
- Author: Ben Faber
Here's a list of links for growers and homeowners on how to prepare for fire and in the case of fruit trees, how to treat them after they have burned and how to calculate the loss of a commercial fruit tree.
Spread sheets to help you calculate loss
Information from Ben Faber, Soils and Water, Avocado and Minor Subtropicals Advisor
Information on how to care for fire damaged trees from Ben Faber, Soils and Water, Avocado and Minor Subtropicals Advisor
Information on fire ecology and fire safe landscaping for homeowners, developed by Sabrina Drill, Natural Resources Advisor
Information on fire science from UC experts. Includes information on how to make homes and other structures more fire resistant, developed by Steve Quarles, Statewide Wood Performance and Durability Advisor
Local Fire Departments - have regulatory information you may need
Publications Available From University of California ANR Catalog
You can find the publications listed below at theUniversity of California DANR Catalog site (In the ANR Search type fire) and order more than one publication at a time or you may click on one of the links below.if you purchase a priced publication enter the promotion code PRVEN56 at check-out. You'll receive a 10% discount on your order, and a portion of the sales will benefit local programs.
A Property Owner's Guide to Reducing Wildfire Threat - describes ways homeowners can reduce the threat of fire to their property. Cost $1.50
Home Landscaping for Fire - Incorporating fire safe concepts into your landscape is one of the most important ways you can help your home survive a wildfire. FREE
Landscaping Tips to Help Defend Your Home from Wildfire - You can have both a beautiful landscape and a defensible fire-safe zone. FREE
Recovering from Wildfire - discusses issues that family forest landowners should consider following a wildfire. Cost $5.00
WildFire: How Can We Live With It? (DVD) - This program contains general information about wildland fire in California. Cost $20.00
Companion Set: How Can We Live with Wildland Fire? (Publication and DVD) - What role does fire play in the natural cycle and what choices can we make about coping with wildland fire? Cost $27.50
How Can We Live with Wildland Fire? - What role does fire play in the natural cycle and what choices can we make about coping with wildland fire? Cost $10.00/span>