University of California

Iron requirement studies of navel orange trees in solution cultures


E. F. Wallihan
M. J. Garber
J. R. Hammond
Wilma L. Printy
D. S. Rayner
R. G. Sharpless

Authors Affiliations

E. F. Wallihan was Associate Chemist in the Experiment Station and Associate Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside; M. J. Garber was Biometrician and Professor of Biometry, Biometrical Laboratory, Riverside; J. R. Hammond was Laboratory Assistant, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside; Wilma L. Printy was Laboratory Technicians, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside; D. S. Rayner was Laboratory Technicians, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside; R. G. Sharpless was Laboratory Technicians, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 38(7):247-264. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v38n07p247. June 1967.

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Difficulties in controlling the supply of iron to citrus trees when grown in soil led the authors to use of nutrient solutions for this study. Twenty-four nucellar navel orange trees were grown for eleven years in individual tanks of nutrient solutions, out of doors. Eight of them were maintained at high-iron levels by regular additions of iron sulfate to the nutrient solutions. The remaining trees became iron deficient at various rates. Analyses of standard leaves, picked in the early fall season, provided a measure of the changing level of iron nutrition for each tree from year to year.

The results show that, when the concentration of iron in standard leaves was 30 ppm or less for two consecutive years, the rate of tree growth and the numbers of fruit produced diminished. Fruit sizes were unaffected, except that in some years, fruit on iron-deficient trees were somewhat larger than those on trees supplied with iron. Chemical differences in the fruit were slight except for iron concentrations. Fruits were lighter colored in iron-deficient trees.

Iron deficit was also accompanied by loss of leaves and dieback of twigs. This obvious symptom may provide a useful measure of the severity of iron deficit.

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Wallihan E, Garber M, Hammond J, Printy W, Rayner D, Sharpless R. 1967. Iron requirement studies of navel orange trees in solution cultures. Hilgardia 38(7):247-264. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v38n07p247
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