|Authors: ||R.C. Beeson, Jr.|
|Keywords: ||holly, irrigation, ornamental production, ETo|
With only 40% of Central Florida’s annual rainfall occurring during the eight month dry season of October through May, supplemental irrigation is essential for production of woody plants, especially in containers.
Competition for water between agriculture, and urban and suburban communities in the early 1990’s promoted the establishment of a long-term research project in 1993 to determine irrigation requirements of ornamental and shade trees.
Among species quantified, Ilex × ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ was chosen as representative of a small evergreen tree of high ornamental value.
Daily actual evapotranspiration (ETA) was quantified for 6 years during growth from rooted cuttings to 4.3 m tall trees.
Daily ETA was measured with suspension lysimeters as the trees were transplanted each year into larger containers.
A total of 21,949 L were required to grow the holly discussed to landscape size.
Tri-weekly measurements of trunk and crown dimensions, along with daily calculation of reference evapotranspiration (ETo), were used to produce linear models from trunk and crown dimensions to estimate ETA. These models are discussed.
Correlations using these dimensions ranged from 0.90 to 0.93.
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