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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Fourteenth annual meeting, Grand Rapids, Wis., January 8th, 1901

The blossom bud,   pp. 12-18 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 15

opment very much by lessening the water supply. It is
mIv ninirn that th-v      -    -       -.+1 a tk,..d. .  -hl
first half of October, and if this be true, it would be a
mistake to flood or roll the vines down flat before that
time. I would not be surprised to learn that these buds
are produced in the early spring, and that a scarcity of
the water at that time is favorable to their production. In
short, that we might let the water off when the ice melts,
and it should not be put on again except on account of a
threatening frost after the buds show signs of growth.
But this is dangerous advice to the unskilled cranberry
grower, for just as soon as the buds begin to swell, a frost
will injure them, and this danger point arrives when the
bud lays aside its reddish hue and assumes a yellow, pale,
greenish color. The increase in size may not be apparent,
but this change in color shows that the terminal germ
within the bud has started and may be killed by a light
frost that will not destroy the outer covering of the bud,
and to all outward appearances the bud will remain unin-
jured by it. Remember that there are as many stem joints
within the bud as there are bud scales in its formation. If
only one or two of the joints within the bud are destroyed
by the frost the bud may unfold a little and produce its
lateral buds or hooks from the axil of the scales, and these
will develop into blossoms; but if the frost is a little severe,
the outer part may remain uninjured, but so many of the
inner joints be destroyed that the bud will never unfold,
although the outer covering will continue to show a healthy
color for a long time after the freeze.
I have noticed when the water had been drawn off in the
early spring, leaving the vines very dry, the hooks showed
themselves among the opening bud scales before the bud
had made any considerable elongation, and that vines that
had an excessive suppy of water showed a considerable
elongation of the terminal bud before the hooks were
The terminal bud on every plant is stimulated by an
excessive supyly of water, heat and shade. This bud is a
greedy one among its fellows and while he lives he holds
the lateral buds in check by absorbing nearly all the nour-
ishment the plant can furnish, leaving to the laterals merely
enough to keep them alive, but nothing to enlarge or ex-
pand them; hence, it seems to me that when the terminal
bud is stimulated into rapid growth by water, heat or shade
it is liable to absorb the nourishment that would otherwise
go to feed the tiny buds that lie in the axil of the scales,
and which are the true blossom buds.
I think I have seen cases in which this actually hap-
pened. I have seen two or three little hooks on one upright
that failed to develop into blossoms, while the terminal bud
on the same stem had gone on growing vigorously. These
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