Response of Micropropagated Apple Trees to Field Establishment Procedures

in HortScience

Growth, flowering, and fruiting of micropropagated `Jonathan' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) transferred in Spring 1983 to the field from either a nursery, cold storage, or greenhouse were compared. First-year shoot and trunk growth was greatest for trees transplanted from the nursery and least for trees that were held in the greenhouse before being transferred to the field. Trees pruned low (35 cm) at planting time had more terminal shoot growth and less trunk cross-sectional area after the first growing season than those pruned high (90 cm). The effect of preplanting cultural practices on vegetative growth diminished in the 2nd year and disappeared by the end of the 3rd year in the orchard. Flowering began in 1985 and was only slightly affected by preplanting cultural practices and pruning treatments. Fruiting was not affected by the treatments.

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