Rootstock Influence on Flower Bud Hardiness and Yield of `Redhaven' Peach

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  • 1 Rutgers Fruit Research Center; New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Horticulture and Forestry, Cook College, Rutgers University, R.D. 2, Box 38, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

`Redhaven' peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] on their own roots or budded to seven rootstock [`Bailey', `Siberian C', `Lovell', `Halford' (seedlings), GF 655.2, GF 677 (`Amandier'), or `Damas' (GF 1869) (clonal)] were evaluated for rootstock influence on flower bud hardiness, live pistils at bloom, thinning requirements, marketable yield, and production efficiency after exposure to temperatures lower than – 23C in 1987 and to - 26C in 1988. In 1987, flower bud hardiness was as great on `Siberian C' as on own-rooted `Redhaven' and greater than on the other rootstock. Fewer live pistils were observed during bloom on GF 677 than on `Siberian C', `Lovell', `Damas', or self-rooted trees in 1987. In 1988, flower bud hardiness was greater on `Siberian C' and `Bailey' than on GF 677. At bloom, `Lovell' and `Siberian C' rootstock carried more flowers with live pistils than `Damas'.`Siberian C' and `Lovell' required significantly greater fruit thinning than all other rootstock and self-rooted trees. GF 677 produced a larger marketable crop than GF 655.2 or `Damas'. In addition, `Bailey', `Lovell', and self-rooted trees produced a significantly larger crop than `Damas'. No significant rootstock effect on production efficiency was detected in either year. Tree vigor during the growing season preceding each freeze did not significantly influence flower bud survival or productivity.

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