NOTCHING TECHNIQUES TO INCREASE BRANCHING OF YOUNG APPLE TREES

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

A series of experiments were initiated to evaluate the influence of notching on improving lateral branching of young apple trees. Buds on 2-year-old wood of `Redspur' Delicious/MM.111 were notched at 2-week intervals from 6 weeks before bloom to 2 weeks after. Notching increased lateral branching cubically with the greatest response occurring when notching was done 2 to 4 weeks before bloom. Bud break occurred equally well and shoots grew comparably when `Redcort'/M.7 were notched at the tip, middle, or base. Bud break and shoot growth from unnotched buds was greatest at the tip, intermediate in the middle and least at the base. Limbs of `Spygold'/M.7 were spread to a 45 degree angle then one bud from each 1-year-old shoot was notched at either the top, side or on the bottom of the shoot. Notching increased lateral branching from all bud positions, but the greatest response was from buds notched at the top and least from those located at the bottom of a branch. Buds of `Marshall McIntosh' were notched on either 1 or 2-year-old wood. Notching increased lateral branching more on 2-year than on 1-year old wood.

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