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  • 1 USDA-ARS-AFRS, Kearneysville, WV 25430

The genetically available range in tree fruit architecture has not been fully utilized for tree fruit breeding or production. Higher planting densities, new training systems, high coats of pruning, the need to eliminate ladders in the orchard, and mechanized harvesting require a re-evaluation of tree architecture. Dwarf, semidwarf, columnar, and spur-type trees may be more efficient than standard tree forms, especially when combined with specific production systems. Studies of the growth of novel tree types and elucidation of the inheritance of growth habit components may allow breeders to combine canopy growth characteristics to produce trees tailored to evolving production systems.

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