Relationships between Shoot Productivity and Leaf Characteristics in Peach Canopies

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

The relationships between shoot light exposure in one year and the flower and fruit production characteristics of those shoots the following year were indirectly investigated in summer pruned and nonsummer pruned peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees by evaluating leaf characteristics (leaf N and dry matter content per unit leaf area; Na and Wa, respectively) on tagged shoots during one season and the flowering and fruiting characteristics during the subsequent season. There were significant positive linear relationships between leaf Na and Wa on shoots in one year and flower and fruit production per unit shoot length during the subsequent year. Summer pruning had relatively little influence on these relationships. There was no apparent relationship between percent fruit set in the spring and light exposure of the shoots the previous summer. Following dormant pruning and commercial thinning, trees summer-pruned the previous year had higher yields than nonsummer pruned trees because of less shoot mortality and more fruit per tree.

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