Canopy Position, Defoliation, and Girdling Influence Apple Nectar Production

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Flowering spurs located at interior and exterior canopy positions of `Stay-man' and `Delicious' apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) trees were girdled and/or defoliated to determine the influence on nectar production and composition. Nectar volume was less at exterior than interior canopy positions for `Delicious', but not for `Stayman'. Girdling suppressed nectar production by 92% and reduced the sugar concentration of the remaining nectar. Defoliation of nongirdled spurs had no effect on nectar sugar concentration, but defoliation of girdled spurs reduced nectar sugar concentration by 24%. Relative percentages of sucrose, glucose, and fructose, and the sucrose: hexose ratio were unaffected by any treatment. Nectar production of nongirdled spurs did not depend on the presence of spur leaves.

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