FRUITING REDUCES FOLLOWING YEAR FRUIT SET IN CRANBERRY UPRIGHTS

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  • 1 University of Massachusetts, E. Wareham (CJD), University of Wisconsin, Madison (TRR), Washington State University, Long Beach (KDP), Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., MA (JRD), and Oregon State University, Corvallis (BCS) and Coquille (APP).

Biennial bearing of uprights has been documented for cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.). Percent return bloom (%RB) may vary from 14% to 74% depending on cultivar and growing region. Floral initiation for the following season in cranberry takes place during the same time period as flowering and fruit set for the current season. This research was undertaken to document the effect of fruiting or not fruiting in the previous year on %RB and %RF (return fruit) in two cultivars (Stevens and Ben Lear) and five growing regions (MA, NJ, WI, OR, WA). Previous year fruiting caused a reduction in %RB compared to non-fruiting in the previous year. The effect on %RF was even greater. For `Ben Lear', uprights that fruited in 1990 had 31%RB and 22%RF while those that did not fruit in 1990 had 67%RB and 54%RF. Both %RB and %RF in 1991 were about 49% lower for `Stevens' which fruited in 1990 than those that did not fruit in 1990. It is still not clear whether biennial bearing in cranberry uprights is a function of hormonal interaction and regulation or of resource limitation or both.

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