PHENOLOGY OF LOW-CHILL `FLORDAPRINCE' PEACH

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  • 1 1Department Horticultural Science, University of Natal, Box 375, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, S. Africa.
  • 2 2Maroochy Horticultural Research Station, P. O. Box 5083, SCMC, Nambour, Qld, 4560, Australia.

Low chill `Flordaprince' peach trees were grown in subtropical Australia, either following paclobutrazol application to dwarf the trees, or extra nitrogen to invigorate them. Fruits were thinned uniformly. Paclobutrazol significantly reduced the competing spring shoot growth and gave earlier maturity of larger, better quality fruits. It reduced the spring, but increased the autumn root flush. Stage 2 of fruit growth was slightly longer in vigorous trees, resulting in delayed seed growth and greater dry mass of the embryos. Starch reserves were greatest in the roots, followed by the trunk, shoots and leaves. The reserves were lowest during the second half of fruit development, but rose again after the end of shoot extension growth. Leaf N, P, and K levels decreased through the season while Ca and Mg increased. There were significantly lower K and higher Ca and Mg levels in dwarfed trees.

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