The Management of Sod Proximity Increases Peach Productivity

in HortScience
Authors: D.M. Glenn1 and W.V. Welker1
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  • 1 USDA/ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV 25430.

Mature peach trees were grown in six different-sized vegetation-free areas (VFA) (0.36 to 13 m2) with and without stage-III drip irrigation for 6 years. As the VFA increased, so did the trunk cross-sectional area, total yield/tree, large fruit yield/tree, and pruning weight/tree. The application of supplemental irrigation increased yield of large fruit and leaf N percentage in all VFAs. Winter hardiness was not affected by either size of the VFA or irrigation. The yield efficiency of total fruit and large fruit decreased, however, with the increasing size of VFAs. The smaller VFAs resulted in smaller, more-efficient trees. Managing the size of the VFA was an effective, low-cost approach to controlling peach tree size and, when combined with irrigated, high-density production, offers a potential for increased productivity.

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