Tree Form and Heading Height at Planting Affect Peach Tree Yield and Crop Value

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  • 1 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327

`Sweet Sue' peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) trees were subjected to a factorial arrangement of treatments. At planting, trees were headed at 10 or 70 cm above the bud union and trees were trained to an open-vase or central-leader form. For the first 4 years, high-headed trees were larger than low-headed trees. After 7 years, open-vase trees had larger trunk cross-sectional area, tree spread, and canopy volume than central-leader trees. Open-vase trees had higher yield and crop value per tree, but lower yield and crop value per unit of land area or unit of canopy volume than central-leader trees. Crop density and yield efficiency were similar for all treatments.

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