Influence of Root Pruning and Rootstock on Growth and Performance of `Golden Delicious' Apple

in HortScience
Authors: D.C. Ferree1 and M. Knee1
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  • 1 Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691

`Smoothee Golden Delicious' apple trees on nine rootstocks or interstems were mechanically root pruned annually for 9 years beginning the year after planting. Root pruning reduced trunk cross-sectional area (TCA) by 14% over the first 5 years and 22% in the last 4 years of the trial. Yield and fruit size were reduced by root pruning in most years with the fruit size effect obvious in June at the end of cell division. Interstem trees of MAC.9/MM.106 were larger than trees on M.9 and the following interstems: M.9/MM.106, M.9/MM.111, M.27/MM.111. Trees on seedling (SDL) rootstock were the largest and had the lowest yield per unit TCA and lower cumulative yield/tree than trees on M.7, MM.106, and MM.1ll. There was no interaction for any measure of growth or yield between root pruning and rootstock or interstem.

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