Summer Pruning Young `Sweetheart' Sweet Cherry Trees Affects Yield and Tree Size

in HortScience
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  • 1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0

`Sweetheart' sweet cherry trees (Prunus avium L.) were summer-pruned for four summers (1991-94) either before or after harvest and at two levels, removing 1/3 or 2/3 of current-season growth by heading cuts. In an additional postharvest treatment, some current-season growth was removed by thinning cuts. The preharvest 1/3 treatment had the highest cumulative yield during the experiment. Higher yields were obtained following preharvest than postharvest treatments, and following less severe treatments (removing 1/3 of current-season growth) than more severe (removing 2/3) treatments. These increased yields were for the early stages of orchard production. Average fruit mass was not affected by any of the treatments. The summer-pruned trees had smaller trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) increments over the trial and their final TCSA was smaller than that of the control trees.

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