318 Interrelationships among Cumulative Yield, Scion Weight, and Trunk Cross-sectional Area of Apple Trees

in HortScience
Authors:
John A. BardenDept. of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

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Richard P. MariniDept. of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

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Productivity of perennial fruit plants depends to a sizeable degree on partitioning of assimilates between vegetative and reproductive structures. Cultivars and rootstocks modify the partitioning pattern, but there are very few data published on these relationships. The termination of a long-term evaluation of standard-growing and spur-type strains of `Delicious' and `Golden Delicious' on several dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks and interstocks provided an excellent opportunity to assess the relationships among cumulative yield, scion weight, and trunk cross-sectional area (TCA). Cultivars were `Goldspur' and `Smoothee' strains of `Golden Delicious' and `Redchief' and `Red Prince' strains of `Delicious'. Rootstocks and interstocks included Malling 9 (M.9), M.26, M.9/Malling Merton 106 (MM.106), M.9/MM.111, M.7, MM.106, and MM.111. Row spacing was standard at 6.1 m. Tree spacing varied with anticipated vigor and ranged from 1.8 to 5.5 m. Pruning times and weight of prunings were recorded in two years. After 18 years, trees were cut off just above the soil line and weighed. TCA and scion weight were highly correlated despite of considerable differences in degree of containment pruning required, and cumulative yields were well correlated with both TCA and scion weight. The ratio of cumulative crop weight to final scion weight decreased quadratically with increasing TCA. Pruning times and weight of prunings were somewhat better correlated with TCA in `Delicious' than in `Golden Delicious'.

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