472 Effect of Pruning on Secondary Bloom in `Bartlett' Pear

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  • 1 One Shields Ave., Dept. of Pomology, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616

Secondary bloom provides fireblight infection sites in pears (Pyrus communis L.) growing in the western U.S. Five types of secondary bloom occur in `Bartlett', and one of these, Type V, occurs mainly as a result of pruning. We examined the effect of pruning dates (Feb. to Sept. 1999), shoot age ranging from 1 to 4 years old, and type of pruning cut (i.e., heading, stubbing, or thinning) on Type V secondary bloom. Pruning date was a significant factor determining whether Type V would occur. There was a greater chance for Type V to occur from pruning in February or March than for pruning from May through September. There was an increase in Type V with increase in shoot age when pruning 11 Feb., 17 Mar., 14 May, or 11 Aug. There was no shoot age effect when pruning 18 June or 30 Sept. Type of pruning cut affected the number of Type V that occurred when pruning 14 May, 18 June, or 11 Aug., but the effect of type of pruning cut was inconsistent between these dates. There was no effect of type of pruning cut when pruning 11 Feb., 17 Mar., or 30 Sept. These results indicate that summer or postharvest pruning may reduce the number of Type V secondary bloom, particularly on shoots older than one year. This information can be used to develop a pruning strategy that reduces the number of Type V secondary bloom and potentially the number of fireblight infection sites.

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