Effects of Various Irrigation Regimes on Tree Growth, Water Use, and Mineral Nutrients of `Fuji' and `Gala' Apples

in HortScience
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  • 1 Univ. of Idaho, Parma Research and Extension Center, Parma, ID 83660

Effects of seven different irrigation systems for `Fuji' and two irrigation systems for `Gala' on five rootstocks on tree growth, water use, and mineral nutrients were studied. All forms of drip system used significanly less water than sprinkler systems. Patial root drying sprinkler system used 50% less water than full sprinkler. Application of partial root drying drip at 50% rate of full drip was not sufficient and trees had to receive 75% of full drip to survive. Trees under full sprinkler used about 28 inches of water while those with drip used less than 8 inches of water during the 2003 growing season. Leaf minerals, particularly N and K were affected by irrigation systems. Trees with buried drip required less water than those with above-ground drip system. Calculation of water requirement on a tree-use basis provided an excellent guide for irrigation.

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