(444) Management Practices to Improve Yield of Camellia oleifera Abel

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  • 1 Central South Forestry University, School of Resource and Environment, Changsha, Hunan, 410004, China

Oil-tea plant (CamelliaoleiferaAbel), one of the four woody plants that produce edible oil for human consumption, is widely cultivated in Jiangxi Province (China) with production areas of 834,000 ha. Under conventional cultivation techniques, the oil yield of oil-tea plant was only 30 to 45 kg·ha-1, which significantly limited its economic impact and development. In the past 10 years, management practical techniques, such as preparing soil with organic fertilizer, weed control, thinning, pruning, alternated harvest time, improved harvest techniques, etc., had been implemented to replace traditional practices. Also, some new and promised clones were used to reforest and regenerate some areas with aged and degraded Camelliaoleiferaplantations. The results indicated that the new plantations and regenerated forests produced fruits for refining oil in their third year. The yield was significantly higher than that of the original stands in their fourth year and reached 712.5 kg·ha-1 in their sixth year. The highest yield, 750 kg·ha-1, was harvested at their eighth year after the new management practices. Oil-tea plant is not a low-yield and low-valued crop and the average yield could improve 6–7 times per hectare with selected clones and proper management. Both management practices and clone selection are key issues to the yield of oil-tea plant plantations. Best management techniques and better clones have been applied by the farmers today and the goal is to reforest or regenerate 80% of the production areas in Jiangxi Province. Future studies will focus on breeding better cultivars under these new management practices.

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