Influence of Nitrogen and Rootstock on Tree Growth, Precocity, Fruit Quality, Leaf Mineral Nutrients, and Fire Blight in `Scarlet Gala' Apple

in HortTechnology

The influence of four rootstocks and four levels of nitrogen supply on tree growth, precocity, fruit quality (size and color), leaf mineral concentrations, and fire blight [Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winstow et al.] severity in `Scarlet Gala' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees was studied between 3 to 4 years. Trees that received an annual ground application of 0.15 lb (68 g) actual N as urea over four growing seasons had greater trunk cross-sectional area (TCA), higher yield, better fruit color, lower leaf N and less fire blight than those which received higher amounts of N. Trees on Malling (M.9) were more precocious and had higher yields in early years while trees on Malling-Merton 106 (MM.106 EMLA) and Malling-Merton 111 (MM.111 EMLA) had higher production 4 years after planting. Trees on Malling 26 (M.26 EMLA) had higher leaf Mg than those on other rootstocks. Trees on M.9 and M.26 EMLA had more fire blight damage than those on other rootstocks.

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