High-density Apple Orchard Performance on an Orchard Replant Site: An 11-year Summary

in HortTechnology

High-density apple (Malus domestica) orchard management techniques and productivity were evaluated on an old orchard replant site in North Carolina. Trees were planted at 5 × 10 ft (1.5 × 3.0 m), giving a tree density of 871 trees/acre (2152 trees/ha). Well-branched `Smoothee Golden Delicious' trees on `Mark' rootstock were planted in 1990. Orchard-management factors which increased cumulative yield were supplemental irrigation (+21%), slender spindle training (+19%), preplant tree-hole fumigation (+11%), and fumigation + postplant mefenoxam (Ridomil) collar drench (+17%). Collectively, these factors increased cumulative yield by 55%. Supplemental irrigation was the only treatment to significantly impact fruit quality, increasing average fruit size by 20% over the 11-year study.

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Contributor Notes

e-mail dick_unrath@NCSU.edu.
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