Pruning Practices Affect Yield, Yield Components, and Their Distribution in `Royalty' Purple Raspberry

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

A factorial arrangement of 48 treatments was used to evaluate the effects of cane density, time of cane density adjustment, primocane tipping, and cane or branch length on yield components in `Royalty' purple raspberry [(Rubus occidentals × R. idaeus) × R. idaeus] over 2 years. Yield was positively related to cane density and length, while fruit size and fruit count per lateral were negatively related to cane and branch length. When branches on tipped canes were shortened in late winter, more buds became fruitful at the proximal end of the branch, but fruiting laterals did not have more flowers or fruit. Fruiting laterals were longer on shortened canes, resulting in a decrease in the fruit: wood ratio. Plants performed similarly whether floricane density was adjusted in late winter orprimocane density was adjusted in late spring. Although potential yield was higher when primocanes were tipped in late spring, harvesting was more difficult because of branch orientation, and the incidence of cane blight infection was higher. Our study suggests that maintaining at least 12 canes per meter of row, avoiding primocane tipping, retaining full cane length, and providing adequate light, moisture, and nutrient levels can result in high yields of large fruit.

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