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  • Author or Editor: Tara A. Baugher x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Fruit of 10 `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) strains were harvested 149 days after full bloom in 1988. Fruit color was measured at four locations on each fruit at the midpoint between the stem and calyx end with a Minolta CR-200b portable tristimulus calorimeter. Anthocyanin content of corresponding skin disks was determined spectrophotometrically. Significant differences existed among strains in both the amount and distribution of anthocyanin around the fruit. High-coloring strains had a significantly higher anthocyanin concentration at both the blushed and the nonblushed surface when compared to low-coloring strains. A linear regression of anthocyanin content on the ratio of (a*/b*)2 provided an R2 = 0.59; precision was enhanced by using a separate equation for each strain (R2 = 0.80). Regressing log (anthocyanin) on L* using two linear splines yielded an R2 = 0.78. These relationships allow the use of a portable calorimeter for rapid, nondestructive estimation of fruit anthocyanin content in situ.

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Studies were conducted on peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] during 1988 to 1990 to test the performance of a tree-width rope-curtain bloom thinner and a rotating rope-curtain thinner. Six trips over the tree canopy were required with the tree-width rope curtain, and only one trip was required with the rotating curtain to thin to a spacing of about one flower per 9 cm of fruiting shoot length. Based on the number of flowers per square centimeter of branch cross-sectional area (CSA) immediately following thinning and the number of fruit per square centimeter of CSA following June drop, rope-curtain thinning was equal to hand-thinning at full bloom (FB). Rope-curtain thinning reduced hand-thinning time by 40% and increased harvest fruit weight by 10% to 20%. Research on various modifications in tree training/pruning indicated that performance of the mechanical thinner was negatively correlated with shoot density. Thinning was maximum on open-center-trained trees on which detailed pruning had been conducted to eliminate overlapping shoots.

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A study was conducted to quantify the effects of rootstock and training system on C allocation in apple. Dry-matter distribution was determined at harvest in 5-year-old `Golden Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on four rootstocks (MM.111 EMLA, M.7a, M.26 EMLA, and M.9 EMLA) and in three training systems (three-wire palmette, free-standing central leader, and nonpruned). Mobilizable carbohydrate content was determined at harvest and leaf fall in trees from the same planting on MM.111 EMLA and M.9 EMLA in all three training systems. Training system effects interacted with rootstock effects in dry weights of branches and of fruit. Nonpruned system shoot and fruit dry weights reflected known rootstock vigor; whereas, pruned system (three-wire and central leader) shoot dry weights were greatest and fruit dry weights were lowest in trees on M.7a. Rootstock affected the partitioning of dry matter between above- and below-ground tree components, with MM.111 EMLA accumulating significantly more dry matter in the root system than trees on the other rootstocks. Trees in the central leader and the three-wire palmette systems partitioned more dry weight into nonbearing 1-year shoots than trees in the nonpruned system. Root starch content at harvest was greater in trees on MM.111 EMLA than on M.9 EMLA, and root sucrose and sorbitol were less in trees on MM.111 EMLA compared to M.9 EMLA. At leaf fall, starch in young roots was equal in trees on both rootstocks, and sorbitol again was lower in trees on MM.111 EMLA. Harvest starch content of roots, shoots, and branches was lower in nonpruned than in pruned trees. At leaf fall, root, shoot, and branch starch content increased in nonpruned and central leader-trained trees but did not increase in three-wire palmette-trained trees.

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Particle film technology is a developing pest control system for tree fruit production systems. Trials were performed in Santiago, Chile, and York Springs, Pa., Wenatchee and Yakima, Wash., and Kearneysville, W. Va., to evaluate the effect of particle treatments on apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh) Manst.] leaf physiology, fruit yield, and fruit quality. Leaf carbon assimilation was increased and canopy temperatures were reduced by particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. Yield and/or fruit weight was increased by the particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. In Santiago and Kearneysville, a* values of the fruit surface were more positive in all trials although a* values were not increased in Wenatchee and Yakima. Results indicate that particle film technology is an effective tool in reducing heat stress in apple trees that may result in increased yield potential and quality.

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The characteristics of 1-year-old vegetative spurs growing on 2-year-old branches were measured on 28 `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) strains growing on M.7 rootstocks at Clarksville, Mich., and on 23 strains of `Delicious' on M.7a rootstocks at Kearneysville, W.Va. Spur-type strains typically had densities >20 to 21 spurs/m, and high spur leaf numbers, leaf areas per spur, leaf areas per leaf, and terminal bud diameters, whereas values for standard strains were generally lower. However, for most spur quality characteristics, there was a continuous range of values between the extremes rather than any distinct grouping into either spur or standard type. At both sites, spur density was significantly and positively correlated with yield efficiency. In a related study, the spur characteristics of `Starkspur Supreme' were measured on nine rootstocks: M.7 EMLA, M.9 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.27 EMLA, M.9, MAC 9, MAC 24, OAR 1, and Ottawa 3. Spur leaf number and spur leaf area were both high with vigorous rootstocks, whereas spur density was low. The rootstocks MAC 9, M.9, and M.9 EMLA had the highest yield efficiencies.

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