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  • Author or Editor: Harvey A. Quamme x
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Cheryl R. Hampson, Harvey A. Quamme and Robert T. Brownlee

In 1993, a planting of virus-free 'Royal Gala' apple (Malu×domestica Borkh.) on 'M.9' rootstock was established at Summerland, B.C., Canada, to determine whether angled-canopy training systems could improve orchard tree performance relative to slender spindles. The trees were trained in one of five ways: slender spindle (SS), Geneva Y-trellis (GY), a modified Solen training we called 'Solen Y-trellis' (SY), or V-trellis (LDV), all at the same spacing (1.2 m × 2.8 m), giving a planting density of 2976 trees/ha. In addition, a higher density (7143 trees/ha) version of the V-trellis (HDV) was planted to gauge the performance of this system at densities approaching those of local super spindle orchards. The plots were drip-irrigated and hand-thinned. No summer pruning was done. After 8 years, differences among training systems at the same density and spacing were small and few. The two Y-shaped training systems had 11% to 14% greater cumulative yield/ha than the SS, but did not intercept significantly more light at maturity. No consistent differences occurred in fruit size or the percentage of fruit with delayed color development among the four training systems at the same density. Relative to the LDV, the HDV yielded less per tree, but far more per hectare, particularly in the first 3 years. After 8 years, the cumulative yield/ha was still 65% greater than with LDV. Yield efficiency was unaffected by tree density. Fruit size on HDV ranked lowest among the systems nearly every year, but was still commercially acceptable. The HDV intercepted more light (73%) than SS (53%). The percentage of fruit with delayed color development in HDV was not significantly different from that for LDV in most years. The trees in HDV were difficult to contain within their allotted space without summer pruning. The substantially similar performance of all the training systems (at a given density, and with minimal pruning) suggests that cost and ease of management should be the decisive factors when choosing a tree training method.

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme, W. Gordon Bonn and Kenneth C. Slingerland

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Cheryl R. Hampson, Harvey A. Quamme, Frank Kappel and Robert T. Brownlee

The effect of increasing planting density at constant rectangularity on the vegetative growth and light interception of apple [Malus ×sylvestris (L) var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees in three training systems (slender spindle, tall spindle, and Geneva Y trellis) was assessed for 10 years. Five tree densities (from 1125 to 3226 trees/ha) and two cultivars (Royal Gala and Summerland McIntosh) were tested in a fully guarded split-split plot design. Planting density was the most influential factor. As tree density increased, tree size decreased, and leaf area index and light interception increased. A planting density between 1800 and 2200 trees/ha (depending on training system) was needed to achieve at least 50% light interception under the conditions of this trial. Training system altered tree height and canopy diameter, but not total scion weight. Training system began to influence light interception in the sixth leaf, when the Y trellis system intercepted more light than either spindle form. Trees trained to the Y trellis tended to have more spurs and a lower proportion of total leaf area in shoot leaves than the other two systems. The slender and tall spindles were similar in most aspects of performance. Tall spindles did not intercept more light than slender spindles. `Royal Gala' and `Summerland McIntosh' trees intercepted about the same amount of light. `Royal Gala' had greater spur leaf area per tree than `Summerland McIntosh', but the cultivars were similar in shoot leaf area per tree and spur density.

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Cheryl R. Hampson, Harvey A. Quamme, Frank Kappel and Robert T. Brownlee

The effect of increasing planting density at constant rectangularity on the fruit yield, fruit size, and fruit color of apple [Malus ×sylvestris (L) var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] in three training systems (slender spindle, tall spindle, and Geneva Y trellis) was assessed for 10 years. Five tree densities (from 1125 to 3226 trees/ha) and two cultivars (Royal Gala and Summerland McIntosh) were tested in a fully guarded split-split plot design. Density was the most influential factor. As tree density increased, per-tree yield decreased, but yield per unit area increased. The relation between cumulative yield per ha and tree density was linear at the outset of the trial, but soon became curvilinear, as incremental yield diminished with increasing tree density. The chief advantage of high density planting was a large increase in early fruit yield. In later years, reductions in cumulative yield efficiency, and in fruit color for `Summerland McIntosh', began to appear at the highest density. Training system had no influence on productivity for the first 5 years. During the second half of the trial, fruit yield per tree was greater for the Y trellis than for either spindle form at lower densities but not at higher densities. The slender and tall spindles were similar in nearly all aspects of performance, including yield. `Summerland McIntosh' yielded almost 40% less than `Royal Gala' and seemed more sensitive to the adverse effects of high tree density on fruit color.

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme and W. Gordon Bonn

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme and W. Gordon Bonn

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David M. Hunter, Phil Pinsonneault, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme, W. Gordon Bonn and Richard E.C. Layne