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Jon M. Clements and Joseph F. Costante

A randomized complete block study was initiated in 1991 in a fifteen year old `Rogers Red McIntosh'/9-106 interstem orchard to investigate the effect of three dormant pruning regimes- an unpruned control, selectively thinned, and heavily structured or “tiered”, on tree canopy light distribution and fruit and spur quality. Fruit quality parameters being measured for the 1991 and 1992 harvests include skin color (% red blush), weight (g.), flesh firmness (kg.), soluble solids concentration (% Brix), and packout (% fancy grade). Pruning treatment effect on fruit spur quality, in terms of spur bud diameter (mm.) and spur efficiency (leaf dry weight/spur), is also being evaluated at time of harvest. Light distribution is being measured (% PAR, umol/s/m2.) within the tree canopy from petal fall through harvest. Preliminary findings indicate there is a difference in tree canopy light distribution and some fruit quality measurements, including red skin color, between pruning regimes. Complete analysis of results from 1991 will be presented.

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Wesley R. Autio and Joseph F. Costante

Ripening of `Liberty' and `Empire' apples was compared in 1988-90. The internal ethylene of `Liberty' fruit reached 1 ppm approximately 7 to 10 days before `Empire.' `Liberty' and `Empire' fruit both attained acceptable eating quality on approximately 30 Sept. each year. Generally, `Liberty' fruit were firmer and had a higher soluble solids content than `Empire' fruit. Storage properties were compared in 1988 and 1989. In 1988, fruit were harvested at weekly intervals from 20 Sept. to 12 Oct. and kept at 0C for 2.5 months. The firmest fruit of both cultivars were from the 27 Sept. harvest. Fruit of both cultivars harvested on 27 Sept. 1988 retained firmness better when kept at 3.3C, 3% O2, 5% CO2 than when kept at 0C, 3% O2, 2% CO2. Data from 1989 showed that `Liberty' developed large amounts of browncore in controlled atmospheres at either 0C or 3.3C. The incidence of browncore in refrigerated storage declined with later harvests.

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Joseph F. Costante, Wesley R. Autio, and Lorraine P. Berkett

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Joseph F. Costante, Wesley R. Autio, and Lorraine P. Berkett

`Rogers Red McIntosh' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on MM. 111, MM. 106, M.7a, or M.26 were planted in 1984 on an old orchard site, diagnosed with an apple replant disease (ARD) problem. Soil treatments included Telone c-17, Vorlex, Nemacur 3, or not treated. After six years, tree performance problems usually associated with severe ARD did not develop. Lesion nematode [Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb) Filipjev and Schuurmans-Stekhoven] populations feeding within or on the surface of roots were not affected by nematicide treatments nor rootstocks, even though slightly damaging levels were found in 1986. At the end of the sixth growing season, trunk cross-sectional areas were similar for trees in treated and in untreated soils. Trees on MM. 111 and MM. 106 were the largest, and those on M.26 were the smallest. Cumulative yield was not influenced by soil treatments, but trees on MM. 111 produced the greatest cumulative yields, whereas trees on M.26 were the most yield efficient.