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Stefano Musacchi, Federico Gagliardi and Sara Serra

; Weber, 2001 ). The dwarfing rootstock series Gisela ® , developed at the Liebig University of Giessen in Germany, induce early bearing of sweet cherry. Gisela ® 5 and Gisela ® 6, in particular, show promise for use in high-density cherry orchards

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Angela Knerl, Brendon Anthony, Sara Serra and Stefano Musacchi

., 1995 ), but they must be adjusted and optimized because the trees are in rows and can be much smaller than in forests. The modern choice for new orchards is high-density planting (HDP) at 2000–4000 trees/ha with planting densities as high as 0.75 m × 3

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Benjamin D. Toft, Mobashwer M. Alam, John D. Wilkie and Bruce L. Topp

associate multiscale traits with canopy size and yield and to assess which traits are most valuable for high-density orchards. This study has provided initial understanding of interactions between architectural traits to stimulate improvements in canopy

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Gerry Henry Neilsen, Denise Neilsen and Linda Herbert

resulted in most efficient use of N for ‘Golden Delicious’ apples grown outdoors in pots ( Bar-Yosef et al., 1988 ). Estimates of annual N removal in fruit and senescent leaves for 3- to 6-year-old, high-density ‘Elstar’ or ‘Gala’ on M.9 rootstock ranged

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Gerald M. Henry, Jared A. Hoyle, Leslie L. Beck, Tyler Cooper, Thayne Montague and Cynthia McKenney

trees spaced widely apart (173 trees/ha) to reduce intraspecific competition for stored soil water reserves ( Rapoport et al., 2004 ; Vossen, 2007 ). In the early 1980s, irrigated orchards were planted in high densities (617 trees/ha) in attempts to

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Mani Skaria and Zhang Tao

High-density or ultra-high-density orchards have had positive economic return up to 12 years after planting. However, an initial higher investment on more number of trees needed is a limiting factor for high-density planting. Our preliminary studies have shown that a microbudding technique that we had developed would produce less-expensive, budded citrus trees. In June 1997, several hundred microbudded citrus trees were planted in a field, under drip irrigation. The planting continued monthly until Dec. 1997. The cultivars planted were: `Marrs' orange, `Rio Red' grapefruit, `Meyer' and `Ponderosa' lemon, and satsuma mandarin. All plants were microbudded on sour orange rootstock grown in 5′′ long “conetainers.” Our objectives were to study the growth performance of small, microbudded trees planted in the field. The plants grew normally and even out-performed the conventionally budded trees in a field nursery next to the test plot. In Dec. 1999, tree height reached 60 inches. Five percent of the trees produced fruit and they were normal in shape, color, and quality.

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R.K. Reeder, R.L. Darnell and T.A. Obreza

Blueberry plants fertilized at 3-week intervals with nitrogen (N) throughout the year and protected from freezing temperatures avoid dormancy and produce an off-season “winter” crop. Southwestern Florida offers a climate where this production system can be implemented without undue fear of freezes. `Sharpblue', `Gulfcoast', and `Warmabe' southern highbush blueberry cultivars have been planted at high density (10,000 plants/ha) to determine the feasibility of successfully establishing an evergreen production system for blueberry. Three rates of N fertilization (84, 168, and 252 kg·ha–1) and the use of peat or municipal solid waste (MSW) compost as soil amendments are being evaluated in this study. Initial data on plant growth indicate that, during the first 9 months of the planting, 168 kg N/ha will produce plants similar in height, but with significantly less volume, to those receiving 252 kg N/ha. MSW compost appears to be a beneficial soil amendment for blueberry establishment despite an increase in soil pH associated with the compost amendment.

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Wesley K. Asai

In an effort to maximize early return on investment and labor efficiency, cling peach growers in California are using two different types of high-density plantings; the perpendicular-V (1.8m × 4.8m = 930 Trees/ha), and the cordon (2.4m × 4.2m = 925 Trees/ha). The V has the advantage of being more traditional in its establishment, where the cordon has the advantage of higher yields and no need for wires, props or ladders to prune, thin and pick.

This study evaluated the cultural and economic considerations of the two systems with respect to their yields during the orchards' establishment years.The cumulative labor costs, specific to the style of training for the first 3 years was $1258 and $901 per hectare for the cordon and V respectively.

Cumulative yields were 40.4 tons/ha for the cordon and 22.0 tons/ha for the V. When contrasting the net returns per hectare, the cordon, in spite of its higher labor input (due largely to higher thinning and harvest costs), had a net profit advantage of $3362.50 per hectare during the first 3 years of establishment.

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Michael L. Parker and Eric Young

Managing vegetative growth in higher density apple systems in the Southeast can be difficult due to the longer growing season. This study was initiated in 1990 to evaluate leader management techniques that have commercial potential for high-density systems in the Southeast. `Spur Galagored', `Jonagored', and `Red Fuji' apples on Mark root-stock were planted in the four major apple production regions of western North Carolina. The three leader management techniques evaluated were weak leader renewal, banding of the leader during the growing season (snaked leader), and leader heading with partial terminal leaf removal (H + PTLR) every 25 cm of leader growth. In the third year, branching was greatest for the snaked leader. In the fifth year, no differences in trunk cross-sectional area were detected between the leader management techniques. However, yields were significantly greater for trees managed with the snaked leader. Trees with the snaked leader yielded 44 kg/tree compared to 35 and 34 kg/tree for the H + PTLR and weak leader renewal, respectively. This illustrates that leader management techniques that use pruning or vegetation removal reduce the early production required of profitable high-density systems.

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J.G. Williamson and D.C. Coston

Several planting treatments modified vegetative and reproductive growth of young, own-rooted peach (Prums persica) trees evaluated at two levels of irrigation in a high-density orchard (5000 trees/ha). Trees planted in auger holes, narrow herbicide strips, and in fabric-lined trenches, but not those from raised beds, were smaller than control trees set in holes dug with a shovel. After two growing seasons, trees planted in the fabric-lined trenches were smaller and had more flowers per node and greater flower bud densities than trees in other planting treatments. Yield efficiency was greatest for this treatment, although fruit size was small throughout the orchard. Irrigation rates did not affect fruit yield or size. The effects of irrigation rate on vegetative growth were small compared to differences among planting treatments.