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S. Kaan Kurtural, Andrew E. Beebe, Johann Martínez-Lüscher, Shijian Zhuang, Karl T. Lund, Glenn McGourty, and Larry J. Bettiga

the mechanical pruning and equipment maintenance were measured by timing the same trained operator in 2014 and 2015 in each treatment replicate. A cost per vine to accomplish each task was calculated, multiplied by the appropriate labor and benefit

Open access

Yi Gong, Ronald B. Pegg, Adrian L. Kerrihard, Brad E. Lewis, and Richard J. Heerema

, mechanical pruning has become the most common orchard management practice to improve sunlight penetration into tree canopies. Specifically, mechanical pruning has been demonstrated in some studies to effectively increase light penetration and distribution in

Free access

Stephen M. Southwick, W. Krueger, J.T. Yeager, and J. Osgood

French prunes (Prunus domestica L.) on myrobalan seedling rootstock were planted in 1981 in an east-west direction with 4.9 m between rows and 2.7 m between trees on a poorly drained Class II soil in Glenn County, CA. A randomized complete block design was used with 8 trees per plot. Trees were pruned by hand to an open-center tree form or pruned by machine to a pyramid form in the dormant or summer season resulting in 6 pruning treatments. This high density system has led to high yields of good quality fruit (9.18 dry tons/acre in 1989, sized at 78 fruit per pound). Hand pruning led to higher yields, larger fruit, lower drying ratios and a greater dollar return per acre than any of the machine pruned trees. Dormant machine pruning led to larger fruit produced than those trees pruned in the summer by machine. Mechanical pruning may be possible for short time periods, but continued practice led to smaller fruit with lower yields than hand pruning. Certain locations within the tree canopy had smaller fruit size and it is within those lower locations where fruit size needs to be improved. These and additional experimental results obtained from 1987 through 1989 growing seasons will be presented.

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Louise Ferguson and Sergio Castro Garcia

have ceased. Two harvesting technologies and their weak and strong points have been identified and modified. A traditional grove adapted for mechanical harvesting with mechanical pruning and a newly established mechanically harvestable hedgerow grove

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Guofan Liu, Kent Kobayashi, H.C. Bittenbender, and Loren Gautz

Pruning methods 1.5 × 1.5 m (topping and hedging) and stumping to 0.70 m were used on coffee cultivars Guatemalan, Red Catuai, Yellow Caturra, and Mokka. In the hedged treatment, `Mokka' had the longest laterals, followed by `Guatemalan', with `Red Catuai', and `Yellow Caturra' having similar lengths. `Mokka' had the most nodes/lateral. `Guatemalan' showed the fastest growth (height), followed by `Mokka', with `Red Catuai' and `Yellow Caturra' having similar growth. For 0.70-m pruning, vertical lengths of `Guatemalan' were the longest. `Mokka' had the most vertical nodes. `Guatemalan' had the longest vertical internodes, followed by `Red Catuai' and `Yellow Caturra', with `Mokka' having the shortest. `Yellow Caturra' had the most laterals/vertical, followed by `Red Catuai' and `Guatemalan'. `Mokka' had the fewest. Lateral lengths, nodes/lateral, and internode length were similar for all cultivars. Two-meter pruning height may be best for `Red Catuai' and `Yellow Caturra' because of slow growth, shorter laterals, and fewer nodes/lateral. These two cultivars grew well after being stumped due to faster regrowth and more laterals remaining on new verticals. 1.5-m pruning appears optimum for `Guatemalan', but it grew very well after stumping. It may be better to prune `Mokka' to a 2-m height with a narrow canopy remaining because of its good multiple verticals, fast lateral growth from new verticals in canopy but not in full sun, and more vertical nodes but less laterals regrowing from new verticals on main trunks exposed to full sunlight.

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Terry Bates and Justin Morris

mechanical harvesting in ‘Concord’ vineyards in the early 1970s, labor for dormant vine pruning became the largest production cost ( Morris, 2007 ). Mechanical pruning or prepruning ‘Concord’ grapevine research began in the mid-1970s with the intention of

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Justin R. Morris

Mechanization of harvesting, pruning, and other cultural operations on many small fruit crops for the processing market has occurred in response to the scarcity and expense of hand labor. Scientists at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and other experiment stations in the United States and throughout the world have developed new cultural and fruit-handling systems and have determined the effects of these systems on fruit yield and quality. This research has resulted in the development of prototype and commercial machinery as well as production and handling systems that have assisted in mechanization systems for brambles, strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.), and grapes (Vitis sp.). Much of this body of work is in commercial use and much is simply available, awaiting circumstances that will be beneficial to implementation.

Open access

Nicola Dallabetta, Andrea Guerra, Jonathan Pasqualini, and Gennaro Fazio

In 2014, an intensive multileader apple rootstock orchard trial was established in Trento province, Northern Italy, using dwarf (‘M.9-T337’) and semidwarf rootstocks (‘G.935’, ‘G.969’, and ‘M.116’) and ‘Gala’, ‘Golden Delicious’, and ‘Fuji’ as the scion cultivars. Trees were trained to Biaxis (‘M.9-T337’) and Triaxis systems (‘G.935’, ‘G.969’, and ‘M.116’) with a tree density of 3175 trees and 2116 trees per hectare, respectively, and with a uniform axis (leader) density of 6348/ha. Comparisons across all training systems by cultivar system showed that after 6 years (2019), trees of ‘Fuji’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ on ‘M.116’ were the largest trees followed by ‘G.969’, ‘G.935’, and ‘M.9-T337’. With ‘Gala’, trees on ‘G.969’ were of similar size as trees on ‘M.116’ and ‘G.935’. Trees of ‘Fuji’ on ‘G.935’ produced the highest yield followed by ‘G.969’, ‘M.116’, and ‘M.9-T337’. For ‘Gala’, trees on ‘M.116’ produced similarly as the ‘M.9-T337’, whereas with ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘G.969’ and ‘G.935’ had higher yields than ‘M.9-T337’. When comparing production per ground surface area (hectare) ‘G935’ had higher yield than ‘M.9-T337’ for all the cultivars in this trial. In addition, yield efficiency of ‘Fuji’ trees on ‘G.935’ was similar or even higher than trees on ‘M.9-T337’. Rootstock did not affect fruit size with ‘Fuji’. For Gala, fruit from ‘G.969’ were significantly larger than those on ‘M.116’. ‘Golden Delicious’ on ‘G.969’ produced smaller fruit compared with those on ‘G.935’. Fruit from trees on ‘M.9-T337’ had the lowest percentage of red color with ‘Fuji’ and the highest with ‘Gala’. When yield and quality data were combined to produce marketable yield, rootstock had a dramatic effect on the cumulative gross crop value per hectare based on local farm gate values for each scion cultivar.

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Lisa McFadyen, David Robertson, Margaret Sedgley, Paul Kristiansen, and Trevor Olesen

pruned at their junction with strong lateral growths, at 4 or 6 m. Yields were reduced in trees pruned to 4 m but not in those pruned to 6 m ( Thorp and Stowell, 2001 ). Mechanically pruning the tops of trees or “topping” is an easier and cheaper means of

Free access

Robert L. Wample, Lynn Mills, and Anna Wichers

An increase in mechanical pruning of Concord grapevines in Washington has led to a marked increase in yield. In 1993 the average yield for the 20,000 plus acres was slightly greater than 12 ton/acre. As part of a long term study, initiated in 1987, to evaluate the effects of mechanical pruning on Concord yield and fruit quality, we have also followed bud cold hardiness and winter injury over several years. Cold hardiness was monitored using low temperature exotherm analysis of excised buds. Winter injury was evaluated by visual examination of bud and cane tissues collected from vines with different croploads. In 1990 the average yield for mechanically pruned vines was 13T/ac and for balance pruned vines about 8T/ac. Winter injury during December 1990 showed significantly less injury to mechanically pruned vines whether primary, secondary or tertiary buds were examined. During the winter of 1991-92 and 1993-94 bud cold hardiness of individual vines showed no relationship to cropload per vine.