Pruning intensity and fruit load influence on vegetative and fruit growth in 'alexandra' peach

Myriam Siham, Claude Bussi, Francoise Lescourret, Michel Genard, Robert Habib, James Gilreath

Abstract


Fruit and shoot number management in peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] is an important consideration to improve fruit quality. Between 2000 and 2002, three experiments were conducted in Gotheron, France, to test the impact of different pruning and fruit load levels on cv. Alexandra early maturing peach. Light, medium, and high pruning levels were applied each year for the same fruit load, except for the third year, when, in addition to pruning levels, three fruit load levels were used. With high pruning (60 shoots/tree in 2002), average fruit weight and diameter increased, which appeared to limit the second year yield but not the third. Fruit weight and soluble solid concentration always decreased when fruit load increased. High pruning levels also enhanced shoot growth. The increase in vegetative growth may explain increased fruit growth as it enhanced available photosynthates. Pruning intensity and fruit load should be considered to ensure acceptable yield and fruit quality.

Keywords


fruit load; fruit quality; prunus persica; pruning; vegetative growth

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283