|Authors: ||J. Zhang, T. Ranford|
|Keywords: ||Australia, flower bud, pruning response, pruning angle|
Pistachio is an alternate bearing species.
To overcome alternate bearing, mechanical pruning was trialled.
Mechanical pruning, 1-side slant topping, across 4 continuous years showed much better results with even yield.
With mechanical pruning, the pruning angle becomes an important factor to control flower bud formation in the following 2 years.
This approach becomes a direct control compared with traditional methods.
The trial was to test, in which winter (prior to on- or off-year), mechanical pruning showed maximum benefit. 7-yearsRSQUO data did not show clear differences.
Practically, heavier pruning prior to an off-year would be much easier for growers to accept.
Also, the pruning prior to on-year did not benefit the immediate off-year.
From this it would seem to be unnecessary to take this 1 year action earlier.
After mechanical pruning, winter 1 had no flower buds but just strong shoot growth.
Winters 2 and 3 had reasonable amounts of flower buds.
Winter 4 had not enough flower buds and a loss in production.
To reduce long shoots, authors also tried mechanical tipping just 1 year after 1-side slant topping.
Comparing with non-tipping trees, tipping trees reduced flower buds.
Reasons are discussed.
Fifteen years' production data showed that mechanical pruning mitigated alternate bearing.
Comparing 2-years averages, regular bearing had higher averages than alternate bearing.
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