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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 146: International Workshop on Controlling Vigor in Fruit Trees

SUMMER PRUNING FOR SIZE CONTROL IN A HIGH DENSITY 'DELICIOUS'/M9 SYSTEM

Authors:   S.C. Myers, D.C. Ferree
Abstract:
'Red Prince Delicious'/M9 planted in 1974 on a 1.52 x 3.05 m spacing were unpruned or pruned in 1979 and 1980 on July 3 (56 days after full bloom), August 3, or September 3. All pruning treatments resulted in narrower tree spreads following the 1981 season but only August and September pruned trees were lower in height compared to unpruned trees. Summer pruning in 1979 and 1980 did not decrease the relative increase in tree height and spread during the 1981 season. A decline of spurs on unpruned limbs from 1980 to 1981 was prevented only by July and August pruning while all pruning treatments increased leaf numbers, total leaf area, and leaf size on spurs in 1981. Only July and August pruning maintained yields per tree in 1981 compared to unpruned trees as a result of increased numbers of fruit borne on interior canopy spurs. Summer pruning decreased fruit size in 1980 but had no effect on fruit size in 1981.
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