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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 713: VI International Peach Symposium

PERFORMANCE OF SIX HIGH-DENSITY PEACH TRAINING SYSTEMS IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

Authors:   T.L. Robinson, R.L. Andersen, S.A. Hoying
Keywords:   Prunus persica, yield, fruit size, fruit color, profitability
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2006.713.45
Abstract:
Six peach training systems [Open Center (384 trees/ha), Steep Vase (538 trees/ha), Quad-V (905 trees/ha), Perpendicular-V (1583 trees/ha), Central Leader (1,098 trees/ha) and Slender Spindle (1,922 trees/ha)] on three cultivars [‘Allstar’ (yellow peach), ‘Blushingstar’ (white peach) and ‘Flavortop’ (yellow nectarine)] all on ‘Bailey’ rootstock were compared in a 1.5 ha replicated field trial planted in 1999 at Olcott, New York, USA. In the second year (2000), the trees had a very small crop followed by large commercial crops in the third-fifth years. The Central Leader and the Slender Spindle systems which had the least pruning at planting, had the highest yield in the 2nd year while all of the other four systems, which required severe heading at planting, had very low yield. In the third year, the Slender Spindle and Perpendicular-V had the highest yield followed by the Central Leader, Quad-V, Steep Vase and Open Center which had the lowest yield. In the fourth and fifth years, the Perpendicular-V had the highest yield followed by the Slender Spindle, Quad-V, Central Leader, Steep Vase and Open Center systems. After 5 years, the Perpendicular-V had the highest cumulative yield (44.3 Mt/ha) followed by the Slender Spindle, Central Leader, Quad-V, Steep Vase and the Open Center system (15.7 Mt/ha). The best system had 3 times the yield of the worst system. The cumulative yields largely reflected density; however, the Perpendicular-V system had significantly higher yield than expected from its density. Cumulative yield per tree was lowest for the Slender Spindle, followed by the Perpendicular-V, Central Leader, Quad-V, Steep Vase and Open Center. The yield per tree largely reflected the severity of pruning which was greatest for the Slender Spindle. Average fruit size was largest for the Steep Vase (181 g) followed by the Open Center, Quad-V, Central Leader, Slender Spindle and the Perpendicular-V (158 g). The best fruit color was with the Open Center, followed by the Perpendicular-V, Slender Spindle, Central Leader, Quad-V and Steep Vase systems. Accumulated gross return was highest for the Perpendicular-V ($8,315/ha) followed by the Slender Spindle, Central Leader, Quad-V, Steep Vase and Open Center. Under the moderate growth conditions of New York State, high density planting systems offer a significant yield advantage over the traditional open center system. Even the highest density systems were quite manageable in this climate. However, the more severe pruning required with the Slender Spindle made it inferior to the Perpendicular-V system in gross returns.
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