|Authors: ||D.D. Miller, J. Racsko|
|Keywords: ||Malus × domestica, fruit set, seed number, preharvest drop, June drop|
We evaluated the effect of 3 rootstocks on fruit drop, fruit seed number and fruit quality of the abscised and persisting fruit in a field experiment at Nagykutas, Western Hungary for 4 consecutive years using ‘Galaxy Gala’ and ‘Golden Delicious Reinders’ apple trees.
Three different growth inducing rootstocks were used for both cultivars: M.9 (dwarf), MM.106 (semi-vigorous) and seedling (vigorous). There were 3 fruit shedding periods for ‘Galaxy Gala’ on M.9 and MM.106 rootstocks, but only 2 on seedling. ‘Golden Delicious Reinders’ had only 2 periods of drop on all of three rootstocks.
The first period was at the end of bloom which had the highest rate of drop.
The second period was at the end of June or early July with a very small amount of drop.
The third period was in late August just before harvest of ‘Gala’. The rate of fruit drop was closely related to the seed number of the fruit; where low seed number was associated with the largest amount of drop.
The lowest seed number for both cultivars was on seedling rootstock.
Fruit quality evaluations showed that persisting fruits were usually bigger and had higher red skin color and dry matter content compared to the abscised ones.
Flesh firmness of persisting fruit did not significantly differ from that of abscised ones.
There was a tendency to have poorer fruit quality with increasing vigor of the rootstocks, except flesh firmness which was the highest in fruit from trees on seedling.
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