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  • Irrigation modeling in a pear orchard

    The pear has large water requirement, therefore the planting of high density and grass covered pear orchards are needed irrigation
    conditions in Hungary. Drip irrigation spread in the orchards is due to the 90–95% of water use efficiency. One of the key role of irrigation is the
    proper determination of evapotranspiration and crop coefficients. As there is a considerable lack of information for different crops or fruits the
    Penman-Monteith method is used for the estimation of evapotranspiration, using CROPWAT 8.0. The research field was the genetic collection of
    pear at Újfehértó, in Hungary, which is situated in Nyírség meso-region. Our aim was to establish drip irrigation at this site. Based on the results
    of CROPWAT irrigation model the mean amount of the total gross irrigation is between 230–270 mm, within 3 irrigation interval regarding
    climatic and rainfall data of the last 10 years. In 2009, due to heavy drought, the total gross irrigation was 355,4mm/year on sandy soil calculating
    with 45% total available water depletion in 5 irrigation interval. The sizing of the irrigation system was set to the maximum 0.55 l/s/ha, which is
    6.3 l/tree/h. 6.3 l/tree/h can be carried out with a drip emitter having 16 mm wing lines diameter, 4 l/h water flow at 3 atm pressure.

  • Fruit drop: II. Biological background of flower and fruit drop

    The most important components of fruit drop are: the rootstock, the combination of polliniser varieties, the conditions depending of nutrition, the extent and timing of the administration of fertilisers, the moments of water stress and the timing of agrotechnical interventions. Further adversities may appear as flushes of heat and drought, the rainy spring weather during the blooming period as well as the excessive hot, cool or windy weather impairing pollination, moreover, the appearance of diseases and pests all influence the fate of flowers of growing and become ripe fruits. As generally maintained, dry springs are causing severe fruit drop.

    In analysing the endogenous and environmental causes of drop of the generative organs (flowers and fruits), the model of leaf abscission has been used, as a study of the excised, well defined abscission zone (AZ) seemed to be an adequate approach to the question. Comparing the effects active in the abscission of fruit with those of the excised leaf stem differences are observed as well as analogies between the anatomy and the accumulation of ethylene in the respective abscission tissues.

  • Flower visiting activity of honeybees on fruit species blooming subsequently

    In the small demonstration orchard of the College Faculty of Horticulture at Kecskemét the blooming time, the flower density and the honeybee activity was observed at a number of cultivars of 20 flower species during four consecutive years.

    Fruit crop species were in flower during 3-4 months altogether. The blooming period of them was classified into five groups as early (almond, apricot, gooseberry), middle early (sweet cherry, red currant, currant-gooseberry, black currant, white currant, peach, plum, sour cherry), middle late (pear, strawberry, apple), late (black elder, quince, medlar, raspberry, blackberry-raspberry) and very late blooming period (blackberry). The blooming period of the members of the groups of early and medium early blooming often coincided partly and the same happened between the medium and the medium late as well as between fruits of late and very late flowering.

    The flower density of some fruit species is extremely variable (currant-gooseberry, medlar), while at others it is fairly stable and evenly dense in consecutive years (sour cherry, sweet cherry, strawberry). At other fruit species it is moderately changeable. Some fruit species tended to attract more honeybees than others (plum, apple, quince, medlar) and some of them tended to attract much less (black elder, pear) but most species can be regarded as of medium attractivity.

    On the flowers of some fruit species (pear, strawberry, quince) honeybees gathered pollen predominantly. At most fruit species however pollen and nectar gathering behaviour seemed to be gradually changing during the season. Namely most honeybees tended to gather pollen at the flowers of the early blooming fruit species, but on the other hand typical foraging behaviour gradually shifted to nectar gathering at the flowers of fruit species of moderate and late blooming periods.


  • Storability of some apricot varieties as affected by storage period

    The aim of this study was the estimation of storability of 10 apricot varieties in regard to percentage fruit weight loss, firmness, acidity and T.S.S in fruit during storage periods from one week to 4 weeks. All the variety gave the same trend as all of them loss weight, firmness decreased, acidity and T.S.S decreased but the differences were not the same in all varieties. in case of some varieties the percentage of fruit weight loss reached to about 9 % after 28 days also the differences between varieties in two seasons refer that this character is determined by genetic factors beside effect of environmental and agriculture factors.

  • Sampling experience in a cherry plantation

    Experiments in a cherry plantation were performed to find out that samples taken from various parts of the foliage of the tree what extent represent the whole tree. One tree from three different cherry varieties was selected. In the selection, we tried to form a good representation of the foliage of the orchard. 8 sampling locations were designated on each tree, in two different heights and four different directions according to the points of the compass.We measured the main sizes of the fruits in three orthogonal dimensions with a digital slide gauge with an accuracy of 0.01 mm; the mass of each cherry by an analytical balance, with an accuracy of 0.001 g; the mass of the stones with the same analytical balance, and then calculated the stone-pulp ratio. The measured and calculated data are used to characterize the sample in question.

  • Antioxidant capacity, total phenolics and mineral element contents in fruits of Hungarian sour cherry cultivars

    Several epidemiological studies revealed that the consumption of antioxidant compounds and the risk of atherosclerosis, increased blood pressure or cancer are inversely proportional. Fruits of sour cherry contain a wide range of antioxidant compounds including melatonin, perillyl alcohol, ellagic acid, several flavonoids, polyphenolics, and anthocyanins. This study was carried out to survey the antioxidant power and mineral element content of seven commercial sour cherry cultivars and three cultivar candidates and to assess the influence of some external conditions on fruits' functional properties. Our analysis revealed nearly 5- and 2-fold differences between the lowest and highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolics content, respectively. Some cultivars (`Kántorjánosi' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös') and cultivar candidates (D, 'Petri' and 'Éva') showed outstanding antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content; in addition, mineral element content in fruits of the ‘Újfehértói fürtös' cultivar was also favourable. Redox parameters of fruits were influenced by the cultivation plot or fruit positions within the canopy in about half of the cultivars tested. Genetic background of cultivars forms the decisive factor in determining fruits' antioxidant capacity, although external factors may have also sizeable modifying effects. Enhanced functional properties of the fruit may also be further increased through breeding programs since considerable variation exists within the tested germplasm.

  • Training systems of fruit trees in Hungary

    Growing sites and soil conditions of Hungary warrant profitable production of several temperate fruits at elevated levels of quality. The climate of the Carpathian basin is a mixtures of three main climatic zones the prevalence of which may change seasonally: Atlantic, continental and Mediterranean, therefore, growing sites are rather various. Temperature minima of the winter and late spring frosts are the main elements of risk. In choice of the system of cultivation, regularity of yields and intensity are to be observed equally. Regular yields are particularly aimed in stone fruit cultures.

    For apple and pear plantations of high density required for intense production are promoted favourably. Accessories of intense orchards (irrigation, supporting system, rootstocks, phytotechniques, etc.) are important. In peach and plum trees are trained to funnel-shape crowns, in general, intense-types are possible in plum, only. In apricots, a Hungarian speciality, the "umbrella" type of crown is applied, almost exclusively, according to Papp. In sweet and sour cherry, the harvest technique, manual or mechanised, according to the intended utilisation, are determining the form of training.

    Red and black currants as small fruits are grown mostly as bushes or hedgerows without any supporting system designed to facilitate mechanical harvest. Raspberries and blackberries are grown as hedges on trellis. Gooseberry is a special case, being a low, thorny bush difficult to be picked. Thus grafted small trees are attached to a wire-trellis which helps to solve problems of plant protection too.


  • Comparison of honeybee behaviour in blooming fruit plantations

    Field observations were made on the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybee foragers in commercial fruit plantations of apricot, Japanese plums, sour cherry, apple and pear. The number of inspected cultivars was 18. The intensity of fl ower visiting by honey bees was markedly different when data of different fruit species are compared. Most intense bee activity was registered on the Japanese plums, somewhat less on apricots, the intensity diminished signifi cantly with apples and pears. Our data presented on the honeybee visitation of Japanese plums can be regarded as new fi nding because no information has been available so far on the relative attractiveness of this fruit species compared to European fruit tree species. Japanese plums were somewhat more attractive to honeybees than apricot and much more attractive than sour cherry, apple and pear. The behaviour of honeybees as visiting the blooming trees displayed specifi c differences according to the fruit species (apricot, sour cherry, pear), which coincide largely with earlier results. It is notable that the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybees on Japanese plums has been found to be fairly similar to the same on European plums.

  • Effects of excessive weather on the micro-climate of apple plantations under the hail protection nets

    The general utilisation of hail nets is spreading all over the world and in Hungary too. Hail nets are at present the only tool, which
    is able to prevent heavy hail damage in agricultural crops. Besides its numerous advantages, there are also deleterious side effects, e.g. it
    changes the microclimate of the crop stand. Our study aimed to observe the differences, which characterise the physical status of crop stands
    under the protection of hail nets compared with the stands in open air under various meteorological conditions: high or low temperature, calm
    or windy atmosphere and their possible combinations. The results indicated that on hot and calm days the difference may attain 3–4° C. On
    cool summer days, the difference was only 1.5 ºC. The hail net influences the relative humidity of the air, which means on ho summer days
    often 7-8% differences. Conditions of radiation may also differ conspicuously. Measurements prove the reduced global radiation on sunny
    summer days to 70%. This impairs as a rule the development of fruits reducing their quality and also its quantitative traits. Sunburn is, on the
    other hand, significantly prevented by shadow.

  • Examination of the apricot variety use and the factors affecting variety use in the Gönc production area

    Hungary is a traditional fruit growing country for ages. As fruit sector has a very high hand work request and value added, it has an important role to decrease the elimination of unemployment and the lack of income in the disadvantage rural areas. The study was made in the year of 2009, the studied population consisted of the members of the fruit-grower marketing organization (Gyümölcsért Ltd.), that organizes growing and sales of stone fruits in Hungary. The studied area of this Ltd is in North Hungary. The growers, who filled the questionnaire, were selected random simple sample. Two data collection were used during our research work: primer and secondary data collection. The resources of the primer data-collection were the questionnaires of our empirical survey that have been completed by the relevant information from informal interviews with farmers (who previously filled the questionnaires in). We introduced and analysed the local (county level) and the wider (region level) farming conditions by the secondary data. By the composition of the questions both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used. This current study intends to represent one part of this comprehensive research.We wish to briefly introduce mainly the research results concerning variety use.

  • Organic versus integrated apple growing: II. differences in fruit quality parameters

    The aim our study was to establish whether significant differences in nutrients uptake and quality of fruit exist
    between organic and integrated grown apples. The study was performed at the orchard Fruit Research Station, University of Debrecen, at Debrecen-Pallag during 2002–2004. Diameter (mm), weight (g), firmness (N/cm2), dry matter (%) and Vitamin C in fruit were determined. Diameter data showed that the size of apples strongly depended on cultivars and organic apples were larger than integrated ones. Moreover, the effect of year and species strongly affected the apple diameter, size and weight. Measured data of firmness were good agreement in data of diameter and weight. Larger fruits have lower values of firmness due to the structure of fruit flesh. Dry matter content of apples varied between 14.66 and 18.07 in integrated, and 12.87 and 17.29 in organic apples according to cultivars. Values were affected by years and cultivars. From results it was evident that the dry matter content of apples affected by production system. It was lower in organic samples than integrated ones.Vitamin C content of apples was stronger affected by species and years than production system.

  • Molecular identification of old Hungarian apple varieties

    Altogether 40, mainly old Hungarian apple varieties were screened with six previously described microsatellite markers. A total of 71 polymorphic alleles were detected (average 11.8 alleles/locus) and the heterozygosity of markers averaged very high (0.8). The genetic variability among the genotypes proved to be so remarkable that as few as three markers from the applied six were enough to distinguish between the 40 varieties. This was also confirmed by the cumulative probability of obtaining identical allele patterns for two randomly chosen apple genotypes for all loci, which value was quite low: 2.53 x 10-5. The molecular identification of these genetically very different old apple genotypes could be very useful in future breeding programs.

  • Examination of valuable ingredients of some wild fruits

    A possible way of the development of Hungarian agriculture is the selection and growing of new fruit species and varieties featuring special qualities, with high biological nutritive and health protecting properties due to their natural composition. A reserve for such new fruits is the native dendroflora, e.g. those wild-growing trees and shrubs of Hungary, which bear edible fruits. The publication is giving a summary of chemical analyses done on the fruits of the plants listed below. The research team on the project started the work in 2001 with

    woody species (genera) as follows:

    • common elder (Sambucus nigra) clone named Szcs-1, Szcs-2, Szcs-3, Szcs-4, Szcs-5, SzcsK-1, SzcsK-2
    • dog rose (Rosa canina) types: clones named Sz-1, Sz-2, Sz-3, Sz-4 and Sz-5 .
    • native rowans: Sorbus dacica, S.rotundifolia, S. degenu, S.bakonyensis cv. Fánivölgy
    • hawthorns: Crataegus monogyna, C. orientalis,C..v lavallei.
    • cornel cherry: Cornus mas cv. Császló.

    The present paper is reporting on the content of the following compounds in the fruits: dry matter (refractometric values), total acid content, ascorbic acid, 13-carotene, pectin, minerals and carbohydrates. The results have shown that these wild fruits have excellent composition. Besides their curative effects, their content of minerals, ascorbic acid and 13-carotene has surpassed that of the traditional fruits. These fruits are rich in ascorbic acid, 13-carotene and pectin. The high content of the above-listed, biologically active compounds makes the new wild fruits studied suitable for the preparation (and later: mass-production) of special curative and exclusive products.

  • Chemical analysis of the pollen of plum varieties

    The chemical composition, amino acids and carbohydrates, of the pollen has been analysed in varieties grown in Hungary during the years 1993 at Kecskemet and 1995 at Cegléd and Pomáz. The distinction of 17 amino acids and 7 carbohydrates has been achieved. The aim of the study was to find criteria for the distinction of varieties.

    The total content of amino acids varied between 15.53 and 20.54 %. The highest ratios represented the asparagine and the glutamine acids. The relative content in other amino acids was between 2 and 7 % of the total. The less frequent were cysteine and valine.


  • The effect of storage to optical properties in case of two apple fruit varieties

    The keeping quality of fruits is a very important factor in storage point of view, since it could be elongated the consumption time of fruits. In many cases the storage may be necessary, e.g. in short time it is not able to market due to the rich harvest, or all fruits could sell in markets throughout the year. The keeping quality of various fruit species is greatly different; moreover it could be observed some differences between the varieties as well. In our research, we have investigated the spectral properties of the external surface and fl esh of two ripe apple varieties – Jonagored and Granny Smith – before and after storage (about 3°C and about three weeks). The hyperspectral investigation was carried out with AvaSpec-2048 Fiber Optic Spectrometer. The experimental results represented the differences between healthy and chilling injured apple fruits. Furthermore, some indices were created to given countenance to the spectral differences.

  • Work quality assessment of a cherry sorting machine

    The conditions of the cultivation of marketable cherries are diverse. Choosing the production site on the basis of the climatic conditions, selecting the most appropriate variety taking into account the region and the purpose of the production, utilization of the optimal production method, to ensure the required water and nutrients supply, frost and hail protection techniques, modern technology in crop protection, and professional performance of harvesting and handling, to name just a few of the most important issues. The objective of present study is to determine the qualitative characteristics of the UNITEC cherry sorting machine.

  • Studies on the drought responses of apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) grafted on different rootstocks

    The morphological and chemical changes in the leaves of eight apple varieties grafted on M4, M26 and MM 106 rootstocks were examined during fruit development in non-irrigated plantation. The aim of the experiment was to examine the defensive mechanisms in apple trees under the mild and serious dryness occurring during fruit development. The content of a relative chlorophyll (SPA D value) of the apple leaves on eastern side of the trees was lower than western and southern sides under drought occurring du ring fruit devclop111ent Under sustained drought from first of July to August the SPAD value, the weight of leaves were larger and the stomata density was significantly larger than in the previous periods. There was a close positive significant correlations bet ween SPAD and stoma density both in the group with less sensitive to drought (r=0,8429) and in the large water demanded group (r=0,9209) equally. The rate of increase in SPAD values and the stoma density was slower in the group with drought tolerant, than in the group required good water supply. The varieties being sensitive to water deficite such as Akane. Pink Lady and Red Rome van Well have a l ready responded intensively to short time of drought by the increasing of carbohydrate and antioxidants product ions. At 42 days of sustained drought as soon as the level of carbohydrate in the leaves decreased, the antioxidant s contents of the leaves rised suddenly in the apple varieties with moderate water requirement s as Greensleeves and ldared. Gala apple variety seemed to be able to defend the drought for longer time because there was no change in relatively high level of carbohydrates and antioxidants of their leaves under severe drought during fruit development.

  • Alternate bearing of 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summered' apples

    The aim of the present study was to study the effect of biennial bearing (irregular yields) on the generative production of apple cultivars 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summerred' on M.9 rootstock. The observations were made at Nagykutas in West-Hungary for four years. The authors have studied the flowering time, flower density, fruit density, fruit drop, seed content, yielding and fruit quality in the on-year and off-year. Based on the results, it can be stated that the alternation does not cause a significant change in the flowering time of cvs. 'Golden Reinders' and `Summerred': the difference between the flowering time of trees in the on-year and off-year period was 0-1 day. However, there were significant differences in the flower density. 'Golden Reinders' proved to have a weaker tendency to alternation similarly to the statements of the literature. Alternation (off-year) was observed only in three years from the studied four years. While in the case of `Summerred', strong alternation was observed in all four years. In fruit density, there were differences among the cultivars and among the different cycles of biennial bearing. Fruit density (and its opposite, fruit drop) changed inconsistently in the period between flowering and harvest. In the case of 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summerred' 2 and 4 fruit drop periods were detected, respectively. In the off-year, the different periods were less distinct, in most cases they were overlapping each other. The dynamics of fruit drop was related to seed content per fruit. The lower the seed number was, the higher the degree of fruit drop was. In both the high- and off-year cycles, the number of seeds in fruits on the tree and on the ground increased with time. In the yield parameters (fruit number, fruit load, yield efficiency), the differences were greater among the yields of trees in the high- and off-year cycles for 'Summerred'. The fruit quality parameters were greatly influenced by the fruit load of the trees in the different alternation cycles. In general, it can be stated that fruit mass, diameter and height were lower on trees in the on-year. A similar trend could be observed in flesh firmness, cover colour and dry matter content, but the differences were smaller. 'Summerred' was more sensitive to the differences in fruit load.

  • Pollen morphology of fruit species

    Size and surface morphology of pollen has been studied in 87 twit varieties of 10 fruit species during the period of 1990-1995. No preceding work of that type came to our knowledge, yet.

    The samples comprised a wide variety of cultivars included male sterile, self-incompatible, partially self-fertile stone fruits, diploid and hexaploid plums, diploid and triploid apples.

    The large number of species and varieties facilitated the comparison of items within and between the respective species.

    It was stated that the size, shape and surface morphology of pollen is genetically determined and those data, combined with other variety characters, are suitable for the classification and distinction of varieties.

    In assessment of pollen size and shape, their moisture content is crucial. The major diameter of the swollen pollen as well as the length and width of the dry grains are characteristic to species and/or to variety.

    The width and shape changes largely with moisture content. Large grains are proper to quince, apricot, peach and almond, medium sizes are found in apple, sweet cherry, sour cherry, European plum, whereas small size is typical to Japanese plums.

    The low number of varieties studied does not allow conclusions concerning differences within pears, quinces and almonds as species. In the rest of species, valid differences have been registered as between varieties.

    Within species, as apple and plum, the effect of ploidy (i.e. number of chromosomes) was expressed in the size of their pollen. In stone fruit species, the correlation between size. of anthers and size of pollen grains was positive.

    Genetic relations between the self-fertile sour cherry varieties of the Pándy type (Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi, Újfehértói fürtös) as well as the self-incompatible apricots of "giant" fruit size are supposed to be analysed by pollen studies but there did not turn out any decisive conclusion, yet. Other characters also should be considered.

    The assembly of pollen characters is decisive in the determination of the variety. The ratio of empty pollen grains, the grain size and the density as well as the size of the pits on the surface are best suited to distinguish pollen lots.


  • Variation between some apricot varieties in regard to flowering phenology in Boldogkôváralja, Hungary

    The aim of this study was the estimation of blossoming of 14 apricot cultivars in Boldogkôváralja in 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. And this will help growers to select appropriate varieties to their weather conditions. For this target the blooming period of 19 apricot varieties of different origin was observed in three subsequent years. There was no large difference in the beginning of blooming in the different years, and the greatest variation between the start date of flowering was about 1 to 3 days as the place of experiment site near to northern border and also, length of flowering period of apricot trees is also inversely related to date when blooming started. The little differences in flowering dates and flowering periods due to the high temperature through the three seasons of study.

  • Flower density and winter damage of apricot and peach varieties

    Hungary is located on the northern boundary of economical apricot and peach production. The present assortment of varieties and the actual, not adequately selected growing sites cause a permanent risk of winter and spring frosts in their cultivation. The field observations are performed at Debrecen, the Experiment Station Pallag, on 20 apricot and 21 peach varieties. The flower density among the varieties attained 3-4-fold differences. Three categories have been suggested for both species. The density was inferior in Hungary established varieties compared with the new varieties of foreign origin. The minimum temperatures of January 9, 2009 was –17,6 °C , and of December 21, 2009 also –17,6 °C. In some varieties the damage of buds attained 100%. For estimating the yield security, we need to consider also the flower density and the frost damage together. For a mediocre yield, we need a flower density in both species of at least 0.2 living bud/cm. The results confirm the statement that in Hungary, the revision of growing sites is indispensable in order to develop a profitable and competitive apricot and peach growing industry.

  • Microclimatic studies on different aged apple plantations

    The purpose of measuring parallel canopy and out of canopy microclimates was to find out in what extent climatic parameters measured in different aged canopis differ from each other and from the values characteristic to out-of-canopi areas. The importance of phytoclimatic researches seems to lie in the fact that if the reactions of fruit trees towards meteorological elements are continuously followed, we have the possibility to provide growers with information. These pieces of information are like defining the optimum time of phitotechnical interventions (summer pruning, sorting sprouts, thinning fruits, etc.), the necessity of applying mulching, defining the method and time of irrigation and applying plant protection activities. By means of phytoclimatic researches, it is possible to react to unfavourable meteorological impacts within a certain extent. It is also possible to successfully reduce the risks of late spring and early autumn frost damage, as well as the risks, content and measure of experienced heat and water stress conditions by finding out about the physical characteristics of the canopis' internal area.

  • Agronomic and alimentary evaluation of elder (Sambucus nigra L.) genotypes selected from natural populations of Hungary

    The black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) is a native plant in Hungary represented by extended and very variable populations. Cultivation of elderberry started during the late 90-ies because of the growing interests of the processing industry. High anthocyanin content, nutritive value of the berries and aromatic compounds of the flowers have been the esteemed constituents.

    At the moment, there are about 3000 hectares elder plantations in Hungary, which is more than of any of the other European countries. Unfortunately, the cultures are planted to the Austrian selections of Haschberg, in spite of the fact that about 10-15 other selections of other foreign countries have been registered and planted elsewhere. In addition to that, the wild population of Hungary may offer a precious opportunity of further selection. Since 1970, Aladár Porpáczy at Fertőd and the Department of Fruit Growing of the former University of Horticulture in the 1980-ies started the selection in Hungary too.

    The present study deals with 7 genotypes, their morphology of berries and inflorescences. Results are concentrated on four genotypes: Szcs­1, Szcs-2, Szcs-3 and Szcs-5, which are all earlier ripening than the Haschberg varieties, and are superior in characters of fruit and inflorescence.

  • The necessity and possibilities of irrigation in fruit growing under conditions of Hungary

    Climatic and soil conditions are highly suitable for most temperate fruit species and promise profitable yields with good quality. An accurate choice of the growing site is, however, decisive because of the wide range agro-climatic variation an soils within the country. One of the most important factors is the annual precipitation which does not exceed, in general, 700 mm. The aims of irrigation practices are, succinctly speaking, the improvement of quantity and security of yields and the guarantee of quality. The relative importance of those criteria changes according to the fruit species. In up to date apple, pear and cherry production, micro-irrigation systems are mainly considered. According to recent experiences, the micro-jet type of water distribution should be preferred to the dripping system. In cherries, the choice of the method is motivated by the need to prevent fruit cracking. Most of the peach and apricot plantations are located on the dry and moderately dry regions of the country. Because of the late freezes, the improvement of security is crucial. There the investment of irrigation systems should concentrate to the possibility of anti-freeze sprays. High water requirements of plums are met in Hungary by irrigation where the method should be decided at the plantation and adapted to the harvesting procedure which could be mechanised or (in high density plantations) picked by hand. Sour cherries are perhaps the less dependent on watering under Hungarian conditions. Yields in small fruits: currents, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries could be increased by irrigation to 40-50 % and may improve quality too. In those cultures the system of moving flexible wing tubes are considered to be the best irrigation technique.

  • Temporal changes of the frequency of spring frost damages in the main fruit growing regions in Western Hungary and in East Hungary

    Most of the risk in Hungarian fruit growing is the damage caused by late spring frosts. The frequency of late frosts seems to increase nowadays. The aim of the study was to check this contention: what is the real probability of the damages. Based on earlier experiences, the physiological LT50 function has been elaborated for new fruit varieties, which are eligible to moderate the danger when being threatened by frost. By means of this technique, the probability of freezing is distinguished between frost susceptible, frost resistant and medium frost resistant fruit species and varieties around their blooming time. The degree of frost damage depends on the duration and severity of the low temperature and not at least on the frost tolerance of the plant. For that purpose, the frequencies of frost damages were studied at two Transdanubian and two Trans-Tisza fruit growing sites by means of a meteorological database for the 60-year-long period 1951–2010. Being aware of the LT50 values changing during the phonological phases of the fruit trees from budding, bloom, fruit set and fruit growth, the number and date of critical (frosty) days could be settled. An important role is attributed to the orographic relief and the height above the sea level of the site, as 20–30 m differences and expositions may become decisive within the same plantation. The spatial distribution of damages is also dependent on the air circulations within the Carpathian basin. At the southern and northern borders of the country, especially valley bottoms represent additional risks of frost. Most spring frost damages are experienced in April 20–22, and cause heavy damages by temperature minima between – 3°C and – 6°C. The severity of damage depends largely on the temperature of the preceding few days. The earlier bloom the heavier damage is expected. The study is emphasising the importance of the varieties. Frost tolerance of some varieties may lower the risk of spring frosts by 40–50%, as experienced on the plantations. The quantifi cation of the risks based on data raised during the last years will be suitable to defi ne the security of yields of each growing site successfully.