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  • Irrigation management of a peach orchard

    The research field was at Siófok, in Hungary, which is situated in the South East side of Lake Balaton. The physical characteristic of the soil is sandy loam and loam and the peach orchard is irrigated. Mainly Sweet Lady (early ripening), Red Heaven (medium ripening) and Weinberger (early ripening) species were installed. In order to achieve the optimal developement level of trees and maximal yield amount and fruit diameter (Sweet Lady 60–75 mm, Red Heaven 60–70 mm, Veinberger 50–60 mm) continous water and nutrient supply is required. The irrigation modeling was set by CROPWAT 8.0 based on the climatic, crop and soil data inputs of the last 10 years. Based on the results, large amount of water is needed for optimal growth of fruit trees, particularly in the summer months, in case of active ground cover (+) and bare soil (–) as well. The irrigation requirement of a tree was found maximum 4 l/hour in certain cases. This irrigation intensity can be achieved – calculated with 12-hour operating time – by using continuous water NAAN Tif drip tube with 2 l/h flux on 3 atm pressure with 16 mm pipe diameter. If lower irrigation intensity is required irrigation can be controlled by the decreased the operation time.

  • Study on the micronutrient content of soil and leaf of an organic apple orchard in Eastern Hungary

    The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between micronutrient content of soil and leaf in an organic apple orchard. The experiment was carried out at the Experimental Site of the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Sciences at Pallag in an apple cultivar collection in Eastern Hungary in 2002-2004. The soil sampling was carried out twice per year, at the beginning and the end of the vegetation period in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively. The micronutrient content of leaf of seven apple cultivars (Jonagold, Mutsu, Idared, Red Elstar, Egri piros, Reka, Remo) was studied according to phenological phases of apple (April — September) to investigate the dynamism of plant nutrient uptake.

    It was found that results of leaf analysis correlated with the obtained results of soil. According to the data of July, manganese and copper content of leaf is in the 'favourable' but zinc is the 'low' range of nutrient supply category. Moreover, there were significant differences in the micronutrient content of leaf among cultivars. From our results it is evident that more reliable data were obtained for fruit nutrition by determining of micronutrient content of soil and plant and calculate their ratios as well.

  • Characterization of sunburn damage to apple fruits and leaves

    The specific conditions of the formation of three different types of sunburn (sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis, and photooxidative sunburn) have been recently characterized on apple fruit. However, no information is still available on leaf damage. Therefore, the aims of this study were i) to extend the knowledge on fruit damage, ii) characterize leaf damage and iii) find relationship between fruit and leaf damage. The observations were made on 586 apple accessions in a gene bank orchard located in Hungary. The incidence of the three different types of fruit symptoms were recorded and based on the visual symptoms, two different types of leaf sunburn (sunburn yellowing and sunburn necrosis) were characterized. The most frequent type of fruit sunburn observed was sunburn browning. Photooxidative sunburn was found for less number of accessions, and only some accessions were affected by sunburn necrosis. Fruit were far more susceptible than leaves; (>60%) of the examined accessions were affected by fruit damage and (<3%) by leaf damage. Although a large number of accessions were affected, the percentage of fruit damaged within accessions was not that excessive; ~6% of the fruit assessed showed the symptoms of sunburn browning. Significantly fewer fruit were damaged by sunburn necrosis (~1%) or photooxidative sunburn (~1.4%) than sunburn browning. The percentage of leaves damaged within accessions were simlarly very low (~1%). Close relationship between fruit and leaf damage was found. Accesions with relatively heavily sunburned leaves usually had severe fruit damage as well. Leaves showing sunburn symptoms were usually closely located around those fruit which were sunburned severely. Leaf damage of sunburn was found on spur leaves in a great majority of the accessions damaged, shoot leaves did not seem to be susceptible to sunburn.

  • In vitro rooting and anatomical study of leaves and roots of in vitro and ex vitro plants of Prunus x davidopersica 'Piroska'

    The process of in vitro rooting and the anatomical characters of in vitro and ex vitro leaves and roots of Prunus x davidopersica 'Piroska' were studied. Best rooting percentage (50%) and highest root number (5.0) was achieved in spring on a medium containing 0.1 mg/I NAA + 30 g/1 glucose. At the end of rooting the parenchyma of the in vitro leaves was more loose and spongy, than during the proliferation period. In the first newly developed leaf of an acclimatised plant, the parenchyma was much more developed, contained less row of cells and less air space too, compared to the leaves developed in the field. The in vitro developed root had a broad cortex and narrow vascular cylinder with less developed xylem elements, but at the end of the acclimatisation the vascular system became dominant in the root.

  • Evaluation of fruit tree waterstress condition and transpiration with heat fl ux sensors
    leaf area index, evapotranspiration, water stress

    In this study the transpiration properties and response to heat stress of Granny Smith and Jonagold apple species were measured. The examinations were set at an orchard near to Debrecen. The chosen trees were two years old, without fruits, in 20l container, placed in the mixture of mulch matrix, wood chips and sawdust and grown at the same climatic conditions. One of the most important goals was to determine the leaf area of the trees which is a basic data for transpiration modeling. Leaf area was larger (signifi cance level p<0.05) in the upper part of the canopy to achieve larger photosynthetic surface. Jonagold species with less leaf number (–18% compared to Granny Smith) reached almost the same canopy area, than Granny Smith, due to larger leaf area of Jonagold. Another aim was to measure the transpiration rate of the apple trees. The transpiration measurements were carried out by sap fl ow meter. Only a small transpiration difference can be found between species. During the investigation time there were wet and cool as well as dry and extremely hot periods. In the case of dry and extreme hot periods the transpiration is decreased, which causes decrease in transpiration and enhanced the water stress of trees.

  • Effect of frost damage on leaf macronutrient status of eight apple cultivars in integrated apple orchard in Eastern-Hungary

    The year of 2007 was critical for fruit growers in the region of Easter-Hungary. Several orchards were suffered frost damages. Significant frost damage was also happened in the orchard of Tedej Rt., which caused total fruit failure in the orchard. Our study was conducted in the integrated apple orchard (Malus domestics Borkh.) established on a lowland chemozem soil in East-Hungary, to investigate how frost changes the mineral content of different apple species. Leaf samples were collected 100 days after full bloom both in 2006 and 2007. The concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium were measured in leaves. The absence of fruits caused a smaller accumulation of nitrogen and magnesium in leaves. Falling down of flowers and fruit sets hindered the translocation of the uptaken phosphorous, potassium and calcium towards fruit sets. Due to fruit failure the vegetative processes became dominant. Leaves larger amount of phosphorous, potassium and calcium stored. Besides the absolute element content, the ratio of the different elements was also determined. Majority of calculated ratios were removed from optimal values due to frost. Both absolute content of nutrients and their ratios pointed out that the frost damage significantly affected the uptake of nutrients and their storing processes.

  • Effect of boron nutrition on nutrient uptake and fruit quality of tart cherry in Eastern Hungary

    Effect of the foliar boron (B) application on nutrient uptake and fruit quality of tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) was investigated from 2008 to 2009 on mature four favourite Hungarian tart cherry cultivars like ‘Oblacsinszka’, ‘Érdi bôtermő’, ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ and ‘Petri’. Tart cherry trees grown in Eastern Hungary (Újfehértó) on an acidic sandy soil with low B content. Trees were treated with B by foliar application (0.5% B) at full bloom and untreated with B served as a control. B sprays strongly affected on B content of inflorescences. However, B sprays had no consistent effect on summer leaf B status. In our experiment stronger year effect was observed at leaf B status than flower B status. The effectiveness of early spring boron applications are limited and mostly affected the flower B status only. Moreover, treatments had inconsistent effect on studied fruit inner parameters. Monosaccharides, vitamin C and organic acid contents of sour cherry were stronger affected by cultivars than applied treatments.

  • The impact of location, row direction, plant density and rootstock on the sunburn damage of apple cultivars

    The effect of row direction (N-S, E-W), plant density (conventional and intensive) and rootstock (M9, MM106 and crab apple) on the sensitivity of 41 apple cultivars to sunburn injury was studied at 6 locations (Derecske, Kálmánáaza, Nagykutas, Nagylapos, Siófok, Tornyospálca).

    During the observations the cultivars had rootstock-specific properties in respect of sunburn-susceptibility. Accordingly, the injury was decreased in the order: M9, MM106 and seedling rootstocks. The differences in sensitivity depend on the canopy of trees, caused finally by the growing vigour of rootstocks. Accordingly, the highest value of sunburn injury was observed on M9 rootstock, because this rootstock has a dwarfing effect upon the scion cultivars. Thus, vegetative area of these trees grow very slowly and the foliage is not enough compact to protect the fruit from solar radiation. The size and density of the foliage increased in the order: M9, MM 106 and crab apple seedling as rootstock. Moreover, relationships were demonstrated between the diameter of upper part of the crown, the leaf area, the number of fruits per tree and the injury of sunburn.

    Authors categorized the cultivars in respect of values of sunburn incidence: 1. „Not sensitive", II. „Moderately sensitive" and HI. „Strongly sensitive" categories were constituted. Generally, Topaz and Gala cultivars showed low damage (or were free from symptoms), in contrast to this, Golden mutants suffered relatively much. The most sensitive cultivar was Jonica on all the three rootstocks. We searched for relationship between the fruit quality parameters and the frequency of sunburn. Significant correlation was found in the cases of fruit size and the extent of cover-colour. The latter is interpreted with the fact that the best coloured fruits are found on the periphery of crown as a consequence of more intense irradiation.

  • Organic versus integrated apple growing: I. differences in soil and leaf parameters

    The aim our study was to establish whether significant differences in nutrients uptake and quality of soil and leaf 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. Macro and micro elements were measured in soil and plant samples. Analyses of variance of soil nitrogen data indicated highly significant differences between the two management systems (P < 0.001) for each examined nitrogen fraction. Analyses of variance of soil phosphate data indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) between the two management systems for orto-PO4 3– contents. Our data indicated that highly significant differences between the two management systems (P < 0.001) for magnesium, copper, and zinc; while significant differences between the two management systems was at P = 0.007 for calcium. Three year’s data of leaf phosphorus, sulphur and zinc were not shown significant differences between production systems. Nevertheless manganese and copper contents of leaves were higher in the organic orchard compared to the integrated one.

  • Integration of terrestrial laser scanning and spectral canopy scanner in horticulture applications

    One of the most difficult challenge in the everyday practice to describe the canopy growing of fruit trees in an orchard. The photosynthetic activity is the basic of the primer production of plants. The measurement of leaf area and determination of the photosynthetic activity could be occurred with some elaborated methods between experimental conditions. In this article we present such an integrated methodology, which is ideal to determine the geometric and spectral characteristic of fruit trees between field conditions.We have carried out laser scanning technology to investigate the geometric-topological characteristics and parallel the active infra-red sensor to collect spectral data about an apple orchard. The surveys were worked out in an intensive apple orchard with drip irrigation system, protected by hail net in Study and Regional Research Farm of the University of Debrecen near Pallag. This study shows the filtering and interpretation methods of created data. The produced high accuracy data can be directly used in the precision horticulture. It could serve as a guiding data to implementation a future “virtual horticulture”. Higher spatial and temporal resolution could help for a better recognition of water balance of orchards.

  • 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.