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  • Growing characteristics of apple cultivars and canopies

    In our study we aimed to evaluate the growing characteristics of new prospective apple cultivars and their canopies. The following parameters were measured: I) thickness of the trunk and the central leader, II) ratio of the trunk thickness and the basic branches (Zahn indexes), III) number of the branches of the central leader, and iv) thickness of the branches of the central leader. The main branches of the trunk and the central leader tend to over thickening in the case of cvs ‘Red Idared’, ‘Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’ and ‘Jeromine’. The density of the branches of certain parts of the canopy was too low for cvs ‘Crimson Crisp’, ‘Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ‘Fuji September Wonder’ and ‘Red Idared’. The density of the branches of certain parts of the canopy was too high for cvs ‘Gala Venus Fengal’, ‘Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’ and ‘Red Cap Valtod’. Relationship was found between the tapering dynamics of the central axis and the thickness of the main branches, which was stronger in super spindle canopies than in slender spindle crown forms.

  • Rate of scab infection and quality parameters of apple fruit in organic and integrated production systems

    In this study, the rate of scab infection and quality parameters (content of vitamin-C, dry matter, sugar, total acids, specific weight, quality index and flesh firmness) of some apple cultivars are given, moreover, the relation between those characters was examined in two environmental systems (organic and integrated) in a rainy season. In the organic fruit production, scab infection of leaves was significantly higher than in the integrated system, in case of the same cultivars, which means that the rate of decrease in leaf area was heavier in the organic production. Cultivars did not differ statistically in parameters of inner content when the integrated system was compared to the organic one. Results did not show statistical difference between loss of leaf area caused by apple scab and the parameters of inner content, which is attributed to the regeneration of leaf area due to favourable weather conditions. Data on apple scab and inner content of the fruit justify essentially the environmental systems of apple production.


  • Training and maintaining spindle crowns in cherry production

    In cherry production all over the world, intensification of the technology is the main objective of research. Small crowns and high planting densities are aimed to attain high yields per hectare and easier harvesting. Rootstocks of reduced vigour for cherries are more difficult to find than in other fruit species, and the rejuvenation of fruiting structures by pruning is aggravated by the reduced vigour. Intensity of the technology ought to be achieved by a thoughtful application of the technological elements (timing of pruning by various intensity) moreover, by finding different policies for individual varieties. Sweet cherry varieties dominating the assortment proved to be very variable regarding their growing habits. In our experiment, we dealt with the slender spindle and free spindle forms, and how to train the trees to develop and to maintain the desirable form depending on the respective variety in order to achieve the right load of flower buds and yields repeatedly. In this paper, we examine the most important practical issues with the training and maintaining of the crowns of cherries with circular projection and central axis grafted on Prunus mahaleb rootstocks

  • Effect of the environmentally friendly production systems on the vegetative characteristics of apple cultivars

    In this study effect of the environmentally friendly production systems on the brunch cross sectional area of apple trees trained to free spindle canopy are presented based on the data of 39 cultivars. According to our results branch thickness of the apple cultivars located in the lower, middle and upper region of the tree are more homogenous in the integrated production system compared to the organic one. Therefore the severity of the annual maintain pruning must be necessarily more moderate in the integrated growing system, than in the organic production system.

  • The effect of summer pruning on solar radiation conditions in apple orchards

    The aim of this study was to measure the solar radiation conditions in the tree and around the tree of pruned (summer pruning) and unpruned trees in an intensive apple orchard. When observing the daily trend of global radiation measured, there was a great reduction at midday hours due to the shadowing effect of the canopy. The reduction reached 70-75% before pruning, while after pruning it was only 20-25%. The relative radiation supply of the canopy space on cloudy days in the morning and late afternoon hours was higher than that of the sunny days. Mean differences between the day and night temperature reduced greatly in the period of intensive fruit colouration in August and September both in the plant stock and outside the plant stock.

  • Effect of hail protecting nets on the quality of apples

    Today, successful fruit growing depends largely on the security of production. Among the technological elements of a secure growing system, the use of hail protection nets serves special attention. Components of security are the regularity, conspicuous large yields with excellent quality, which determine the prices and profitability as well (Szabó et al., 2010). In the European Union, most of the apple growing countries produce higher yields by 10-20% than Hungary. The conditions of better yields are partly due to a more favourable ecological milieu, partly to more developed technologies and serious discipline of the operations. Our own competitiveness could be developed first of all in those moments. As a consequence of global climatic changes, excesses of weather, i.e. hail-storms became more frequent. Different methods of protection against hail are developed abroad but also in Hungary. The examination of effects of the hail protection nets compared with the check without nets has been the purpose of our experiments. The growing system was the intensive one with high planting densities. Fruits of the two subsequent years have been compared as grown with and without hail protective nets. It turned out that in one season when shoot growth was stimulated, the shadowing effect of the net increased in addition the growth and at the same time braked the differentiation of flower buds, which exerted negative effects on yield of the next year. Let alone this phenomenon, the quality of fruits was not influenced by the hail protection net.

  • Yielding capacity and regeneration of different ages fruit-bearing shoots in sour cherry

    The yielding potential and regeneration (i.e. germination of hidden buds) after pruning of the fruit-bearing shoots of different ages were compared in sour cherry cultivars pruned to spindle shape. The examinations were carried out in order to determine the optimal pruning strategy resulting in the highest long-term yielding of sour cherry cultivars with intensive crown shape (free and thin spindle shape). According to our results, there are great differences among the studied self-fertile sour cherry cultivars in yielding and regeneration, which are worthwhile to be considered in determining the method and degree of pruning.

  • Sustainable food production with greenhouse technologies

    The greenhouse fruit and vegetable production is one important area which supports sustainability. To achieve
    sustainable economy and growth, the given natural resources have to be used in a smarter, renewable way in order to avoid
    depleting them. New technologies and new methods are developed and implemented to utilize resources in more optimized way.
    Sustainable food supply is essential globally for the world, however it has to be managed and achieved on local levels. We present
    the greenhouse production market restructuring with new players. What kind of difficulties arise in the open field vegetable
    production and what benefits can be realized by the customers and producers from the covered greenhouse technology in the
    continental and desert climate? What are the technical boundary conditions to establish and operate greenhouse production in
    different regions and what are the benefits realized from local food production? As an example, we analyse Qatar’s energetics,
    climate conditions and food resources, Qatar’s food supply process and its barriers. We will show how the sustainability and
    food safety appear in Qatar’s National Strategy Plan.

  • The future of the Hungarian sour cherry growing branch

    The present study deals with the actual situation of the Hungarian sour cherry production in order to outline the chances of the future and the trends of the development anticipated. The general conclusion accepted that on the long run Hungarian sour cherry production ought to be reorganised. The conditions of keeping the position on the international market are outlined: integration of small farms into large plantations (several times 10 hectares), introduction of mechanical harvest and high (15–20 t/ha) yields. For all that, adequate expertise should be developed on the cooperative farms, where the up to date technology could be applied with innovative initiatives. Small farms (up to 1–2 hectares) and home gardens have no chances to stay on the competitive market. The actual volume of sour cherry of 40–70 thousand tons per year cannot be increased in the future. The sour cherry area was 16 000 ha in 2001, the actual is around 12–13 thousand, and will decline during the following 5 years to less than 10 thousand hectares.

  • Vegetative parameters of apple cultivars in integrated and organic production systems

    Success of apple production is highly influenced by the applied production system and the planted cultivar. In this paper growing characteristics of 39 apple cultivars were studied in integrated and organic production systems. These kind of parameters are less studied in the cultivar and training system examinations, although they have huge effect on the training and maintaining of canopy, on the pruning necessity, ultimately on the production costs. According to our results the thickness of the central axis of apple trees showed significant differences between the integrated and the organic systems. Axis of the trees with lower trunk thickness tapers more slightly in the integrated production system, than in the case of the trees with thicker trunk in the organic system. Thicker axis is not accompanied by thicker trunk, namely the thickness of the central leader starts to decrease stronger in the organic production system, compared to the integrated one.

  • The role of pruning in the intensification of plum production

    In an orchard planted in the spring of 1997, four kinds of spacing have been applied (4.0 m x 1.5 m, 4.0 m x 2.0 m, 5.0 m x 2.5 in and 6.0 m x 3.0 m). Four cultivars (‘Cacanska lepotica', Stanley' ‘Bluefre' and ‘President') grafted on Myrobalan rootstock were studied in the experiment aimed to explore the performance of plums under different spacing and training conditions.

    It could be stated that the trees grown on vigorous rootstock are prone to be cultivated much more intensely (smaller tree size, higher tree density) by the consequent use of green pruning technique. The most favourable economic combination (yield and labour costs) was found to be: 4.0 in x 2.0 in and 5.0 x 2.5 in (800-1200 tree/hectare), whereas the most adapted was the cultivar: 'Stanley'.

  • Possibilities and limits of use plastic constructions in fruit growing technologies

    On the Experimental Station Pallag of Debrecen University different combinations of fruit species and rootstocks have been raised under and without plastic foil cover in 2002. The growth and productivity of the grafts was our objective of comparison. Results revealed substantial differences in fruit set and yield depending on species and varieties. Sweet and sour cherry varieties grew much shorter under the plastic cover, whereas apricots, peaches and plums set fruit much more eagerly compared with the trees outside the plastic cover. Outside the plastic cover, the trees were much more developed at the beginning of their fruiting period. In spite of that, the growing processes were more intense under the foil. The differences are allegedly due to the repeated summer pruning necessary under the restricted space of the foil, on the other hand, due to the root concurrence because of the dense planting. Regarding the inner properties of the fruits, soluble solids, sugar and acids were higher outside, whereas macro- and mezzo-elements (P, K, Ca, Mg) were more abundant in fruits grown under the foil cover. Further efforts to explore those relations with other varieties and rootstocks are justified.

  • 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.

  • The relationship of the plant protection and the applied technology in the integrated apple production

    The indirect elements of the integrated plant protection can infl uence the effectiveness of the chemical control, however their significance are often extenuated. The characteristic of the plants are almost completely disregarded at the protection decisions. The condition can determinate basically the rate of the damages caused by the pests. The plant in good conditional state has higher tolerance and lower susceptibility against the pests. With the optimal general and annual condition we can establish and maintain the harmony between the growth and the bearing, what is the basis of effective plant protection.

  • The future of the apple growing branch in Hungary

    The present study deals with the actual situation of the Hungarian apple production in order to outline the chances of the future and the trends of the development to be anticipated. The general conclusion is accepted that on the long run Hungarian apple production ought to be reorganised. The conditions of keeping the position on the international market are outlined. The main concern is the aging of the plantations, i.e. 40%of them being more than 25–30 year old, and produce apple being suitable for processing only. Organisation of growers is rudimentary, export markets are limited, and buyer’s market is everywhere dominant and is getting more severe. All those circumstances anticipate the reduction of the apple growing branch from the present 35 000 hectares to 15–20 000 hectares within a period of less than 10 years.

  • Fruit coloration of apple cultivars

    One of the most important parameter of apple cultivars is the scale and the intensity of the coloration of fruits. Nowadays among the bicolour cultivars those are the most saleable which have the highest and darkest fruit coloration. In our three years old study cultivars born with bud mutation and cross breading were examined, which have superior coloration peculiarities than their parental cultivars. According to our results among the observed cultivars the cvs. ’Gala Decarli-Fendeca’, ’Galaval’, ’Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ’Early Red One’ and ’Red Cap Valtod’ reached favourable high fruit surface colour (80-100%) regardless the vintage effect. Concerning the colour intensity, that is the darkness of the red colour most of the cultivars (‘Gala Venus Fengal’, ‘Gala Fendeca-Fendeca’, ‘Galaval’, ‘Jeromine’, ‘Red Topaz’, ‘Early Red One’, ‘Crimson Crisp’, ‘Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’) showed excellent values (4,5-5,0). Based on the fruit surface colour and the fruit colour intensity a new index number, the fruit coloration index was created by us, which describes the coloration features in a complex way.

  • The size of the canopy of sour cherry trees depends on the time of pruning

    The intensive culture of sour cherry is achieved by training of trees to form smaller canopies not by means of dwarfing rootstocks but by growth moderation techniques. The rootstocks traditionally used cause vigorous growth, and it is up to the technology to apply procedures less utilised earlier for that purpose. One of those techniques is the transfer of hibernal pruning to the estival period. The best term of the latter is the period of 1-3 weeks after fruit harvest.

    The prolongation of the period of favourable illumination and the reduction of the canopy size facilitate higher densities of planting (number of trees per hectare) and a better exploitation of the crown (specific yield). The regular use of summer pruning resulted also in a better quality of fruit.

  • Summer pruning of sweet cherry trees and an inquiry of winter frost damages

    One of the most demanded research projects is the intensification of fruit production. The use of dwarfing stocks is a moderate solution as their effect is scarcely satisfactory. Climatic conditions of Hungary are continental in Eastern Europe, where Atlantic and Mediterranean effects are interacting with the continentals in a kind of basin with characters of its own. Capricious meteorological episodes are often disturbing the security of development and fruiting of trees:
    • winter frosts are damaging the cambium and fruiting structures of trees
    • late spring frosts destroy cambium and flowers
    • early autumn frosts hurt the leaves
    • excessive precipitation impairs the growing fruits
    • drought periods during the summer caused water stress disturbing water husbandry.

    Vigorous stocks still prevail in the practice, and they ought to withstand challenges of weather hazards. The strong vigour of plants delaysthe process of senescence and the tendency of getting bald, and regeneration of plants is a sign of vitality. In present research, the trees have been trained on vigorous Prunus mahaleb stocks. Summer pruning was one of the important tools of intensive growing techniques. They were compared with traditional techniques and with plastic foil protected trees observing the vegetative as well as generative growth of them.

  • Pruning of plum trees and maintenance of balanced yielding

    In this review, we give an overview of the pruning techniques that should be applied in commercial plum orchards. First, a detailed description of pruning for shaping the different crown types for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth years and the phytotechnical works is given for crowns with a circular projection area. Then, pruning for open crowns forms, such as the vase form is discussed. Following the shaping of the crown, it should be maintained by pruning. Detailed information is given on pruning for maintenance with special emphasis on the comparison of winter and summer pruning. In the following part of the manuscript, pruning experience is described separately for the major commercial plum cultivars in Hungary such as Cacanska lepotica, President, Bluefre, Stanley. Recommendations for cultivation systems under non-irrigated conditions are also included. Finally, light requirements, growth characteristics and suggested crown forms of the different cultivars are described for cvs. Ageni, Althan Tingle), Besztercei szilva Nm. 122, Bluefre, Cacanska lepotica, Cacanska rodna, Debreceni muskotály, Montfort, President, Ruth Gerstetter, Sermina, Stanley, Tuleu gras and Zöld ringló).

  • Technologies developed to avoid frost damages caused by late frost during bloom in the fruit growing regions of Siófok and Debrecen

    The aim of the study was to fi nd out which of the methods used to avoid damages of late frosts would be the most effective for the fruit growing practice. Three technologies have been tested in the regions of Siófok and Debrecen-Pallag. The antifrost irrigation proved to be the most advantageous. For that purpose microjet sprayers are used, which are thrifty and do not need for that purpose large containers. With the aim to secure an even distribution of water, the sprayers are distributed on three levels: above and inside of the crown as well as on the level of trunks. On a large scale, a single microjet above the crown level would be suffi cient. By means of a detailed analysis served to set the optimum intervals between spraying phases: with each 15, 10, 5 and 3 minutes during half a minute. The synchronous presence of water and ice below the freezing point, the released freezing heat plus the water used much above the freezing point (9–10 °C) altogether maintains the temperature above around 0°C near the fl owers or growing fruitlets, meanwhile, the surrounding air cools down to –8 °C. The effectiveness of the generally used anti-frost would be increased substantially by the former application of cooling irrigation, which delays the blooming date. The Frostbuster represents a new technology developed for the same purpose of frost defence. It uses butane burning and produces high (80-90°C) temperature with a strong blast of air. On the protected area sensors have been distributed for measuring temperature and relative humidity. The means of the measurements proved a rise of temperature, which was suffi cient to save the fruit trees until the difference is less than –3–3.5 °C. Our analyses stated that paraffi n candles avert the frost until –4 °C. Its success depends largely on the intensity of air movements. A small wind would be enough to frustrate the effect. The results show clearly the utility of Frostbuster and paraffi n candle combined is approved.

  • Effect of pruning intensity on performance of apple cultivars in environmentally friendly production systems

    The two worldwide accepted environmentally freindly production systems are integrated and organic. The two systems shows considerably differences in several practical production technology elements. These effects come forward in generative processes (e.g. flowering, fruit setting) and vegetative features (e.g. growth). The aim of our study was to study the effect of pruning intensity on growth features of cultivars in integrated and organic apple production. In early spring of 2009, we determined two pruning intensities (strong and week) on six scab resistant and tolerant cultivars. Strong pruning resulted in stronger shoot growth for all cultivars compared to weak pruning. It is obvious that pruning intensity had more effect on vegetative performance than conditional differences originates from integrated and organic production.

  • Partial and total rejuvenation pruning of sour cherry trees

    Sour cherry can be considered as a special fruit species regarding the growing characteristics, as most of the cultivars are characterized by strong balding. With the aging of the tree the inactive (passive) parts of the canopy are increasing steadily, so the productive cropping surface and the yielding capacity decrease  significantly. In our experiments partial rejuvenation pruning was carried out in a 12 years old orchard, and total rejuvenation pruning was performed in a 21 years old plantation to regenerate the cropping surface of the trees. Thanks to the latter one the canopy of the sour cherry trees were regenerated during only two years. The yields of the rejuvenated trees in cv. ‘Debreceni bőtermő’ exceeded the yields of the control trees, as in the case of the cvs. ‘Érdi bőtermő’ and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ approached it. At the same time the total rejuvenation pruning has a positive effect on the fruit size.

  • 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.

  • The effect of the intensity and method of pruning on the growth and yield of the apple variety ’Idared’ under conditions of ecological and integrated growing systems

    Summary: On the Experimental Farm of the Debrecen University at Pallag, a factorial experiment has been started at springtime of 2008 on an orchard of 12 year old apple trees ’Idared’ grafts on M 26 understocks. The first factor was the growing system (integrated versus ecological), the second was the intensity of pruning (strong versus moderate thinning of the crown), whereas the third was the method of pruning (shortening versus thinning of individual shoots). Measurements have been concentrated on shoot growth, flower initiation, fruit set and accumulated yield of two successive seasons. The following conclusions are made.
    – In the ecological growing system, strong thinning proved to be beneficial for growth as well as for fruit bearing. – Strong thinning combined with shortening of shoots diminished yield in the first year, whereas
    moderate thinning combined with shortening of shoots caused favourable growth and fruit bearing.
    – In the ecological growing system, the moderate shoot growth was associated with better flower initiation, which increases the chances of alternate yielding.
    – According to our results, the flower initiation of the ‘Idared’ was stimulated univocally by the thinning of shoots regardless of the intensity of pruning.
    The right choice of the intensity and method of pruning is a decisive moment of a successful yield in the ecological apple growing system

  • Branching features of apple cultivars in integrated and organic production technology

    In our study, vegetative characteristics of 39 apple cultivars were evaluated in environmentally friendly production systems. Numbers of the branches of the central leader in different high zones were shown. According to our results, number of the branches of the axis was probably larger in the integrated production system, compared to the organic one, which is related to the conditional status of the trees. Based on our experiences training and maintaining canopies in integrated system was easier, as relative more extensive canopies were needed in organic farming.