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Floral biology of tree fruit rootstocks
Published April 19, 2006

The modern nursery industry requires seed sources of a high quality and regular quantity year by year. Besides the seed sources of processed cultivars (Bartlett pear, Shipley, Elberta peach) special seed orchards are planted with selected seed trees producing high quality and genetically determined seed (hybrid seed or inbred lines). Seedlings ...are still the most common commercial source of rootstocks for stone fruits (almond, apricot, peach, plum, prune and walnut). Although clonal rootstocks are spreading, usage of seedlings is still predominant at stone fruits and nuts. For successful seed production and planning of seed orchard the knowledge on floral biology, flower fertility, pollination, blossom time of trees (selected clone or cultivars) used for seed production is essential. In this field very little systematic research was carried out most of the papers were published in the second half of the 20th century. Our mini review gives an overview on the importance of flower fertility in the mating systems applied in seed orchards, and the research results on floral biology of fruit tree rootstocks propagated by seed (Prunus avium, Prunus mahaleb, Prunus armeniaca, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus insititia, Prunus amygdalus, P persica, P amygdalopersica, Pyrus pyraster, Pyrus communis and Pyrus betulifolia) over the last decades.

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Estimating of water consumption of cherry trees
Published December 8, 2008

Despite of its importance there is no exact information on water use of new scion/rootstock composite trees, which would be needed to optimized irrigation. Our research purpose is to define exact water-demand of different rootstock/scion composite trees, calculating seasonal weather changes and by using the results decrease irrigation costs. Th...e investigations are carried out in Soroksár, at the Experimental Farm of Corvinus University of Budapest in May 2008. From among the investigated trees two are budded onto Prunus mahuleb `Érdi V' seedlings, two on "Korponay' seedlings. The sapflow measurements are carried out using Dynamax Flow 32 equipment with Dynagage trunk sensors. The first daily maximum of sapflow was around 10:00 a.m. (2.5 kghour I), the second maximum was always between 14:00-15:00 p.m. (2 kgday- I). Comparing to the very intensive morning water uptake by 20:00 p.m. the water flow slowly reached the minimal level. Significant differences can be seen on rootstocks: trees on `Korponay' rootstock always showed more intensive sapflow and a higher morning peak than trees on `Árdi V'. But later during the day they have the same run.Based on our results the water quantity transpired only by the trees reached in May 86-104 mm, while the precipitation was only 42.4 mm. This means a 40-60 mm deficit in the orchard, which should have been supplied by irrigation despite of the satisfying horticultural performance of the orchard. In the first half of the month beside the steady vapor pressure deficit the shoot and leaf surface growth could cause the increased sapflow.

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Growth and productivity of a young apple orchard at different spacing
Published May 18, 2005

Planting of new high density apple orchards showed an increasing tendency over the last ten years. Growers use in those orchards mainly dwarfing or semi dwarfing rootstocks. The spacing for those orchards is recommended based on Dutch and German experiences; however, the optimization of orchard planting density as a key factor for successful or...chard management should consider the local climate conditions. An experimental orchard was planted in 2000 to investigate the effect of spacing on three dwarfing rootstocks with two apple cultivars `Jonica' and 'Gala Must'. We compared 8 planting densities (1270-3704 tree/ha) and two tree shapes (slender spindle and vertical axis). In this paper the data of the first five years' growth and bearing are presented. After 4 years, the decreasing tree densities caused reduced trunk cross sectional area. Tree density had a significant positive effect on cumulative yield per hectare. From the examined rootstocks, M.9 Burgmer 984 gave the smallest canopy for both cultivars. The trees on M.9 T.337 and on Jork 9 rootstocks have stronger growth. The light interception was measured under the canopy by AccuPAR (Decagon Devices Inc.'s).

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Results of cherry rootstock evaluations in Hungary
Published December 8, 2008

The paper gives a review on the results of the latest rootstock evaluation projects in Hungary. Several cherry rootstock evaluation projects were carried out in Hungary during the last two decades. The evaluated rootstocks are partly mahalebs selected in Hungary, but more or less all the most important new rootstocks from different countries ar...e involved. The aim of these evaluation projects was to find appropriate rootstocks in a wide range of vigour for our climate and soil conditions. The conclusion of the last 20 years of research in Hungary proved just the opposite of believes, that high density orchard can only be planted with dwarfing rootstocks. Before choosing the right rootstock the most important is to consider adaptability, precocity and productivity. Dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstocks showed proper results only with irrigation or very good site conditions. These rootstocks are very precocious, but branches form easily blindwood. This must be corrected by severe pruning in the first years. The relatively small leaf surface area can also be disadvantageous, but it can be controlled by pruning, fruit-thinning, irrigation and fertilization. After studying different rootstocks semi-vigorous rootstocks seem to be the most adequate for different site conditions in Hungary. Fast initial growing and competent precocity are their favourable characters. From the vigorous group of clonal mahalebs or seedlings are highly recommended first of all for poor site condition (sandy, lime soils with high pH). They turn to bearing early and easy to find them in the Hungarian nurseries. But on vigorous rootstocks trees might need stronger summer pruning.

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Rootstocks for Cherries from the Department of Fruit Science Budapest
Published August 13, 2004

Cherry rootstock breeding started at the Department of Fruit Science, SSU Budapest by the late 50-s and the activity can be divided into three main groups. In the first stage the activity was focused on collection of native mahaleb cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.) varieties lead by L. Sebők. After evaluation in the nursery and orchard tests... there are four promising rootstock cultivars selected from this material: 'Korponay' used as self fertile seed tree, its seedlings are recommended for sour cherries. The mahaleb varieties 'Bogdány' (vigorous), 'Egervár' and 'Magyar' (medium vigour) are propagated by cuttings. The next project has started in 1979 with the aim to select self fertile mahaleb seed trees producing homogeneous seedling populations with reduced vigour. Inbred populations from isolated flowering self fertile trees were produced and planted out in 1980. The inbreeding of 'Korponay' self fertile P. mahaleb variety resulted in specimens with different fruit colour (yellow, red, black), fruit shape and size. From among them self fertile trees were selected with various growth characteristics. Seedlings of that self fertile mother trees (S2 population) were tested in seedbed, they showed homogeneous phenotype characteristics as liners in the nursery. As rootstock of 'Érdi bőtermő' sour cherry in the orchard most of the S2 lines proved to be less vigorous in comparison to SI popuplations. 'Érdi bőtermő' trees budded on certain S2 lines in the orchard are more productive than those on S1 ('Korponay' seedling). Characteristics of the S2 generation as seed tree were studied as well. We expect to get morphologically homogeneous seedling populations with different growth vigour and good productivity in the later inbred generations. In the last couple of decades the research activity concerning ground-cherry and its hybrids resulted in dwarfing rootstocks. Prunus fruticosa Pall. hybrids from the natural flora of Hungary were collected and artificial hybrids were created between P. fruticosa and mahaleb cherry. Most of them are in the initial tests, only one of them is before registration, named 'Prob', which is a dwarf rootstock for sweet cherry. By the screening of new hybrids medium vigorous or semi dwarfing and precocious rootstocks seem to be promising for the cherry industry.

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The effect of 5-aminolevulinic-acid (ALA) on the development of Saintpaulia ionantha
Published September 6, 2010

In recent work the effect of 5-aminolevulinic-acid (ALA) agent (commercial name Pentakeep-V) was examined on the chlorophyll content, growth and development of Saintpaulia ionantha. The newly re-rooted potted plants were irrigated or sprayed with 0.3‰ or 0.5‰ Pentakeep-V solution, and plus 30% long lasting fertilizer was added to half of th...e all treatments. Control plants were sprayed with tap water. Best result were obtained on the field of flowering. All the treatments promoted chlorophyll-content in the leaves especially spraying with 0.3‰concentration. Plants treated with Pentakeep-V in both concentrations and independently from the spraying or irrigation flowered more than two weeks earlier than control and those that got plus 30% fertilizer. Besides in the case of some treatments the diameter of leaf rosette, the number and surface size of leaves grew comparing to the control. The longlasting fertilizer had positive effect on the fresh weight but none of treatments had effect on the dry weight.

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Fruit Quality of Sweet Cherry Cultivars Grafted on Four Different Rootstocks
Published August 13, 2004

A rootstock trial planted at the Szigetcsep experimental station in 1989 involved the study of two cultivars- `Germersdorfi FL 45' and 'Van' -grafted on four different rootstocks — 'Colt', `MxM 14 — Brokforest', `MxM 97 — Brokgrow' and 'Saint Lucie 64' as a control. The trees were trained to the "Modified Brunner-spindle" system and came ...into bearing in 1993. The yield per tree, fruit weight and fruit diameter have been measured each year since then. The refractivity, the acid content of the fruit juice, fruit cracking after four hours' dipping in water and stone weight ratio have also been measured since 1995. In 1997 and 1998 these parameters as well as fruit cracking after 24 hours' dipping were measured. Fruit firmness and fruit colour were also estimated. In almost every observed parameter significant differences were found between the scion cultivars. Yield efficiency was significantly higher on 'NUM 14' and 'Saint Lucie 64' than on the other two rootstocks. As regards fruit weight, in both cultivars and over an average of six years, it was found that trees on low yielding tree on 'Colt' rootstock had the highest fruit weight values and on heavy producing `MxM 14' the smallest. Soluble solids content was higher on 'Colt' and `MxM 97'. No significant differences between the rootstocks were found in acid content of the fruit juice. There were significant differences between the rootstocks in fruit cracking after 4 and 24 hours' dipping in water. Seemingly with respect to cultivars and rootstocks the year has a considerable effect on fruit cracking.

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Rootstock evaluation in intensive sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) orchard
Published May 20, 2009

During 2000 and 2007, rootstocks of different vigor have been tested in a high density sweet cherry orchard with 'Vera '® and 'Axel'® cultivars at 4 x 2 meter row and plant distance. Trees are trained to Hungarian Spindle with permanent basal branches; in the alley way naturally grown grass is managed by mowing. The first considerable fruitin...g was in 2004. Every year we measured trunk and canopy parameters of the trees, productivity and fruit size. Our conclusion is that the rootstocks considerably affected the growth, precocity, as well as tree and orchard productivity, fruit weight of sweet cherry cultivars, but these rootstock effects are modified by cultivars, except for growth vigor. According to our results Cema, SL 64, and Bogdany are vigorous rootstocks, moderate vigorous are MaxMa 97, Pi-Ku I , and Tabel® Edabriz, Gisela® 5 and Prob are dwarfing rootstocks. Besides the precocious Gisela® 5 also mahaleb rootstocks CEMA, Bogdany and SL 64 showed considerable precocity, which can be explained by the larger bearing surface to the time of turning to bearing, and a similar or relative large density of burse shoots on fruiting branches. Cumulative yield of 'Axel'® was the highest on Bogdany and on Cerna, contrary to Gisela® 5, which produced only 50% of the previous ones. Cumulative yield of 'Vera'® was the highest on SL 64, and no significant difference was found, compared to trees on rootstocks Cema, Bogdany and Pi-Ku I . Cumulative yield production of trees was smaller on Gisela® 5, Prob, Max Ma 97 and Tabel® Edabriz rootstocks. Corresponding to the literature data of yield efficiency calculated on TCSA basis was highest on Gisela® 5 rootstock. but the efficiency calculated on canopy volume of 'Axel•® trees was similarly high on CEMA and Bogdany, and that of 'Vera'® trees relatively high on CEMA, Bogdany, SL 64 and PiKu I rootstocks. When calculating orchard efficiency al spacing 4 x 2 meters (1250 tree/ha), we received highest yield values on Bogdany, CEMA, SL 64, and PiKu I rootstocks, with large fruit weight. Rootstocks also affect fruit weight. We measured the largest fruit weight on trees on Bogdany.

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Propagation of plum rootstocks by hardwood cuttings
Published April 14, 2003

Vegetative propagation by hardwood cuttings is a very simple and cheap method for production of plum rootstocks. The aim of this study was to examine if this propagation technique is suitable for practice of three plum rootstocks and find the time or period when the percent of rooted cuttings is maximal. Based on our results, hardwood cuttings ...of the rootstocks tested have the rooting potential acceptable for practice, however, for Fehér besztercei in the previous literature leafy cuttings are recommended. Fehér besztercei reached 74.0% rooting, cuttings of Sainte Julien GF 655/2 rooted in as high percentage as 78.3%, and Marianna GF 8-1 had 88.3% rooted cuttings. Rooting potential of hardwood cuttings depends on more factors, one of them can be their dissimilar sensitivity for the diverse environmental circumstances at the different propagating dates, affecting through the internal biochemical changes that can be in relation with the differences in their dormancy.

The cuttings of Marianna GF 8-1 take root easily, but in some years the conditions were less favourable for reaching maximal rooting. For taking cuttings the period from the beginning of October until December was optimal. For Fehér besztercei the optimal date of cutting collection was around the end of October, but in some years the rooting in the middle of December was also high. Sainte Julien GF 655/2 definitely rooted best in October. The treatments with different IBA concentrations in two years affected differently the rooting percentage. The rooting of Marianna GF 8-1 and Sainte Julien GF 655/2 is barely influenced by the different hormone dose in both years. Hardwood cuttings of Fehér besztercei rooted definitely better when treated with 2000 ppm IBA in comparison to untreated ones, while in 2001-2002 there was no difference between 2000 and 4000 ppm.



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Development in intensive orchard systems of cherries in Hungary
Published September 19, 2007

High density central leader systems, the so called "spindle trees" are spreading in intensive stone fruit orchards established for hand picking in Hungary. Results of Brunner (1972, 1990) and Zahn (1967, 1996) inspired the researchers to implement their theories into practice under our climate and special soil conditions. For ...sweet cherry it is essential to apply an orchard system appropriate for hand picking because of the European market requirements. In intensive sweet cherry orchards two new training and orchard systems are developed and adapted to environmental conditions in Hungary based on previous inventions. The first step of the development is represented by modified Brunner-spindle, which applies the delayed heading of the central leader and the sectorial-double-pruning system from Brunner (1972), resulting intensive orchard of 600-800 trees/ha density, planted on standard vigour rootstocks. Modified Brunner-spindle trees are developed with a central leader and wide-angled branches on it. Light bearing wood is positioned on the central leader and wide-angled branches. During training, shoots for branches are bent or a sectorial double pruning is used. The growth of central leader is reduced by delayed heading, and the strong upright shoots are pinched in summer. Based upon tree size spacing of 5 m between row and 2.5-3 m between trees is recommended, tree height is around 3.5-4 m. This training system is useful for hand-picking; 60-70% of the crop can be harvested from ground. Modified Brunner-spindle is suitable for either standard or moderate vigorous rootstocks. The cherry spindle is an intensive orchard planted with 1250-2300 trees per hectare and it is recommended for sweet and sour cherries on semi dwarf to vigorous rootstocks, depending on soil fertility and quality. Trees are 2.5-3.5 m high, 75-80% of the crop can be harvested from the ground. Permanent basal scaffolds are developed on the basis of the canopy to counteract the stronger terminal growth. The tree is headed only once, after planting, from the following year the central leader grows from the terminal bud. The central leader developed from the terminal bud results moderated growth in the upper parts of the tree head. The strong upright shoots that may develop below the terminal bud are pinched to 3-4 leaves in the summer or removed entirely. The weaker, almost horizontal shoots growing from the central leader form fruiting twigs in the following year if their terminal bud is not removed. Brunner's double pruning is used only once or twice on the permanent basal branches because of its good branching effect. Trials on various rootstocks are running to find optimum spacing and fruiting wood management. The training and pruning guidelines are discussed in the paper. The average crop of bearing years is around 20-30 t/ha depending on site and cultivars. This new system is spreading in Hungary, around 70 ha sweet and sour cherry orchards are trained according to our guidelines.

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Growth and yield of sweet cherry trees on different roostocks
Published September 13, 1999

The first nine years' results of sweet cherry rootstock trial from Hungary are presented with the aim to select efficient rootstocks for the local ecological conditions. The trials were established in 1989 with 'Van' and 'Germersdorfi óriás' cultivars on the following rootstocks: mahaleb Sainte Lucie 64, Colt, MxM 14, MxM 97. All the trees headed at 80 cm and trained to a modified Brunner-spindle system. Tree size and yield was measured every year, and the cumulative yield efficiency was calculated.

Based upon the results, mahaleb cherry SL 64 is a vigorous rootstock with good compatibility and productivity. In comparison to SL 64. the trunk cross-sectional area and canopy spread of the 'Van' trees decreased by 10-15% on rootstock Colt, while the trees of 'Germersdorfi orias' on Colt roostock grew even larger than on SL 64. Considerable 30-40 % reduction of tree size was achieved on trees grafted on M x M hybrids. Trees of `Germersdorfi óriás' showed a similar tendency without significant differences. The cumulative yield efficiency of `Van' trees after nine years was highest on rootstock MxM 14, followed by Sainte Lucie 64. Trees on Colt and MxM 97 rootstocks showed low productivity. `Germersdorfi óriás' produced the highest cumulative yield efficiency on SL 64, followed by MxM 14 and Colt and last MxM 97. Biennial bearing index of heavy cropping 'Van' trees was smaller than that of `Germersdorfi óriás'. The trees of 'Van' on MxM 97 showed higher biennial bearing index, while 'Germersdorfi orias' on different rootstocks showed similar tendency, but without significant differences.

MxM 14 and MxM 97 rootstocks reduced the crotch angle of the shoots on both sweet cherry varieties which is disadvantegous to spindle training. Slight suckering (1-3/year) of the rootstocks Colt, MxM 14 and MxM 97 were observed during the first few years.

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Growth and productivity of plum cultivars on various rootstocks in intensive orchard
Published June 20, 2006

Trees of three plum cultivars (Stanley, Cacanska Lepotica and Althann's Gage) were planted at Szigetcsép experimental station in Spring 1994 and trained to slender spindle with the aim to test their growth, effect of productivity under not irrigated conditions and to evaluate the adaptability of rootstock/scion combinations to intensive orchar...ds. As control, trees on Myrobalan C 162/A (P. cerasifera) seedling are planted. In the trial two rootstocks are from Slovakia: Myrobalan MY-KL-A (red leaf) and Myrobalan MY-BO-1, vegetatively propageted. Further on two French rootstocks, the Marianna GF 8-1: Marianna plum (P. cerasifera x P munsoniana) and the Sainte Julien GF 655/2 (P. insititia) were involved. The Hungarian bred plum Fehér besztercei (P. domestica), which is recommended as apricot rootstock is also tested. Rootstocks MY-BO-1 and Fehér besztercei were planted with cultivar Stanley only. Trees were planted to a spacing of 5x3 m trained to slender spindle with 3-4 permanent basal branches. After yield start (1997) trees have been pruned only in summer, after harvest. In the alleyway the natural plant vegetation is mown, the orchard is not irrigated.

Based on tree size, vigorous rootstocks are Marianna GF 8-1 and Myrobalan C 162/A seedling, medium vigorous are MY-BO-I and MY­KL-A; vegetative propageted myrobalan plums from Slovakia, while St. Julien GF 655/2 and Feller Besztercei proved to be growth reducing rootstocks. No significant difference between the rootstocks was found in turning to bearing. Under non-irrigated condition at Szigetcsép, cultivar Stanley produced the highest yield per area unit on vigorous rootstock (GF 8-1). The cultivar Althann's Gage produced the highest yield efficiency on Marianna GF 8-1 and they were healthy in the last 10 years. The symptoms of Althann's Gage trees on MY-KL-A rootstock indicate a possible incompatibility. The average fruit weight was significantly influenced by crop load on cultivar Cacanska lepotica, while no statistically proved differences were found on Stanley and Althann's Gage. The Cacanska lepotica trees produced significantly lower yield and larger fruit weight on St. Julien GF 655/2 rootstock. Adaptability to spindle training system depends on vigour of scion/rootstock combination: low or medium vigour cultivars (C. lepotica, Stanley) are good choice for spindle training systems even on vigorous rootstock; while the St. Julien GF 655/2 can be recommended only for vigorous Althann's Gage under our soil and climate conditions.

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Anatomical study of the bud union in „Chip" and „T" budded 'Jonagold' apple trees on MM 106 rootstock
Published May 24, 1999

The traditional methods for vegetative propagation of apple and its varieties are the T-budding, and the winter grafting, but this latter way is a difficult and expensive procedure.

In our experiment carried out in the Fruit Tree Nursery Soroksár, the healing process of chip- and T-budded apple trees 'Jonagold' on MM 106 rootstock was ...studied.

The budding (T- and Chip-) was made in the first week of August, samples for microscope examination were taken monthly after this time until leaf fall.

The investigated part of plants was made soft with 48 % HF (hydrogenfluoride), then cross and longitudinal section were made and examined by microscope.

Based on analysis of microscope pictures in case of Chip-budding, it was established, that development had started quickly after budding on the rootstock and scion too. But the callus originated almost entirely from the rootstock tissue as new parenchyma cells fills the gap between the two components of graft (scion and stock), becoming interlocked and allowing for some passage of water and nutrients between the stock and the scion. This quantity of callus in case of T budding was under the scion buds larger, than the Chip-budded unions, where the thickness of callus mass is uniformly thick round the chip. The large mass of callus pushes the scion bud outwards from the shoot axis, which later results in a larger shoot-curvature above the bud union.

Following this process on the Chip-budding it can be observed also, that a continuity of the cambium is established between bud and rootstock. Then the newly formed cambium started typical cambial activity, forming new xylem and phloem.

Later the callus begins to lignify, and it is completed within about 3 months after budding.


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