The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of nitrogen supply on yield and fruit quality of apple cultivars and to explore the relationships between canopy density and the different fruit quality parameters.
The experiments were carried out at Kálmánháza, in Eastern Hungary in a private orchard in 2003-2004. The respons...e of four apple cultivars ('Elstar', 'Gala Prince', 'Granny Smith', 'Idared') to different nitrogen dosages was studied. The assessed and calculated indices were: yield, fruit diameter, fruit height, shape index, fruit mass, firmness, dry matter content and colouration. The results indicated that nitrogen fertilization has a significant effect on the yield and fruit quality of apple cultivars. The calculated specific yield values were reduced by the application of nitrogen via the increase in the volume of the canopy. An opposit trend was observed for fruit diameter, fruit height and fruit weight, which increased with increasing nitrogen supply. The reduced shape index caused flattening of fruits.
However, the improvement of fruit quality via increasing nitrogen dosage is only virtual, since these dosages increase the fruit size, but firmness, dry matter content and colouration are diminished, which decreases the value of the fruits on the market.
The authors also studied the relationships between canopy density responsible for assimilation and light supply of the fruits and the different fruit quality parameters. The closest linear inversely proportional relationship was found in the case of colouration. There was a negative linear relationship between canopy density and firmness or dry matter content. The relationship between canopy density and fruit mass could be described by a quadratic polinomial function.
The saving of soil water content and the improvement of adaptability of plants to periodical insufficient water and use of deficit irrigation technology become more important because of the occurrence of frequently dry periods. The water use efficiency of apples can be increased by the choice of appropriate rootstocks and determination of water... requirement of varieties that depend on their growing periods and climatic factors. Depletion of soil water resources need to develop efficient irrigation techniques for quality apple production. A new deficit irrigation strategy (PRD) has been developed that based on partial water supply of root-zone. This does not result a decrease in the sizes and yield of the fruit. The larger fruit size and lower firmness in frequently irrigated trees can result in excessive internal growth stresses that cause higher rate of fruit splitting. Many studies revealed the relationship between irrigation and yield quantity. Recent researches investigate the effects of irrigation on apple fruit quality particularly on the colouration and post-harvest quality. Use of cooling irrigation improves the development of coluour an apple fruit but its schedule can influence on the incomes. Aroma volatiles are responsible for odour and contribute to overall flavour of the fruit and its processed products. Deficit irrigation had only affects some volatile aroma but no the all of concentrations in apple fruit. In the future the high apple quality for consumers could be provided with improvement of transpiration-yield model based on the water requirement of varieties and economic irrigation schedules.
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.
During the last three decades, diverse effects of nitrogen application on the performance of apple trees were studied in field and pot experiments at the Experimental Station of University of Horticulture and Food Industry. The basic experiment, using different rates of nitrogen in kg/ha (check, N-50; N-100; N-200; N-400; and N-800), was carrie...d out for a period of 13 years, thus including almost the whole bearing period of Jonathan apple trees on M.9 rootstocks.
The need of nitrogen in apple orchards on M.9 rootstock and soils with moderate humus content can be decreased considerably. Nitrogen application significantly increased leaf nitrogen and magnesium, but depressed leaf phosphorus and potassium content. With increasing doses of nitrogen fruit nitrogen content significantly increased and parallelly phosphorus and potassium content decreased. Even the lowest rate of nitrogen application decreased the red colouration of fruits. A direct negative correlation between nitrogen fertilzation and fruit firmness was not proved. No close and significant correlation between fruit quality parameters and the nitrogen content in leaves, sampled at different dates, was revealed.