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Fruit bearing shoot characteristics of apricot and sweet cherry cultivars in Hungary
Published April 19, 2006

: Our study was carried out on 23 apricot and 9 sweet cherry cultivars in February 2005. Fruiting laterals were classified into four groups (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-40 cm and >40 cm) and then the density and setting of flower buds were evaluated and expressed as bud/cm. The flower bud density of four types of fruit bearing shoots and ...the changes in the frost resistance were studied. Shoots were collected from a young orchard in Gone (apricot), Siófok (sweet cherry) and Nagykutas (sweet cherry). There were significant differences among the cultivars in the density of flower buds. The number of flower buds/cm shoot length ranged between 0.91 and 2.20 in the average of the different fruit bearing shoot types on apricot. Based on the results, the bud density of shorter shoots is generally higher on apricot, but this is not valid for all cultivars. For cvs. Magyarkajszi and Ceglédi bíborkajszi, the highest flower bud density was detected on shoots of medium length (10-40 cm). There were fivefold and almost twofold (1.85) differences in bud density among cultivars on shoots shorter than 10 cm length and longer than 40 cm length, respectively. The ratio of the bud densities of the different types of shoots also ranged between wide boundaries. For cvs. Bayoto, Toyesi and Toyiba this ratio was 2.5-3.5, while for cv. Magyarkajszi it was 1.3.

In the average of fruit bearing shoots on sweet cherry, cv. Bigarreau Burlat (1.10 bud/cm) and cv. Germersdorfi 45 (0.61 bud/cm) had the largest and the lowest flower bud density, respectively. Among the fruit bearing shoots, the largest flower bud density was in the group of 0-10 cm fruiting laterals. Among cultivars, cv. Bigarreau Burlat had the largest bud density. In the groups of n- i 0 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-30 cm and 30-40 cm fruiting laterals, the lowest flower bud density was for cv. Linda, cv. Germersdorfi 45, cv. Ferrovia and cv. Sunburst, respectively. On cvs. Van and Bigarreau Burlat, large numbers of double-set flower buds were observed on the fruit bearing shoots longer than 20 cm. Fruit setting differed on the different types of fruit bearing shoots, with the lowest value measured on above 40 cm shoots. The highest fruit setting was observed on cv. Katalin, while the lowest value was measured on cv. Germersdorfi 3.

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Bud-, flower- and fruit-density in stone fruits
Published October 20, 2003

In 164 varieties of five stone fruit species, counts of flower buds, flowers and fruits set have been performed, regularly, between 1982 and 2002. The critical number and sample size has been determined for the purpose to estimate the yielding potential of peach plantations. For a rapid test, 10 shoots per variety are recommended. In sour cherr...y and peach varieties, the number and ratio of leaf and flower buds has been assessed on bearing shoots of different length.

The typical flower bud density of 129 peach varieties varies, as a rule, between 0.13 and 1.10 bud/cm. Three groups of flower-bud-densities could be distinguished: low (0-0.40 bud/cm), intermediate (0.41-0.60 bud/cm), high (more than 0.60 bud/cm). About 62% of varieties belong to the intermediate group. Negative correlation has been found between flower density and relative fruit set, whereas positive correlation between flower density and fruit yield.

The results are utilised in the description and choice of varieties, moreover, in choosing of optimal pruning policies. Varieties of high flower bud densities are recommended to be preferred for growing sites with frequent late frosts. Abundantly yielding varieties of low vegetative vigour are to be pruned more severely than those characterised by low yields, vigorous growth and low flower density. Sour cherry varieties, which are inclined to grow "whips" ought to be stimulated to grow longer shoots (40-50 cm per year), than varieties woid of that tendency (30-40 cm).

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Flower density and winter damage of apricot and peach varieties
Published August 16, 2010

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.

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Alternate bearing of 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summered' apples
Published April 19, 2006

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.

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Flower visiting activity of honeybees on fruit species blooming subsequently
Published March 21, 2001

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.


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Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation at the flowers of quince cultivars (Cydonia oblonga Mill.)
Published June 6, 2000

Studies were made on the bee visitation of 6 quince cultivars and on the foraging behaviour of honeybees at quince flowers for 3 consecutive years. The bee visitation was highly intense because both the plantation and its surrounding was overpopulated by honeybee colonies. Some 5.5 bee visits were counted in average at 50 opening quince flowers... in 10 minutes and some 9.7 flowers were visited of the 50 ones observed meanwhile. This equals some 7 bee visits per flower per day per in good weather. Bee visitation, however, was variable and it was greatly different in the three consecutive years with fairly favourable weather. Some cultivars tended to be more and others less visited by honeybees than the others but these differences were not consequent at each occasion. No consequent relationship between the weather and the bee visitation of quince trees could be recognised. It was concluded that .other factors were responsible for the variable nature of the bee activity at quince. Most honeybees tended to collect pollen (51.6% in average for the 3 years) and usually much less gathered for nectar only (19.9%), and the rest of them were mixed behaviour foragers gathering for both (28.5%). There were some slight differences in the foraging behaviour of honeybees at some cultivars but these differences were not always consequent in consecutive years. Also the nectar production of flowers failed to affect the bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees definitely. For the variable nature of bee visitation and bee behaviour at quince flowers, supplementary pollination is needed to achieve as high set of fruits as high is required to a good crop at quince (at least 20-25% because the flower density is low of this fruit tree species). Since the intensity of bee visitation at the flowers is the only reliable estimate of the necessity of supplementary bee pollination further research is needed to explore the relationship between the number of honeybee visits and the consequent fruit set at quince.


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Studies on the insect pollination of fruit tree species and on closely related topics in Hungary: a bibliography of research publications
Published June 6, 2000

In the past decades fruit production has become more and more intensive and so the interest towards the bee pollination of fruit trees has increased in Hungary. Thus insect pollination research has become more intensive in the eighties and in the nineties. Recently, high density fruit orchards are planted of dwarf trees at more and more farms i...n Hungary and these need highly controlled growing practices involving insect pollination, too. This is a new challenge of insect pollination research in Hungary. So it seems to be worth to compile a list on research publications having been appeared so far to create a basis to the ongoing new research. Besides papers strictly on the insect pollination of fruit trees publications on some closely related topics, first of all on the nectar production and on other flower characteristics of fruit tree cultivars that directly influence bee activity have also been included on the list.


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Susceptibility of some traditional pear cultivars of Hungarian and foreign origin to the pathogenic bacterium Erwinia amylovora
Published August 13, 2004

Fire blight, a disease caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al., has been causing serious damage in Hungarian pear plantations since 1996. A prospective control measure could be the use of resistant cultivars. For that purpose ten pear cultivars have been tested under laboratory and greenhouse conditions for r...esistance to Erwinia amylovora strains collected in Hungary. Six of these cultivars are Hungarian ones of unknown origin, while four are traditional old varieties. Resistant cultivars should serve as germplasm for future breeding. Inoculations were made with a mixture of different pear isolates of the bacteria collected from various growing regions of Hungary (Ea 21, 23), at a density of 5x108 cells/ml. Susceptibility/resistance has been assessed on the basis of intensity of blight symptoms observed on shoots, flower parts and fruits. Cultivars were assigned to three susceptibility groups (low, moderate and high). Complete resistance was not found among the cultivars tested. The highest level of resistance was found in cultivar 'Kieffer', while the other cultivars displayed either moderate or high susceptibility to infection.

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