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  • Selectivity of the oriental fruit moth sex pheromone trap in peach and apricot orchards

    One of the most important pests of the stone fruit orchards is the oriental fruit moth (Grapholitha 1110/esta B.). Chemical control targeted against the young larvae is the most effective way of protection. so the ti ming of treatments has to be based on the observation of emergence. Emergence may be monitored with sex pheromone traps. It is already known from former publications, that the traps for oriental fruit moth are also effective in the case of the plum moth (Grapholitha f1111ebra11a Tr.), which external morphology is very similar to the oriental fruit moth. As the emergence of the oriental fruit moth in peach and apricot orchards has not been observed in detaib in Hungary, we started a s1Udy in this field. Our aim was to measure the selectivity of the sex pheromone traps. On the basis of examining more than 5000 males caught and the investigation of male genital ia. it could be established that the pheromone traps. Csalomon and Deltastop, for oriental fruit moth, caught the plum moth in the same ratio. The ratio of the oriental fruit moth and the plum moth trapped in the peach orchards was I: I . while in the apricot orchards the number of the caught plum moth males was seven times as many as that of the oriental fruit moths. Consequently, it can be established that data based on oriental fruit moth trap catches can not be used without additional investigations of genitalia for the prediction of larval hatch. The selectivity of the plum moth trap. used as a control. was acceptable in both orchards.

  • Acceptance of artificial nesting sites by pollinating mason bees in commercial fruit plantations (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae: mixed Osmia cornuta and O. rufa population)

    During a four yeas long experiment a simple bee shelterswas found to be a propermethod to increase the size ofmixed natural populations of the early season Osmia cornuta and O. rufa under practical farm conditions. Instead of the number of pesticide applications the earliness of the flowering of the fruit species in the orchards was found to be themost important factor in the rate of acceptance of reed as nestingmediumby Osmias in the bee shelter. This relationship was negative and highly significant (r = –0.829, p<0.001). This means that much higher acceptance of artificial nestingmedia in bee shelters and consequentlymuch higher population increase of the two early seasonmason bee species can be expected in orchards with early than with late flowering fruit species. Mixed orchards or early flowering orchards surrounded by other orchards falling in bloom later consecutively may also be much favourable to mason bees because they can find continuous food (pollen) supply there for a much longer time during their period of activity than in orchards planted with a single fruit species and being apart from orchards of other fruit species.

  • The effect of spring frosts on the nectar production and the bee visitation of fruit trees

    Fruit tree species suffered very strong spring frosts in 1997 in Hungary. This caused partial or total damages at buds and flowers depending on site and time of blooming. It was demonstrated at a number of experiments that frost and cold weather also strongly affected the nectar production of surviving flowers. No or very little amount of nectar was measured in flowers first of all of early blooming fruit tree species (apricot) but also of pear and apple in some places. In spite of this fact intensive honeybee visitation was detected in the flowers of fruit trees that suffered partial frost damage only at those sites where honeybee colonies were placed in or at the experimental plantations and the lack of sufficient amount of nectar did not affected bee behaviour seriously on fruit flowers. This means that bad nectar production failed to affect bee visitation of fruit trees definitely. The reason for this was the fact that not only fruit trees but another early bee plants (wild plants, too) suffered frost damage. Accordingly, in lack of forage bees intensively searched for food at blooming fruit trees with some living flowers. Consequently, there was an acceptable yield at those plantations where bud and flower damage was not complete. Accordingly, intensive bee visitation (that is moving additional bee colonies to overpopulate fruit orchards with honeybees) can be an effective tool to decrease or eliminate the detrimental effect of spring frost on the yield of fruit trees where bud or fruit damage is not too high.


  • Cracking susceptibility of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) in Hungary and relation to calcium application

    The rain induced fruit cracking is a big, serious problem especially for sour cherry growers but in some year sour cherry growers had also problem with fruit cracking caused by too much rainfall in the harvesting season. The cracked sour cherry fruits can be easily infected by different diseases like Monillinia sp. Cracked and infected fruits can not be transported for long distance and using for preservation because they lost their market value by the pour fruit quality. There are two possibilities to protect fruits against the rain induced fruit cracking. The most effective protection technique is the plastic rain cover over the tree rows. The installation of these equipments is too expensive for the growers. That is the reason why researchers tried to find other less expensive and sufficiently effective ways like sprayings different mineral salts, hormone and other type chemicals against the rain induced fruit cracking. Several calcium formulas calcium chloride (CaC12), calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH),) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) can be sprayed in appropriate solution concentration.

    The aim of our trial is to determinate the fruit cracking susceptibility of wide grown Hungarian sour cherry varieties and find the most effective calcium formula and its concentration for spraying in orchards to prevent the fruit cracking. In the first trial year (2006) cracking index of tested sour cherry varieties were determined under field and laboratory conditions. Under field conditions were not found differences between cracking tendency of tested cultivars. After results of immersing fruits in distillated water for 24 hours tested sour cherry varieties were divided to three groups by the susceptibility to rain induced fruit cracking: very susceptible (`Maliga emléke', 'Piramis', 'Érdi jubileum', 'Erdi nagygyümölcsű’ and 'Meteor korai'); susceptible ‘Érdi bőtermő, Tandy 279' and Cigány 59.; moderately susceptible/tolerant ("T" and "R" clones). In the second trial year (2007) calcium chloride (CaCl2) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) were sprayed in 0,35m/m%; 0,5m/m% and 1,0m/m% solution concentration. One more commercial product "Damisol-Kalcium" was also applied in the advised 1,0m/m% concentration. Like in the trial year before (2006) under field conditions we did not kept differences between the cracking susceptibility of varieties and calcium treatments. As the result of laboratory testing (immersing calcium treated fruits in distillated water) we kept that calcium chloride (CaCl2) seems the most effective against the fruit cracking in 0,5m/in% solution concentration. The other calcium formulas also decreased the cracking ratio but in less scale.

  • Yield loss caused by fruit rot fungi on sweet cherry in Kyustendil region, Bulgaria

    The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of fruit rot caused by several fungal pathogens from 1999 to 2003. The study was conducted in three sweet cherry orchards at the Institute of Agriculture (Kyustendil, Bulgaria). One copper containing fungicide was applied in late autumn and early spring. During the growing seasons, 2-5 sprays were applied against fungal diseases. Trees were not sprayed specifically against fruit rot during the growing season, with the exception of 1999, when a spray of myclobutanil was applied after a long rainy period during the maturity of fruits. In one orchard, two nitrogen fertilization treatments were also prepared. In treatment 1, trees were fertilized with ammonium-nitrate 10 g/m2 and in the other treatments trees were not. Incidence of the five most important fruit rot pathogens, Monilinia fructigena, M. laxa, Botritys cinerea, Alternaria alternata and Rhizopus stolonifer was assessed in all orchards. The most severe yield loss (14.80 %) was measured in 1999, when weather conditions were the most favourable for fruit rot development. In this year, brown rots (M. fructigena and M. laxa) caused the highest damage (9.22 and 4.04 %, respectively) out of all assessed fruit rot pathogens. In all other years, yield loss was significantly lower than in 1999. In 2002, A. alternata caused the main fruit rot (4.46%) and all other fungi were less important, while in 2003, B. cinerea caused considerable yield loss (2.28 %) compared to all other fruit rot pathogens. Experiments on fertilization showed that nitrogen significantly increased fruit rot damage in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. The effect of nitrogen fertilization was higher in years with rainy periods around harvest (1999 and 2002) compared to more dry years (2000 and 2001). Results were compared with similar studies and biological interpretations of the results are discussed.

  • Preliminary studies on propagating natural mason bee (mixed Osmia cornuta and O. rufa) populations in artificial nesting media at the site for fruit orchard pollination

    Preliminary field management studies were made to increase the population density of native early spring Osmia species (O. cornuta, O. rufa) at fruit tree plantations in Hungary. Initial bee activity around artificial nesting media and the population increase during consecutive years were much smaller at large commercial fruit orchards under intense chemical plant protection than in small mixed fruit plantation with moderate or low pesticide usage. Osmias accepted all the four kinds of tested artificial nesting media (reed, bamboo rods, hardwood blocks and light walling blocks with drilled holes). Reed provided the best nesting conditions so it is suggested to be used in the practice. Calculations showed that under favourable conditions more than 50 to 100 thousand incoming flights (arrivals or landings) occurred in a single day around a single bee shelter and this makes enormous number of possible bee visits at fruit tree flowers. For this reason it is strongly recommended to put simple bee shelters filled with artificial nesting media into fruit orchards. Experiences show that the population sizes of Osmias increase during consecutive years without any specific additional maintenance except providing shelters and nesting media.

  • Analyses of temporal dynamics of brown rot development on fruit in organic apple production

    In a two-year study, yield loss and temporal dynamics of brown rot development caused by Monilinia fructigena (Aderh. & Ruhl.) Honey were quantified and analysed in two organic apple orchards (Debrecen—Pallag and Debrecen—Józsa). The first infected fruits were observed at the beginning of August in both years and both locations, except for one occasion when the first infected fruit was found at the end of July. Temporal disease development was continuous up to harvest time in both years and locations. In the two years, pre-harvest yield loss on the trees amounted between 8.9% and 9.3% at Debrecen-Pallag and between 9.7% and 10.8% at Debrecen—Jozsa by fruit harvest. Incidence of infected fruits on the orchard floor ranged from 32.4% to 43.2% and from 53.3% to 61.9%, at Debrecen—Pallag and Debrecen—Józsa, respectively, by fruit harvest. Analyses of temporal disease progress showed that the best-fitted mathematical function was the power function in both orchards and years. Both parameters of the power function clearly demonstrated that incidence of brown rot on fruit increased faster on the orchard floor than on the tree. Moreover, the disease increase was faster at Debrecen—Józsa in most cases than at Debrecen—Pallag. Our results indicated that the strategy of disease management, the ripeness of the fruit and the presence of a wounding agent played an important role in the yield loss and in the temporal development of fruit disease incidence caused by M. fructigena in organic apple orchards. Biological and practical implications of the results are discussed.

  • The effect of the limitation of insect pollination period on the fruit set and yield of temperate-zone fruit tree species

    The duration of effective bee pollination period was limited by caging flowering branches for shorter or longer time in blooming fruit trees in a number of experiments during the past decades. In the case of self-sterile fruit species and cultivars (apples, pears, quinces, some plums, some sour cherries) even partial limitation of the effective duration of bee pollination period significantly reduced the fruit set and the yield. In the case of self-fertile apricots the effect of the total and also the influence of partial limitation of bee pollination period was the same as in the case of the mentioned self-sterile fruits. On the other hand, in the case of another self-fertile fruits (some plums, some sour cherries), the effect of partial limitation of bee pollination period was usually small, but complete (or incomplete but strong) limitation of be pollination usually resulted in a strong reduction of yield. This means that not only self-sterile but also self-fertile fruits clearly depend on insect (bee) pollination. This is because pollen dehiscence of anthers and the receptive period of stigmas do not overlap in time within the individual flowers. Stigmas in self-fertile trees, therefore, need pollen carried by bees from another flowers of the same tree (or compatible pollen from another trees). Accordingly, additional bee pollination (moving bee colonies to the orchards in flower) is needed to all kinds of temperate-zone fruit tree species when bee visitation of plantations is not abundant enough for some reasons.

  • Brown rot blossom blight and fruit rot of apricot in Hungary

    The aim of our two-year study was to assess incidence of brown rot blossom blight and fruit rot caused by Monilinia laxa in 2003 and 2004. Assessments of incidence were made on cv. Bergeron (susceptible to brown rot) in a flatland and a hilly growing area (at Cegléd and Gönc, respectively). In both locations, plant protection was performed according to the integrated fruit production guidelines and small untreated plots were set up for each cultivar in both years. In 2003, when weather conditions were dry and hot, brown rot incidence was low (less than 10%) on both blossoms and fruits. Monilinia laxa did not cause significantly different blossom blight and fruit rot at the hilly (Gönc) area compared to the flatland, not even in untreated plots. However, in 2004, when spring and summer weather conditions were wet and cold, Incidence reached 95% for blossom blight and 33% for fruit rot in the untreated plots. Blossom blight incidence was 1.5-2 times higher in the flatland area compared to the hilly growing area. During the blooming period of apricot, two (at flower bud stage and at full bloom) and three (at flower bud stage, at full bloom and at petal fall) fungicide applications were necessary for the successful control at Gönc and Cegléd, respectively. The difference between the two orchards was due to the fact that blooming started one week later in the hilly region (at Gone) than in the flatland region (at Cegléd), therefore, the critical weather period coincided with blooming in the orchard in the hilly region only partially. Fruit rot incidence was similar in both regions as the amount and distribution of rainfall were similar during the fruit ripening period.

  • Water relations of sour cherries (minireview)

    Recently, the sour cherries as food resources become more important for health preservation and so the modernization of growing technology in sour cherry production will be timely. The global warming and inadequate distribution of precipitation result a decrease in the alternancy of sour cherry production, as well. Sour cherries rather adapted to survival of drought than sweet cherry trees therefore a few studies performed to explore the water requirement of sour cherry varieties. The rootstocks, the type of soils in plantation and the water balance influence the water management of sour cherries. In orchards, in particular first year plantation, use of various row covering contribute to preservation of the natural water pool of soil and affect on the tree vigor, yield and fruit quality. Wide-spread application of integrated fruit growing technology and climate changes the researches are pointed to develop efficient irrigation technology based on transpiration yield model. The crop model based on use of meteorological data was developed for cherry orchards in order to predict transpiration of trees, dry matter production and fruit yield. The linear relationship between dry matter accumulation and transpiration was verified for sour cherry trees. Other models essay to asses the effects of climate changes on crop production. Importance of economical production and fruit quality such as ingredients of raw materials and food increases in intensive sour cherry orchards used by irrigation techniques. Because of climate changes it should more pay attention to research concerning on the stress physiological response of sour cherry varieties and post-harvest fruit quality.

  • Evaluation of fruit quality of old apple cultivars originating from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, for utilization in breeding and in organic farming

    In the frame of the apple breeding program at the Department of Fruit Science old cultivars found in the Carpathian basin were involved in examination as well. Beside testing susceptibility to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora of old genotypes (historical, local and regional cultivars) originating from scattered orchards of Visk (foot of the Carpathian Mountains), fruit quality was also evaluated and other open-field observations were made.

    According to the results of inner content examinations, 'Szemes alma' and 'Sikulai alma', chosen as gene sources for breeding to resistance against fire blight, had inner content values worthy to mention in some aspects, and competing with those of the control cultivar 'Jonathan'. The quality of 'Pónyik alma', also recommended as a gene source is confirmed by the data of earlier literature. Further three cultivars ('Batul', 'Vilmos renet', 'Zöld sóvári') also proved to be good based on resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the first two cultivars are suitable from the point of view of fruit quality, too.

    In our field observations, susceptibility to apple scab and powdery mildew was evaluated. Among cultivars selected from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains on the base of resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the production value of 'Szemes alma' is worsened by its high susceptibility to apple scab. Further selected cultivars ('Sikulai', 'Pónyik alma', 'Batul', 'Vilmos renet') are not too susceptible to fungal diseases and their fruit quality is also suitable, therefore they can be recommended for direct planting in ecological farming or in restoring scattered orchards.

  • Development in intensive orchard systems of cherries in Hungary

    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.

  • Studies on the insect pollination of fruit tree species and on closely related topics in Hungary: a bibliography of research publications

    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 in 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.


  • 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.

  • Exploring and preserving old apple cultivars of the Carpathian basin

    In a few scattered orchards of the Carpathian basin one can still find our most common historical apple cultivars and certain traces of traditional cultivation. We consider it an important part of the Department's breeding work to explore old apple cultivars which can be used as parent partners and sources of resistance, to identify them pomologically as well as to examine the production and marketing value of old cultivars recommended for cultivation in ecological production and in gardens. This paper documents the results of expedition and collecting work carried out in three regions of the Carpathian basin (foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania, Aggtelek karst area), and also the saving of old Hungarian apple cultivars preserved until present in the English National Fruit Collection. A total of more than 100 old apple cultivars and variations, as well as 13 valuable genotypes were collected during our explorations in the above mentioned four areas. A further aim of our work is to contribute to the protection of still savable archaic fruit production relict= areas and to the preservation of cultivars in the certain regions, and also to promote the recognition of the aesthetic landscape value of old apple trees and endemic orchards of old cultivars. Our good co-operating partners in this work are Aggtelek National Park, Farmer Club of Visk and the consultation centre of Hungarian horticulturist training beyond the border in Nyárádszereda.

  • Severely pollen-limited fruit set in a pear (Pyrus communis) orchard revealed by yield assessments and DNA-based paternity assignment of seedlings

    In commercial fruit tree orchards, consistently high yields are necessary for a durable economy. The Swedish pear cultivar 'Carola' has been noted for low setting in some orchards, possibly due to insufficient pollination. In this study, fruit set was evaluated in a research orchard where `Carola' had been planted together with four potential pollinators. Total yield and number of fruits was noted during three and four years, respectively. In 2003, seeds were germinated from the harvested `Carola' fruits, and the paternity of three seedlings from 50 trees was determined with RAPD analysis. 'Clapp's Favourite' had sired 39.6% of the seedlings, closely followed by `Seigneur d'Esperen' (30.7%) and 'Clara Frijs' (26.7%) whereas 'Skanskt sockerparon' only sired 1.1% of the seedlings. The remaining 2.3% appeared to have been derived by selfing. Pollen-limited seed set was indicated at surprisingly short distances; accumulated number of fruits on the `Carola' trees was significantly higher when separated by only 2 m from one of the two most efficient pollinators, 'Clapp's Favourite' or 'Seigneur d'Esperen‘, compared to trees 4—l0 in away in the same row. Number of viable seeds per fruit was also higher in fruits from trees immediately adjacent to the pollinators, suggesting an effect of improved pollination success. The importance of very short inter-cultivar distances for efficient pollen transfer became even more clear when comparisons involved the true pollination distances as determined by RAPD; the accumulated yields decreased linearly from 55 kg at a 2 in distance to only 17 kg at 13 m.

  • Floral biology of tree fruit rootstocks

    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.

  • Association of European plum varieties in the orchards

    The flowering phenology, blooming time and inter-fertility relations of 63 European plum varieties has been studied at growing sites with different ecological conditions during a 10 year long period. The purpose was to develop a system of variety combinations which approaches an optimum in fertility as long as inter-fertility relations will cease to be a limiting factor of yield. According to their blooming time, varieties are assigned to 5 groups: very early, early, medium, late and very late. As for their fertility relations, four groups are formed: self-sterile (0%), partially self-fertile (0.1 to 10 %), self-fertile (10.1 to 20 %) and highly self-fertile (more than 20 % fruit set with self pollination). The four categories of fruit set at free pollination are also relevant to the grower: low (less than 10 %), medium (10 to 20 %), high (20 to 40 %) and very high (more than 40 % fruit set).

    By artificial cross pollination, one combination Cacanska najbolja x Stanley proved to be mutually inter-incompatible. Blocks planted to a single self-sterile variety flanking a pollinizer variety proved the spacial distribution of the pollen. The reduction in fruit set was already apparent in the second row away from the pollinizer trees. In a large plantation, without bee hives, relatively low yield was stated on self-sterile trees even close to the pollinizer.

    In the case of self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties, a combination of three varieties is recommended. The blooming period of the pollinizer variety should overlap the period of the self-sterile variety at least by 70 %, and the distance should not exceed 15 to 20 meters. Association of self-fertile varieties may also enhance the productivity of the trees. In that case an overlap of 50 % in blooming time and a maximum distance between the varieties of 30 to 40 meters will be sufficient.


  • Fruit injury in organic fruit production and its relationship to brown rot caused by Monilinia spp.

    In a two-year Hungarian study, the temporal progress of brown rot incidence and various injury types were studied in organic fruit orchards and the relationship between brown rot and injury types was determined. Results showed that brown rot reached an almost 20% incidence level in both years. Total injury incidence reached up to 5.3 and 19.8% in the two years. In all cases, insect injury incidence was the highest among injury types in most assessment dates. Incidence levels of other injury types (bird injury, mechanical injury and other  injury) began to increase, but none of those reached levels >4%. Pearson’s correlation coefficients showed that  brown rot incidence correlated significantly with the incidence of insect injury. In addition, brown rot incidence and the incidence levels of bird injuries was also significantly correlated. High injury and brown rot incidence levels suggest further improvements on organic fruit protection.

  • Growth and productivity of a young apple orchard at different spacing

    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 orchard 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).

  • Nutritional aspects of producing fruits organically

    Recent interest to avoid use of agrochemicals in fruit growing to safeguard environmental and human health has stimulated interest in organic fruit production (OFP) all over the world. Organic production requires a holistic approach to agricultural ecosystem management. Because of the perennial nature of orchards, this is not a great departure from conventional orchard management, except that corrective techniques are limited primarily to naturally derived materials. Organic mineral nutrition management hinges on two principles: 1) practices that lead to the build up and maintenance of soil that is biologically active and high in organic matter; 2) supplementing the mineral nutrients provided by the soil with fertilizers from approved sources. Organic orchards should be sited on land with superior soils and preplant soil preparation to increase organic matter and correct any sub-optimal soil characteristics. For successful organic fruit growing the following statement should be considered:Weed management is critical to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Soil and leaf analysis provide the basis for correcting mineral nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in organic production. It may be necessary to use a number of strategies to supply mineral nutrients over the life of the orchard. The slower, natural methods applied require a management approach that is simultaneously patient and dynamic.

  • Blooming phenology and fertility of sour cherry cultivars selected in Hungary

    Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the blooming phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the blooming dynamics (the rate of the open flowers counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

    Based on the results the rate of the overlap of the blooming times were calculated and varieties were assigned into five bloom time groups according to their main bloom. Self-fertility conditioned by natural self pollination was studied and good pollinisers were chosen (sweet, sour and duke cherry varieties) for the self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties.

    The necessity of bee pollination was proved by different pollination methods: natural self-pollination, artificial self-pollination, open pollination. Summary: Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the flowering phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the flowering dynamics (the rate of the open flowers counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

  • New evaluation method to detect physiological stress in fruit trees by airborne hyperspectral image spectroscopy

    Nowadays airborne remote sensing data are increasingly used in precision agriculture. The fast space-time dependent localization of stresses in orchards, which allows for a more efficient application of horticultural technologies, could lead to improved sustainable precise management. The disadvantage of the near field multi and hyper spectroscopy is the spot sample taking, which can apply independently only for experimental survey in plantations. The traditional satellite images is optionally suitable for precision investigation because of the low spectral and ground resolution on field condition. The presented airborne hyperspectral image spectroscopy reduces above mentioned disadvantages and at the same time provides newer analyzing possibility to the user. In this paper we demonstrate the conditions of data base collection and some informative examination possibility. The estimating of the board band vegetation indices calculated from reflectance is well known in practice of the biomass stress examinations. In this method the N-dimension spectral data cube enables to calculate numerous special narrow band indexes and to evaluate maps. This paper aims at investigating the applied hyperspectral analysis for fruit tree stress detection. In our study, hyperspectral data were collected by an AISADUAL hyperspectral image spectroscopy system, with high (0,5-1,5 m) ground resolution. The research focused on determining of leaves condition in different fruit plantations in the peach orchard near Siófok. Moreover the spectral reflectance analyses could provide more information about plant condition due to changes in the absorption of incident light in the visible and near infrared range of the spectrum.

  • Influence of foliar nutrition on apple production

    On the basis of different experiments the technology of intensive foliar nutrition was studied in apple orchards in the period from 1996 until 2000. Yearly apple nutrition programs based on soil analyses. The foliar nutrition program was prepared in accordance with the soil, fruit analyses and climatic conditions. If needed, certain improvements were made according to the analyses of leaves and precipitation in the current year. The richness of the soil and ratios between individual nutrients gradually improved. The foliar nutrition influenced the yield quantity, quality and flower bud differentiation. The yield was doubled and the mean of five years reached 70 tons per hectare. In spite of high yields there were no problems with alternative bearing. The analyses of soluble solids, firmness, fructose, glucose, sucrose, malic acid, citric acid in the fruits and mineral soil composition indicated that the produced fruits were of high quality despite greater yields.

  • Bee pollination and association of apricot varieties

    Apricot yields are highly variable according to the season. The variation is caused mainly by the adversities during the critical processes of floral biology, i.e. blooming and fertilisation. On the basis of information concerning blooming time and mutual compatibility relations of apricot varieties a system of securing regular and adequate yields has been developed.

    Winter frosts of the continental type are well tolerated by most of the apricots, however, after the end of rest period, flower buds are loosing frost tolerance, 'rapidly.

    Being one of the fruit species blooming earliest during the early spring, apricot start to bloom in Hungary around the end of March or early April as a mean of many years, but it also happened, exceptionally that apricot started to bloom at February 20 (at Letenye South Hungary). The early season, exposes the floral organs to frost injuries. As a consequence, apricot orchards on the Great Plain produce low yields in 3 years, intermediate yields in other 3 years out of a ten-year-period.

    Moreover, weather conditions during the blooming period are often unfavourable for pollination. Cool, windy and rainy weather prevents the flight of insects and on the other hand, warm spells shorten the blooming process, nectarines and stigmata get dry and the female gametes loose viability before effective pollination occurres.

    The fertility of individual cultivars are meeting different obstacles. Apricot cultivars differ greatly in the rate of flowers bearing underdeveloped pistils, which may attain even 60% (e.g. Orangered). New commercial cultivars are often self-incompatible. Local varieties of that type in Hungary are the „óriás" varieties (e.g. Ceglédi óriás, Szegedi mammut), and the new hybrid Ceglédi Piroska. Many of the cultivars are variable in their self-fertility (partially self-fertile): Budapest, Harmat, Korai piros, Mandulakajszi.

    Inter-incompatibility is also known in apricots. The „óriás " varieties do not fertilise each other. During the growth of fruits, cool spells (2-4 °C) caused severe fruit shed in Ceglédi óriás.

    Apricot flowers produce pollen and nectar at average rates related to other fruit species, thus bees are attracted sufficiently. Bee visits are very variable according to growing site and season. Most of the bees are pollen gatherers but sometimes nectar suckers are in majority. Bee pollination is necessary not only for the self-incompatible varieties but also to enhance the yield of self-fertile varieties.

    Taking the blooming and fertility relations of the cultivars into account, plantations should not exceed two rows to a particular self-incompatible varieties, and possibly two different polliniser varieties are suggested to be planted as flanking the block in question.

    In commercial plantations 2 to 4 bee colonies per hectare are proposed to move for the whole blooming period.