Earlier studies concerning self-, free- and cross- fertilization of apricot varieties grown in Hungary, proved the existence of self-sterile as well as self-fertile varieties within the recommended assortment. The self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties should be planted in association with polliniser varieties, only. The present paper reports about the yields of trees of the widely grown, self-sterile local variety, Ceglédi óriás (Giant of Cegléd), depending on the distance of adequate polliniser trees. In the univarietal, 27 row-wide block of the relevant variety, an efficient polliniser, Magyar kajszi was planted to the 10th and 19th row. In the close vicinity, another block of polliniser, Rózsakajszi C. 320 was located. The number of fruits set per tree has been counted or estimated in two consecutive years. In both seasons, the yield of the Ceglédi óriás trees diminished with the growing distance from the nearest polliniser trees. Those trees in the center of the block, between the two (10th and 19th) rows of Magyar kajszi bore acceptable yield (40 kg/tree in 1987), however, considerable reduction of the number of the fruits set was stated already in the 4-5th row from the polliniser away. Similar gradient of fruit set was apparent in relation to the neighbouring block of Rózsakajszi C 320. The beneficial effect of the vicinity of polliniser varieties was obvious as far as the distance of the 10th row. Taking into consideration the self-sterility, the early blooming time and the poor fertilization of the variety Ceglédi óriás, a planting design of associating it with at least two polliniser varieties (e.g. Gönci magyar kajszi and Ceglédi bíbor) is highly recommended. On the basis also of earlier results, a proposal has been developed for the association of apricot varieties as recommendations for optimising yields. Blooming time, fertilizing potential, schedule of the picking season and market possibilities have to be considered simultaneously.
Information concerning the blooming time of stone fruit varieties is, first of all, an important condition of finding suitable pollinisers securing adequate fruit set. For that purpose, varieties are assigned to blooming-time-groups. Depending on the number (3 or 5) of the groups, i.e. the length of intervals separating the groups established, pollenisers are to be chosen for self-incompatible and partially self-fertile varieties belonging to the same blooming-time-group. The mutually most overlapping blooming periods of the respective varieties should be found by raising data of their blooming phenology, i.e. dynamics, which is compared by drawing their phenograms and calculating blooming (V) indices. Variety combinations have to be checked, however, concerning mutual fertility relations of the respective pairs of varieties. That is most important in the case of Japanese plums because of the abundant incompatible combinations. Synchronous blooming has been determined by assigning the varieties to blooming-time-groups, or comparing overlaps of blooming phenograms, or by blooming (V) indices. Synchronous blooming phenology has been studied in European plum varieties (111 varietiy combinations) Japanese plums (156 variety combinations) and apricots (153 variety combinations) under Hungarian conditions, over several seasons. In determining overlaps, the less favourable season has been considered as decisive. Polliniser combinations have been chosen with at least 70% synchronous blooming. Blooming time of varieties is an important part of the variety descriptions. Blooming dates may serve also for the estimations of frost risk or security of yield.
In the majority of Hungarian orchards of stone fruits, the planting distance is 6-7 m x 4-5 m. As many of the current varieties are self-incompatible, planting designs are applied to provide for adequate pollinisers. As long as differences in blooming time are small, i.e. 3-5 days at most, overlaps of blooming of the associated varieties are sufficient for fruit set.
In sour cherry, one leading variety, Pándy, is self-incompatible and requires two polliniser varieties at least (Ciganyneggy or some sweet cherry varieties). Pándy is, moreover, cross-incompatible with the varieties Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi and Újfehértói fürtös being all of them self-fertile as most of new varieties recommended, by the way, for being planted to monovarietal blocks.
Among European plums there are varieties registered as male sterile, self-incompatible, parially self-fertile and self-fertile, respectively. For the purpose of cross pollination, the choice of two varieties, at least, to be associated to any variety belonging to the first three groups, is recommended. The number of rows in blocks planted to self incompatible or male-sterile varieties should not be higher than 2-(4). Inter-incompatibility has been observed within the currently recommended assortment, between the varieties Cacanska najbolja and Stanley, only. Chinese-Japanese plums are scarcely represented in Hungarian plantations. Variation of blooming time in varieties is somewhat more pronounced, i.e. 5-8 days. There is but a weak tendency to self-fertility, thus practically, all varieties are considered as self-incompatible, thus the planting of two-row blocks for each of three varieties, at least, are recommended to be associated.
Self-incompatibility and partially self-fertile apricot varieties are recommended to be combined with two polliniser varieties, at least, each planted to two-row blocks. The varieties Ceglédi óriás, Ligeti óriás, Nagykőrösi óriás and Szegedi Mammut are mutually inter-incompatible. Most of the peach varieties grown in Hungary are self-fertile, thus they are planted to large blocks, each. On sites threatened by late spring frost, it is recommended to plant (monovarietal) blocks of 4-6 rows at most. Cross-pollination may increase fruit set even in self-fertile varieties.
An experiment conducted using factorial based on randomized completely block design during 2005 and 2006. Flowers of Érdi bőtermő, Érdi jubileum and Cigány meggy before anthesis and in balloon stages were isolated with paper bags from guest pollens and pollinated in appropriate time. The averages of final fruit set showed the advantage of open pollination (14.6% fruit set) in compare with artificial self pollination (13.0% fruit set) and natural self pollination (4.4% fruit set). Siah mashhad sweet cherry cultivar with more than 70% overlap of flowering and 9.8% fruit set in 2005 and 17.9% in 2006 was the best among applied pollinisers for Érdi bôtermô sour cherry cultivar.Also, Siah mashhad sweet cherry with more than 50%overlap of flowering time and 25.8%fruit set was the best polliniser for Cigány megg. Among the pollinisers, Siah mashhad was the best for Érdi jubileum with more than 50% overlap and 15.22% fruit set. Meanwhile, pollens of Siah mashhad caused the increase of fruit size in Cigány meggy cultivar. phenomenon. Pollens of Siah mashhad caused reduction in total soluble solids of Érdi bôtermô fruits, however, it does not have any significant effect on the acid rate of fruits.
The most important components of fruit drop are: the rootstock, the combination of polliniser varieties, the conditions depending of nutrition, the extent and timing of the administration of fertilisers, the moments of water stress and the timing of agrotechnical interventions. Further adversities may appear as flushes of heat and drought, the rainy spring weather during the blooming period as well as the excessive hot, cool or windy weather impairing pollination, moreover, the appearance of diseases and pests all influence the fate of flowers of growing and become ripe fruits. As generally maintained, dry springs are causing severe fruit drop.
In analysing the endogenous and environmental causes of drop of the generative organs (flowers and fruits), the model of leaf abscission has been used, as a study of the excised, well defined abscission zone (AZ) seemed to be an adequate approach to the question. Comparing the effects active in the abscission of fruit with those of the excised leaf stem differences are observed as well as analogies between the anatomy and the accumulation of ethylene in the respective abscission tissues.
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.
Under conditions of Hungary, more than 400 varieties of apple, pear and quince varieties have been observed for time of blooming and fertility relations in order to check the possibility of their use for intense plantations in different combinations with polliniser varieties. Low (below 3%) rate of self-fertility occurred at 65% of apple varieties. That partial self-fertility, however, is far from being sufficient to produce acceptable yield, thus allogamous pollination is absolutely necessary. The same is true for the rear and quince varieties grown in Hungary, too. The normal development requires the presence of viable seeds in the fruit set, most in quince, therefore, association of the right varieties is most important in that species. Apple and pear varieties are assigned according to their blooming time to 4, quince varieties to 3 groups. The yield of all three pomaceous species declines with the growing distance from the potential pollen source. In the intense plantations, the critical (maximum) distance to be observed is 20 m for apple and 15 m for pear and quince. In combining the placement of varieties, also the principles of a variety-specific cultivation are to be considered carefully. The double objectives are satisfied most by the system of Maluspollinisers developed for intense plantations.