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.
Experiments were conducted with four sour cherry cultivars three of that were self-fertile and one was self-sterile. Different levels of fruit set were obtained by limiting, the bee pollination period. The limitation of the duration of the effective bee pollination period definitely affected the fruit set of all the four cvs. The mass of individual fruits seemed to be related to the final set but this relationship has not find to be definitely expressed statistically at that moderate level of maximum fruit sets (10-14 per cent at the maximum) we obtained in the experiments. For this reason, further research is needed to explore that level of fruit set that can notably reduce the fruit size (mass) to an undesirable extent.
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.
Regular observations and experiments were performed during a 14 year period on 6 sour cherry varieties. The morphological traits of leaves and fruits were compared, and the phenology of blooming as well as of ripening dates served to start an estimation of the possibilities of mutual pollination and the planning of harvest operations. Experiments involved obligate autogamy, artificially controlled allogamy and open pollination in order to reveal self-fertility, self-sterility or inter-incompatibility relations.
The varietal characters represent, each, different values in the distinction of the items, because of their intra-varietal variability. From that point of view, the most reliable are the data of blooming and ripening time, fruit size and the fertility relations.
Inter-incompatibility was observed between the group of self-fertile, "Pándy type" varieties (`Újfehértói fürtös’, ‘Debreceni bőtermő’, ‘Kántorjánosi’) on one side and the selection of Pándy 7', a self-sterile variety on the other side. Unilateral incompatibility has been detected within the former group of new, self-fertile varieties, the combinations: (`Újfehértói fürtös’ x ‘Debreceni bőtermő’ as well as `Újfehértói fürtös’ x Kántorjánosi’.
Our results prove the close kinship between those three new varieties and the original Pándy variety on the base of being highly similar in their morphology and also of the fact of their inter-incompatibility, though unilateral.
Authors studied the autofertility depending on natural self pollination (autogamy) in 59 pear cultivars during 4 seasons at three locations with different ecological conditions (Helvetia, Kecskemet-Kisfai, Keszthely). The aim of the experiments was to determine the autogamous tendencies of varieties hitherto unexplored in the Hungarien gene bank, or to check data found in the literature. A total of 42616 isolated pear flowers produced 1.2% fruits with at least one viable seed in each. The 59 varieties observed did not set fruit by autogamy on either of the three sites during the four years of the study. The triploid (3n=51) varieties were entirely self-sterile. According to the highest autogamous fruit set, during the experimental period, the varieties have been assigned to four groups: (1) Entirely auto-incompatible (0% fruit set), (2) auto-incompatible (0.1 to 0.9%), slightly self fertile (1.1 to 5%) and (4) self fertile (5.1 to 10%). According to the number of viable seeds per fruit resulting from autogamy, the varieties are assigned to three groups as (1) low seed content (less than 3 seeds per fruit), medium (3.1 to 5) and (3) high (more than 5 seeds). Thus, the assessment of the number of seeds per fruit resulting from autogamy is indispensable as a proof of the absence of parthenocarpy.
Detailed studies and comparisons were carried out on those flower characters of sour cherry cultivars that may affect bee pollination of flowers. Flower characters of sour cherry are fairly similar to other temperate zone fruit tree species. Their relatively small flowers distinguish the Cigánymeggy-types of cultivars from the flowers of tart cherries cultivars that are conspicuously larger, almost as large as the sweet cherry flowers. The relative position of flower organs was much more variable according to the season than according to the cultivars. So the differences were rather the consequences of seasonal effects than of variety features of sour cherry cultivars. As far as individual cultivars are concerned differences in the nectar production and the sugar concentration are revealed rather between groups of cultivars than between individual cultivars. The pollen production of flowers was extremely changeable in consecutive years. Most honeybees collected nectar at sour cherry flowers; pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees were half as frequent but differences among the behaviour of honeybees according to cultivars cannot be stated. The fidelity of honeybees to sour cherry is less expressed than to some other fruit tree species. Accordingly, it is very strongly suggested to take the competitive effect other plant species (weeds) flowering in and around the orchard carefully into account when organizing additional bee pollination in sour cherry plantations. Several sour cherry cultivars possess more or less self-fertilization capacity but this is greatly changeable according to the season. It has been proved that self-sterile sour cherry cultivars are sensitive even on the partial restriction of the effective time of bee pollination and it is to be stressed too that even in the case of partly self-fruitful cultivars bee pollination is also vital in yield formation because medium or strong restriction of the effective bee pollination period is of a definite negative effect on their fruit set and yield. In years with unfavourable weather the yield can dramatically be reduced sometimes down to nil. However, very high fruit set is also unfavourable because a negative correlation was detected between the final set and the mean mass of fruits.