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 intensive culture of sour cherry is achieved by training of trees to form smaller canopies not by means of dwarfing rootstocks but by growth moderation techniques. The rootstocks traditionally used cause vigorous growth, and it is up to the technology to apply procedures less utilised earlier for that purpose. One of those techniques is the... transfer of hibernal pruning to the estival period. The best term of the latter is the period of 1-3 weeks after fruit harvest.
The prolongation of the period of favourable illumination and the reduction of the canopy size facilitate higher densities of planting (number of trees per hectare) and a better exploitation of the crown (specific yield). The regular use of summer pruning resulted also in a better quality of fruit.
During 2000 and 2007, rootstocks of different vigor have been tested in a high density sweet cherry orchard with 'Vera '® and 'Axel'® cultivars at 4 x 2 meter row and plant distance. Trees are trained to Hungarian Spindle with permanent basal branches; in the alley way naturally grown grass is managed by mowing. The first considerable fruitin...g was in 2004. Every year we measured trunk and canopy parameters of the trees, productivity and fruit size. Our conclusion is that the rootstocks considerably affected the growth, precocity, as well as tree and orchard productivity, fruit weight of sweet cherry cultivars, but these rootstock effects are modified by cultivars, except for growth vigor. According to our results Cema, SL 64, and Bogdany are vigorous rootstocks, moderate vigorous are MaxMa 97, Pi-Ku I , and Tabel® Edabriz, Gisela® 5 and Prob are dwarfing rootstocks. Besides the precocious Gisela® 5 also mahaleb rootstocks CEMA, Bogdany and SL 64 showed considerable precocity, which can be explained by the larger bearing surface to the time of turning to bearing, and a similar or relative large density of burse shoots on fruiting branches. Cumulative yield of 'Axel'® was the highest on Bogdany and on Cerna, contrary to Gisela® 5, which produced only 50% of the previous ones. Cumulative yield of 'Vera'® was the highest on SL 64, and no significant difference was found, compared to trees on rootstocks Cema, Bogdany and Pi-Ku I . Cumulative yield production of trees was smaller on Gisela® 5, Prob, Max Ma 97 and Tabel® Edabriz rootstocks. Corresponding to the literature data of yield efficiency calculated on TCSA basis was highest on Gisela® 5 rootstock. but the efficiency calculated on canopy volume of 'Axel•® trees was similarly high on CEMA and Bogdany, and that of 'Vera'® trees relatively high on CEMA, Bogdany, SL 64 and PiKu I rootstocks. When calculating orchard efficiency al spacing 4 x 2 meters (1250 tree/ha), we received highest yield values on Bogdany, CEMA, SL 64, and PiKu I rootstocks, with large fruit weight. Rootstocks also affect fruit weight. We measured the largest fruit weight on trees on Bogdany.
Sour cherry can be considered as a special fruit species regarding the growing characteristics, as most of the cultivars are characterized by strong balding. With the aging of the tree the inactive (passive) parts of the canopy are increasing steadily, so the productive cropping surface and the yielding capacity decrease significantly. In... our experiments partial rejuvenation pruning was carried out in a 12 years old orchard, and total rejuvenation pruning was performed in a 21 years old plantation to regenerate the cropping surface of the trees. Thanks to the latter one the canopy of the sour cherry trees were regenerated during only two years. The yields of the rejuvenated trees in cv. ‘Debreceni bőtermő’ exceeded the yields of the control trees, as in the case of the cvs. ‘Érdi bőtermő’ and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ approached it. At the same time the total rejuvenation pruning has a positive effect on the fruit size.
The effect of row direction (N-S, E-W), plant density (conventional and intensive) and rootstock (M9, MM106 and crab apple) on the sensitivity of 41 apple cultivars to sunburn injury was studied at 6 locations (Derecske, Kálmánáaza, Nagykutas, Nagylapos, Siófok, Tornyospálca).
During the observations the cultivars had rootstock-spe...cific properties in respect of sunburn-susceptibility. Accordingly, the injury was decreased in the order: M9, MM106 and seedling rootstocks. The differences in sensitivity depend on the canopy of trees, caused finally by the growing vigour of rootstocks. Accordingly, the highest value of sunburn injury was observed on M9 rootstock, because this rootstock has a dwarfing effect upon the scion cultivars. Thus, vegetative area of these trees grow very slowly and the foliage is not enough compact to protect the fruit from solar radiation. The size and density of the foliage increased in the order: M9, MM 106 and crab apple seedling as rootstock. Moreover, relationships were demonstrated between the diameter of upper part of the crown, the leaf area, the number of fruits per tree and the injury of sunburn.
Authors categorized the cultivars in respect of values of sunburn incidence: 1. „Not sensitive", II. „Moderately sensitive" and HI. „Strongly sensitive" categories were constituted. Generally, Topaz and Gala cultivars showed low damage (or were free from symptoms), in contrast to this, Golden mutants suffered relatively much. The most sensitive cultivar was Jonica on all the three rootstocks. We searched for relationship between the fruit quality parameters and the frequency of sunburn. Significant correlation was found in the cases of fruit size and the extent of cover-colour. The latter is interpreted with the fact that the best coloured fruits are found on the periphery of crown as a consequence of more intense irradiation.
The first nine years' results of sweet cherry rootstock trial from Hungary are presented with the aim to select efficient rootstocks for the local ecological conditions. The trials were established in 1989 with 'Van' and 'Germersdorfi óriás' cultivars on the following rootstocks: mahaleb Sainte Lucie 64, Colt, MxM 14, MxM 97. All the trees we...re headed at 80 cm and trained to a modified Brunner-spindle system. Tree size and yield was measured every year, and the cumulative yield efficiency was calculated.
Based upon the results, mahaleb cherry SL 64 is a vigorous rootstock with good compatibility and productivity. In comparison to SL 64. the trunk cross-sectional area and canopy spread of the 'Van' trees decreased by 10-15% on rootstock Colt, while the trees of 'Germersdorfi orias' on Colt roostock grew even larger than on SL 64. Considerable 30-40 % reduction of tree size was achieved on trees grafted on M x M hybrids. Trees of `Germersdorfi óriás' showed a similar tendency without significant differences. The cumulative yield efficiency of `Van' trees after nine years was highest on rootstock MxM 14, followed by Sainte Lucie 64. Trees on Colt and MxM 97 rootstocks showed low productivity. `Germersdorfi óriás' produced the highest cumulative yield efficiency on SL 64, followed by MxM 14 and Colt and last MxM 97. Biennial bearing index of heavy cropping 'Van' trees was smaller than that of `Germersdorfi óriás'. The trees of 'Van' on MxM 97 showed higher biennial bearing index, while 'Germersdorfi orias' on different rootstocks showed similar tendency, but without significant differences.
MxM 14 and MxM 97 rootstocks reduced the crotch angle of the shoots on both sweet cherry varieties which is disadvantegous to spindle training. Slight suckering (1-3/year) of the rootstocks Colt, MxM 14 and MxM 97 were observed during the first few years.
In this paper we examine apple varieties, which are planted expansively in the development apple orchards of the Western- European countries, but about its production characteristics we don’t have or just few practical experiences in Hungary. These varieties can be described with regular and high yields, aesthetic and alluring appearance in t...heir origin places, what ensure profitable producing for the growers. Under the Hungarian climate which tends to be often extreme (hard cold winters, late spring frosts, summer drought, heat stress) these varieties may behave differently, so before the substantial planting it is expedient to carry out variety evaluations to avoid the later failures. The place of our experiments is located in the Nyírség representing adequately the ecological conditions of the surrounding areas, so the gained results can be adapted easily in the biggest apple production site of Hungary. Regarding the vegetative and the generative parameters of the 14 examined varieties (’Gala Venus Fengal’, ’Gala Decarli-Fendeca’, ’Galaval’, ’Jugala’, ’Gala Schnitzer (S) Schniga’, ’Red Cap Valtod (S)’, ’Early Red One’, ’Jeromine’, ’Crimson Crisp (Co-op 39)’, ’Red Topaz’, ’Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ’Red Idared’, ’Fuji September Wonder’, club cultivar) we found significant differences. The ratio of the thickness of trunk and the main branches showed that the trees have an optimal canopy structure in accordance with the Zahn principles, so they are in harmonious growing balance. The ‘Gala’ sport trained to slender spindle produced the highest yields, while the ‘Fuji’ and the ‘Red Delicious’ sport trained to super spindle can be described with the lowest values. All the cultivars reached the eating quality (65-70 mm), from which the ’Red Idared’, the ’Red Jonaprince’ and the ’Red Cap’ produced outstanding fruit size (81-85 mm).
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.