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Temporal changes of the frequency of spring frost damages in the main fruit growing regions in Western Hungary and in East Hungary
Published July 2, 2016
81-87.

Most of the risk in Hungarian fruit growing is the damage caused by late spring frosts. The frequency of late frosts seems to increase nowadays. The aim of the study was to check this contention: what is the real probability of the damages. Based on earlier experiences, the physiological LT50 function has been elaborated for new fruit varieties..., which are eligible to moderate the danger when being threatened by frost. By means of this technique, the probability of freezing is distinguished between frost susceptible, frost resistant and medium frost resistant fruit species and varieties around their blooming time. The degree of frost damage depends on the duration and severity of the low temperature and not at least on the frost tolerance of the plant. For that purpose, the frequencies of frost damages were studied at two Transdanubian and two Trans-Tisza fruit growing sites by means of a meteorological database for the 60-year-long period 1951–2010. Being aware of the LT50 values changing during the phonological phases of the fruit trees from budding, bloom, fruit set and fruit growth, the number and date of critical (frosty) days could be settled. An important role is attributed to the orographic relief and the height above the sea level of the site, as 20–30 m differences and expositions may become decisive within the same plantation. The spatial distribution of damages is also dependent on the air circulations within the Carpathian basin. At the southern and northern borders of the country, especially valley bottoms represent additional risks of frost. Most spring frost damages are experienced in April 20–22, and cause heavy damages by temperature minima between – 3°C and – 6°C. The severity of damage depends largely on the temperature of the preceding few days. The earlier bloom the heavier damage is expected. The study is emphasising the importance of the varieties. Frost tolerance of some varieties may lower the risk of spring frosts by 40–50%, as experienced on the plantations. The quantifi cation of the risks based on data raised during the last years will be suitable to defi ne the security of yields of each growing site successfully.

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The effect of spring frosts on the nectar production and the bee visitation of fruit trees
Published February 23, 2000
86-89.

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 necta...r 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.

 

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Calculation of climatic probability of winter and spring frost damages in the main peach and apricot growing districts of Hungary
Published April 19, 2006
99-106.

The probability of winter and spring frost damages experienced in peach and apricot plantations has been assessed in 5 growing regions of Hungary (Szeged-Szatymaz, around the lake Balaton, Mecsekalja, hills of Buda, Mátraalja) and (Mecsekalja, hills of Buda, Pest­Godo116, Duna-Tisza Mize, Matra-Bükkalja) during the period between 1951 and 20...00.

Frost tolerance of flower buds on a given shoot sample is expressed by the mean value assessed after frost damage (LT50), and the meteorological records of the growing sites raised between 1951 and 2000 are used to calculate the probability of frost damage. In peach, the difference between growing sites and between varieties may become two fold as for the chance of repeated frost damage at a probability of 50 %. In apricot, the probability of frost damage may exhibit differences between growing sites up to 20 % as for susceptible varieties, and 16 % for frost tolerant varieties. Frost damage may vary between 4 and 18 % depending on the genuine frost tolerance of the varieties. Peach is afflicted by low temperature causing substantial losses of yield at the highest probability in the region Szeged-Szatymaz and at the lowest in Mátraalja. Apricot is, on the other hand, most endangered in the Duna-Tisza Mize region, while the lowest probability of frost damage is expected around Mecsek and Buda.

The critical period of frost damage in the mid of January in Szeged-Szatymaz region, in Mecsekalja the mid of February showed the highest probability of frost damage. All growing sites are frequented at high chances by frost damages occurring during and closely after the blooming period. Duna-Tisza köze is mainly afflicted in early March, whereas Mátra-Bükkalja in mid of January and each March.

The probability of temperatures below zero degree has been assessed in all the 5 regions observed. Around April 5-8 the probability of freezing temperatures diminishes steeply at all sites, whereas the risk of frost increases again around April 9— 11. That climatic peculiarity of should be taken into consideration in choosing growing sites or varieties.

Postulating the effects of a global warming up of the climate, the chances of avoiding frost damages at different growing sites by delaying the blooming dates are considered. According to our calculations, the delay of blooming by 5 days may diminish the risk of frost damage by 4-20 % at the growing sites examined, whereas a delay of 10 days reduces the risk by 37-85 % in both fruit species.

Calculations offered an answer on the question of climatic changes, whether the probability of winter and spring frosts damage changed during the 50 years. The long list of data shows the diminishing chances of winter frosts, while the probability of temperatures risking spring frost damages increased after the early 1970-es up to now.

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Detemination of the time of pruning regarding the ability of developing flower buds and their frost tolerance in sweet cherry varieties
Published August 16, 2010
45-48.

In sweet cherry growing, intense technology is introduced as the up to date development. Among the elements of the technology are the choice of variety, planting design and pruning are the main elements. The methods, intensity and the timing of pruning are largely dependent from the growing habits of the varieties, the light demand of the parts... of different age and their tendency of getting bald on the aging zones. One of the main limiting factors of production, the frost damages are outstanding. In choosing the site of plantation, we must avoid the places, where spring frosts used to occur, the next moment is the role of the variety and the technology applied. In Hungary, the late or spring frosts are considered, however, the winter frosts may also cause heavy losses, which depend also on the health and nutritional condition of the trees when being exposed to temperature minima. Our present study is based on a 9-year-old plantation trained to slender spindle as well as to free spindle crown. We observed the development of fruiting structures and their frost damage also in relation with the timing of the pruning operations during the winter or summer, and compared also the varieties with each other.

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Bee pollination and association of apricot varieties
Published August 23, 2000
20-24.

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 yie...lds 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.

 

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Summer pruning of sweet cherry trees and an inquiry of winter frost damages
Published December 4, 2011
41-44.

One of the most demanded research projects is the intensification of fruit production. The use of dwarfing stocks is a moderate solution as their effect is scarcely satisfactory. Climatic conditions of Hungary are continental in Eastern Europe, where Atlantic and Mediterranean effects are interacting with the continentals in a kind of basin wit...h characters of its own. Capricious meteorological episodes are often disturbing the security of development and fruiting of trees:
• winter frosts are damaging the cambium and fruiting structures of trees
• late spring frosts destroy cambium and flowers
• early autumn frosts hurt the leaves
• excessive precipitation impairs the growing fruits
• drought periods during the summer caused water stress disturbing water husbandry.

Vigorous stocks still prevail in the practice, and they ought to withstand challenges of weather hazards. The strong vigour of plants delaysthe process of senescence and the tendency of getting bald, and regeneration of plants is a sign of vitality. In present research, the trees have been trained on vigorous Prunus mahaleb stocks. Summer pruning was one of the important tools of intensive growing techniques. They were compared with traditional techniques and with plastic foil protected trees observing the vegetative as well as generative growth of them.

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Freeze Susceptibility of Fruit Buds in 67 Apple cultivars in Hungary
Published August 13, 2004
29-35.

Frost damage is one of the most important risks of apple production. Outstanding importance has been attributed to the frost resistance of flower-buds as decisive sites of fruit production. Browning of plants parts and tissues exposed to natural weather adversities are considered as effects of frost. In Hungary, frost damage on flower buds of b...oth the market and new cultivars has not been assessed earlier. Observations referring to the consequences of frost damages of over four critical years, marked by their peculiar winter and spring frost hazards. Parallel observations have been made in four sites of the growing area in the Great-Plain region. 67 apple cultivars have been assessed. Each cultivar was represented by 3 trees, which were sampled at about 1-1.5 m height over ground, where the buds or inflorescences were picked for the purpose to assess the injury. The buds and flowers are cut longitudinally and rated visually according to the extent of browning of the organs and tissues. Susceptibility of different organs of the flower (pistils and anthers) were rated separately. According to our results, most resistant to spring frosts are the following cultivars: 'Gloster', 'Granny Smith' and appreciable tolerance is attributed in 'Gala' and 'Jonathan' with derivatives. Preliminary results that among the scab resistant cultivars, `Baujade', 'Rewena', 'Liberty', `Resi' and 'Renora' are rather frost resistant. Information, lacking hitherto, is obtained upon 'Reka' and 'Reglindis' as for their increased susceptibility.

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Comparison of frost damages in apple plantations cultivated with environmental friendly growing technology
Published August 16, 2010
21-24.

The global changes in climate and meteorological conditions have many negative consequences, which may diminished with adequate measures. In our continental climate, the winter frosts but also the late spring frosts are always threatening. There are technologies to avoid late frost damages (with spray irrigation or with smoking), but against wi...nter minima, we are nearly helpless. The different damages experienced recently called our attention on the question of optimal condition, which is a delicate balance between the vegetative activity and the provision of nutrients. The excesses on both ends are increasing the danger of damages (Zatykó, 1980). Our examination was performed in the plantation, which was cultivated according to ecological and integrated technologies. The variable condition of the trees gave opportunity to evaluate the effects of cold temperatures as frost damages. Our results will represent not only the differences between varieties but also the effects of the growing technologies – which influence the condition of the plants – consequently, the measure of frost damages.

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The tests of effectiveness of Frostbuster under excessive weather conditions in an apricot plantation
Published December 4, 2011
87-91.

Frostbuster is a new system, engine and technology, developed to protect fruit plantations from the frost damage. In order to raise domestic experiences and measurements, experimental approach has been initiated to prove the utility of the system under excessively low temperature in the plantation of the Siófoki Gyümölcstermesztési Zrt (Fru...it Growing Co. Siófok). The first opportunity ensued in the night of February 23-24, 2011, when the temperature sank to 12°C below zero. The question was to see whether we could prevent the drop of temperature by the frostbuster technique. The margin of an anticyclone staying on East Europe secured a stable condition to make tests. The only difference from the imaginable conditions of dangerous frosts was the heat keeping capacity of trees was weak, much inferior than compared with trees in full boom. As a consequence, the tree rows represented much lower heat-capacity and cooled down much quicker than blooming trees in springtime, i.e. their temperature was more variable. The other difference was, compared with an episode in spring that the hard frost lasted much longer than usually in spring. For testing the system, those conditions had even more advantage. Six meteorological stations helped us in measurement. Data-collectors were timed to 1 minute distances and the bulk of data proved to be beneficial for testing the Frostbuster. The results prove that the system is adequate to keep the temperature continuously higher than the surrounding field under excessively low temperatures. Further measurements are still needed to find the optimal solutions fitting to the growing site and its microclimate. Results presented offer a basis of further proofs.

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Flower density and winter damage of apricot and peach varieties
Published August 16, 2010
53-56.

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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The application of A HEAT SUM MODEL for the budburst of sour cherry varieties grown at Újfehértó
Published September 2, 2009
105-112.

Experiences of the last decades showed univocally that the climatic changes, especially the warming up, influenced clearly the phenology, i.e. speed of growth and development of plants. To check the effects, the phenological studies became a topic of special interest. Our research has been performed at Újfehértó, the Research Institute of Fr...uit Growing and Extension, where the respective database accumulated observations during the period 1984–2005, where the meteorological data as well as the parallel phenological diary referring to the varieties ’Újfehértói fürtös’, ’Kántorjánosi’ and ’Debreceni bôtermô’ during the period 1984–1991 have been utilised. The method of calculating the sum of daily mean temperatures, “degree days”, is based on the observation that the plants are able to utilise cumulatively – in growth and development – the temperature above a set basic temperature. Our phenology model examined the correlation between the sum of degree days and the date of sprouting (budburst). The basic temperature has been determined by optimization, above which (threshold temperature) the accumulation of daily means was most active, or alternatively, below which the daily means are most sensitively expressed in the phenology. The model has been extended to the calculation of the end of rest period (endodormancy) – by optimization as well. Our phenology model will be suitable for two main purposes: for estimating the time of budburst for the Hungarian region during the next decades calculated on the basis of regionally downscaled climate models; on the other hand, by applying our model, the risk of damage caused by spring frosts could be estimated more exactly than earlier.

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Technologies developed to avoid frost damages caused by late frost during bloom in the fruit growing regions of Siófok and Debrecen
Published July 2, 2016
99-105.

The aim of the study was to fi nd out which of the methods used to avoid damages of late frosts would be the most effective for the fruit growing practice. Three technologies have been tested in the regions of Siófok and Debrecen-Pallag. The antifrost irrigation proved to be the most advantageous. For that purpose microjet sprayers are used, w...hich are thrifty and do not need for that purpose large containers. With the aim to secure an even distribution of water, the sprayers are distributed on three levels: above and inside of the crown as well as on the level of trunks. On a large scale, a single microjet above the crown level would be suffi cient. By means of a detailed analysis served to set the optimum intervals between spraying phases: with each 15, 10, 5 and 3 minutes during half a minute. The synchronous presence of water and ice below the freezing point, the released freezing heat plus the water used much above the freezing point (9–10 °C) altogether maintains the temperature above around 0°C near the fl owers or growing fruitlets, meanwhile, the surrounding air cools down to –8 °C. The effectiveness of the generally used anti-frost would be increased substantially by the former application of cooling irrigation, which delays the blooming date. The Frostbuster represents a new technology developed for the same purpose of frost defence. It uses butane burning and produces high (80-90°C) temperature with a strong blast of air. On the protected area sensors have been distributed for measuring temperature and relative humidity. The means of the measurements proved a rise of temperature, which was suffi cient to save the fruit trees until the difference is less than –3–3.5 °C. Our analyses stated that paraffi n candles avert the frost until –4 °C. Its success depends largely on the intensity of air movements. A small wind would be enough to frustrate the effect. The results show clearly the utility of Frostbuster and paraffi n candle combined is approved.

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Training systems of fruit trees in Hungary
Published February 23, 2000
123-127.

Growing sites and soil conditions of Hungary warrant profitable production of several temperate fruits at elevated levels of quality. The climate of the Carpathian basin is a mixtures of three main climatic zones the prevalence of which may change seasonally: Atlantic, continental and Mediterranean, therefore, growing sites are rather various. ...Temperature minima of the winter and late spring frosts are the main elements of risk. In choice of the system of cultivation, regularity of yields and intensity are to be observed equally. Regular yields are particularly aimed in stone fruit cultures.

For apple and pear plantations of high density required for intense production are promoted favourably. Accessories of intense orchards (irrigation, supporting system, rootstocks, phytotechniques, etc.) are important. In peach and plum trees are trained to funnel-shape crowns, in general, intense-types are possible in plum, only. In apricots, a Hungarian speciality, the "umbrella" type of crown is applied, almost exclusively, according to Papp. In sweet and sour cherry, the harvest technique, manual or mechanised, according to the intended utilisation, are determining the form of training.

Red and black currants as small fruits are grown mostly as bushes or hedgerows without any supporting system designed to facilitate mechanical harvest. Raspberries and blackberries are grown as hedges on trellis. Gooseberry is a special case, being a low, thorny bush difficult to be picked. Thus grafted small trees are attached to a wire-trellis which helps to solve problems of plant protection too.

 

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Comparison of flower bud development in almond, apricot and peach genotypes
Published April 19, 2006
93-98.

The phenological processes of flower bud development of stone fruits during dormancy are not thoroughly known. The yield of these species, especially of almond, apricot and peach is determined basically by dormancy of flower buds, the survival rate of buds during winter frosts and by their ability to develop normal floral organs in the next spr...ing. After the initiation of floral primordia, flower bud development is taking place in continuous space until blooming, though at different speed characteristic to the species. To study flower bud development during dormancy we applied two alternative methods in different genotypes of almond, apricot and peach: (1) examination of pollen development (microsporogenesis), and (2) the measurement of pistil length. The samples were collected from the central part of Hungary during the dormancy period of 2004/2005. The three fruit species differed significantly in the speed of flower bud development, it was the quickest in almond, followed by apricot and peach. In addition to the species, there were significant differences in the process of microsporogenesis and pistil development between genotypes within species and also between the different types of shoots on which the buds were located. On short shoots buds developed at a higher speed, than on long shoots. Based on our observations, on the short shoots the period of endodormancy was shorter with 5-30 days, according to genotypes, compared to the long shoots. This difference, however, decreased to 2-3 days by the time of blooming.

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Evaluation of the vegetative and generative performance of new apple cultivars in the Nyírség region
Published September 7, 2014
39-44.

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).

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Determination of the cold tolerance off sour cherry cultivars with frost treatments in climatic chamber
Published February 19, 2008
49-54.

Nowadays, sour cherry buds can be seriously damaged by spring and winter frosts. Unlike other fruit species threatened by high frost damage, sour cherry cultivars have not been assessed for frost tolerance. The aim of .our survey was to establish the relative cold tolerance of the Hungarian cultivars after treatment in a climatic chamber, and t...o optimize the methodology formerly elaborated for the frost treatment of apricot. Fourteen cultivars of Hungarian sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) were used in the experiments, which spanned the winters of 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. Our data were used to rank cultivars in two groups according to their levels of cold resistance. We also recommend critical temperatures and treatment times for the testing of sour cherry cultivar resistance to cold in climatic chambers.

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