In this review, we give an overview of the pruning techniques that should be applied in commercial plum orchards. First, a detailed description of pruning for shaping the different crown types for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth years and the phytotechnical works is given for crowns with a circular projection area. Then, pruning for...open crowns forms, such as the vase form is discussed. Following the shaping of the crown, it should be maintained by pruning. Detailed information is given on pruning for maintenance with special emphasis on the comparison of winter and summer pruning. In the following part of the manuscript, pruning experience is described separately for the major commercial plum cultivars in Hungary such as Cacanska lepotica, President, Bluefre, Stanley. Recommendations for cultivation systems under non-irrigated conditions are also included. Finally, light requirements, growth characteristics and suggested crown forms of the different cultivars are described for cvs. Ageni, Althan Tingle), Besztercei szilva Nm. 122, Bluefre, Cacanska lepotica, Cacanska rodna, Debreceni muskotály, Montfort, President, Ruth Gerstetter, Sermina, Stanley, Tuleu gras and Zöld ringló).
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.
The aim of this study was to measure the solar radiation conditions in the tree and around the tree of pruned (summer pruning) and unpruned trees in an intensive apple orchard. When observing the daily trend of global radiation measured, there was a great reduction at midday hours due to the shadowing effect of the canopy. The reduction reached... 70-75% before pruning, while after pruning it was only 20-25%. The relative radiation supply of the canopy space on cloudy days in the morning and late afternoon hours was higher than that of the sunny days. Mean differences between the day and night temperature reduced greatly in the period of intensive fruit colouration in August and September both in the plant stock and outside the plant stock.
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.
The study took place in the largest sweet cherry plantation in West Hungary. The purpose has been the identification of those varieties, which will be suitable for intense cultivation, early fruiting and excellent fruit quality, moreover, the selection of the optimal phytotechnical procedures. At the same time, scion-rootstock combinations have... been tested also from the point of view of growing intensity and fruiting in high-density plantation. The dense planting is induced to start fruiting early and yield regularly by special methods.Yielding was stimulated by maintaining the balance of vegetative-generative growth by binding the shoots, by summer pruning, by cuts on the trunk and root pruning. Best experiences have been found in yield and quality in the following varieties: Canada Giant, Carmen, Firm Red, Giant Red, Katalin, Kordia, Regina. Dense planting has been feasible also on vigorous rootstock, like P. mahaleb. Dwarfing rootstocks like P-HL-A, Gisela 6, accelerate the formation of flower buds and yielding earlier with fruits of adequate size. ‘Firm Red’ and ‘Giant Red’ excelled with their large fruit (>27 mm diameter) in all combinations, thus being promising under Hungarian conditions.
The elements of orchard management have a determining role in the success of organic fruit production, therefore, it is essential that they are applied properly. The present review gives describes some aspects of the orchard management such as site selection, orchard soil, rootstocks and cultivars, planting materials and plant density, crown sh...ape. Then, one of the most important elements, pruning is discussed with special emphasis on winter pruning, condition and apical dominance, degree and method of pruning, summer pruning. After pruning, an overview of fruit thinning, irrigation, soil cultivation, soil protection (cover plants and mulching) and fertilization is given.
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.
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.
The paper gives a review on the results of the latest rootstock evaluation projects in Hungary. Several cherry rootstock evaluation projects were carried out in Hungary during the last two decades. The evaluated rootstocks are partly mahalebs selected in Hungary, but more or less all the most important new rootstocks from different countries ar...e involved. The aim of these evaluation projects was to find appropriate rootstocks in a wide range of vigour for our climate and soil conditions. The conclusion of the last 20 years of research in Hungary proved just the opposite of believes, that high density orchard can only be planted with dwarfing rootstocks. Before choosing the right rootstock the most important is to consider adaptability, precocity and productivity. Dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstocks showed proper results only with irrigation or very good site conditions. These rootstocks are very precocious, but branches form easily blindwood. This must be corrected by severe pruning in the first years. The relatively small leaf surface area can also be disadvantageous, but it can be controlled by pruning, fruit-thinning, irrigation and fertilization. After studying different rootstocks semi-vigorous rootstocks seem to be the most adequate for different site conditions in Hungary. Fast initial growing and competent precocity are their favourable characters. From the vigorous group of clonal mahalebs or seedlings are highly recommended first of all for poor site condition (sandy, lime soils with high pH). They turn to bearing early and easy to find them in the Hungarian nurseries. But on vigorous rootstocks trees might need stronger summer pruning.
The purpose of measuring parallel canopy and out of canopy microclimates was to find out in what extent climatic parameters measured in different aged canopis differ from each other and from the values characteristic to out-of-canopi areas. The importance of phytoclimatic researches seems to lie in the fact that if the reactions of fruit trees...towards meteorological elements are continuously followed, we have the possibility to provide growers with information. These pieces of information are like defining the optimum time of phitotechnical interventions (summer pruning, sorting sprouts, thinning fruits, etc.), the necessity of applying mulching, defining the method and time of irrigation and applying plant protection activities. By means of phytoclimatic researches, it is possible to react to unfavourable meteorological impacts within a certain extent. It is also possible to successfully reduce the risks of late spring and early autumn frost damage, as well as the risks, content and measure of experienced heat and water stress conditions by finding out about the physical characteristics of the canopis' internal area.
On the Experimental Station Pallag of Debrecen University different combinations of fruit species and rootstocks have been raised under and without plastic foil cover in 2002. The growth and productivity of the grafts was our objective of comparison. Results revealed substantial differences in fruit set and yield depending on species and variet...ies. Sweet and sour cherry varieties grew much shorter under the plastic cover, whereas apricots, peaches and plums set fruit much more eagerly compared with the trees outside the plastic cover. Outside the plastic cover, the trees were much more developed at the beginning of their fruiting period. In spite of that, the growing processes were more intense under the foil. The differences are allegedly due to the repeated summer pruning necessary under the restricted space of the foil, on the other hand, due to the root concurrence because of the dense planting. Regarding the inner properties of the fruits, soluble solids, sugar and acids were higher outside, whereas macro- and mezzo-elements (P, K, Ca, Mg) were more abundant in fruits grown under the foil cover. Further efforts to explore those relations with other varieties and rootstocks are justified.