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Vegetative and reproductive responses of some apple cultivars (Malus domestica Borkh.) to heading back prunning

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Author(s): Mohammadi A. et al

Journal: International Journal of AgriScience
ISSN 2228-6322

Volume: 3;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 628;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: apple pruning | flower induction | ‘Golab’ | bearing spurs

ABSTRACT
The effects of heading back cut pruning were tested on a native Iranian early maturing apple cultivar (‘Golab’) and seven commercial apple cultivars (‘Gala’, ‘Fuji’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Red Delicious’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Red Spare’ and ‘Braeburn’). Tests evaluated vegetative and reproductive responses to heading back cut pruning on M9 rootstocks. Tests were arranged in a completely randomized block design with four replicates. The terminal part of vertical shoots was headed back in mid-April in all cultivars; shoots in the control were left intact. Evaluations were made for plant growth (shoot length) and number of flower buds to remain until the end of the growing season. Tests showed that flowering, in terms of number of formed flower buds, was significantly affected by pruning treatment. Tests on apple cultivar and interaction between pruning and cultivar indicated difference between cultivars in terms of response to pruning. Evaluations for flower bud number and vegetative growth increased by heading back treatment. Results of comparisons showed that ‘Granny smith’ cultivar had the strongest positive reaction to heading back treatment and that the most flower buds formed on one-year old branches after heading back treatment in the subsequent growing season and the ‘Braeburn’ cultivar had the least positive reaction to heading back. The ‘Golab’ cultivar, a local early maturing cultivar, showed a weak positive reaction to heading back but stimulation to flowering was more than that in ‘Fuji’, ‘Red delicious’ or ‘Golden delicious’ cultivars.

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