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  • 1. Peach Systems: Training and Production Stephen Miller USDA-ARS, AFRS, Kearneysville, WV
  • 2. Objectives in Tree Training: Promote favorable growth patterns Bring trees into early production Develop a strong framework Promote sunlight penetration Improve ease of management
  • 3. Promote favorable growth patterns Naturally Round, bush-like Some variation
  • 4. Bring trees into early production Yield - bushels/acre 300 250 200 150 OC (156 t/ac) Quad - V (218) Tri - V (366) Perp.- V (641) CL (444) Fusetto (748) 100 50 0 2000 2001 Year (Trees planted, 1999) 2002 After Hoying, Robinson, and Anderson. NY Fruit Quart. 15(4):13-18, 2007
  • 5. Develop a strong framework
  • 6. Promote penetration of sunlight Light – • 15% FS or less shoot loss • 40% FS @ 40-60 DAFB • 45% FS 3 wks before harvest • light = productivity
  • 7. Improve ease of management
  • 8. Training is accomplished by: Training aids Support systems - trellis Tying Pruning
  • 9. Pruning Objectives Remove poor, unproductive wood Encourage new growth Remove broken and pest damaged wood Promote light penetration throughout the canopy Maintain the tree within the allotted space
  • 10. Pruning Cuts – the basic concepts To produce new growth To direct growth
  • 11. Pruning technique can affect Cytospora infection Flush cut Stub cut Treatment % Cytospora infection Pruning time Collar cut January March August 35.4 a 20.0 a 21.3 a Type cut the collar Stub Flush Collar 26.5 ab 31.0 a 19.3 b
  • 12. Prune to retain “quality bearing wood”: ¼” to 3/8” diam., 12 to 24” long (and no longer than 30”), reddish-brown color Shoot length Less than 1” 1” to 12” 18” to 24” p – value Fruit Diameter (cm) Weight (g) 6.44 143 6.54 148 6.80 165 0.0214 Effect of retaining long (> 12”) or short (< 12”) shoots on yield, average fruit weight (FW) and crop value of ‘Redhaven’ peaches. Fruit Yield Avg. Crop value FW (g) ($/tree) Treatment per tree (lbs/tree) Short shoots 1593 404 106 20 Long shoots 1813 416 111 30 From R. Marini, 2004, Fruit Grower News 43(4)17-20 0.0462
  • 13. Pruning should be used to direct growth and with the goal of retaining a select number of “quality bearing shoots”. Remember Vertical limbs produce growth near the top Horizontal limbs produce upright growth
  • 14. Directing growth through training and pruning Starts at planting with a quality nursery tree Classic systems 45° to 60° from vertical 20° to 30° from vertical ¼” to ½” caliper tree best; 5/8” OK; 3/4” too large Highdensity systems
  • 15. Pruning at planting – the classic approach Begin by heading at 18”- 28” to force laterals At planting ≈ 2 mo after planting Pinch or tip the more upright shoots to force growth into desired permanent branches and help spread.
  • 16. Factors to consider when pruning: “Bench cuts” produce strong vertical growth at the cut
  • 17. A variation of classic open center – the Italian Delayed Vase • requires a high quality feathered tree or an additional year in the orchard • maintaining a weak leader for several years is the key to this system
  • 18. Pruning at planting – the upright forms Whip Feathered Head tree at planting to 18” to 20” ≈ 30-45 days after planting Shorten all laterals to ≈ 2” or at least 2 buds Removing unwanted narrow angled shoots and pinching can be done during summer
  • 19. Training and pruning upright forms First dormant pruning 2nd leaf and beyond
  • 20. Second leaf peach tree AFTER major pruning to the perpendicular V system
  • 21. Maintain young bearing wood on the primary scaffolds Excessive structural wood reduces yields
  • 22. Establish lower scaffolds & leader Pruning central leader forms Select fruiting wood & remove competition At planting Head at ≈ 40” & stub 1st dormant pruning Stub some shoots for new wood 2nd dormant pruning 3rd year and beyond
  • 23. In central leader tree avoid structural wood in upper leader Upright growth habit Standard growth habit
  • 24. Goal of pruning and training as trees begin to crop maintain bearing wood throughout canopy produce high quality fruits SUMMER PRUNING – essential, especially in HD plantings
  • 25. Summer pruning at pit hardening to improve flowering Percent of full sunlight 50 40 30 20 6th leaf 10 0 Pillar Upright Before SP Standard After SP Light level in 3rd leaf 24 hours after summer pruning SP NSP 40% greater light levels 1 wk before harvest
  • 26. Flower density (FD) in ‘Redhaven’ peach* as influenced by photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) one year after shade treatments during four periods. Light (PPF) 16 June to (%) 4-Jul Shade period 4 July to 31 July to 31-Jul 30 Sept. 16 June to 30 Sept. FD (flowers/m of shoot length) 100 45 23 17 9 Signif. 50 47 37 34 28 43 51 41 44 31 41 37 42 44 40 73 30 20 25 4 L Q n.s. Q * Mature open center trees; whole tree shade treatments. From R. Marini and D. Sowers, 1990. HortSciince 25:331-334.
  • 27. 4- year-old Multi-leader peach at 5 ft. spacing 7- year-old Vigor coupled with no summer pruning results in low canopy void and pushes quality bearing wood higher in the tree
  • 28. Dormant pruning time - sec/tree 500 400 300 200 100 0 2000 2001 Summer pruned Summer pruning reduced dormant pruning time an average of 34% over 5 seasons 2002 2003 Not summer pruned 2004
  • 29. Summer pruning and training system affect fruit color - ???? - Shearing HD ‘Redskin’ ≈ 2 wks before harvest increased red color from 36 to 49% (MD) Shearing tops of LD ‘Loring’ in June and/or July increased red color on fruit from tops vs. interior (61% vs 44%) but tree’s avg. color was not affected (NJ)
  • 30. Peach Production Systems Open center (Open vase) Delayed vase Quad – V Tri – V Perpendicular – V (Kearney – V) Central leader Fusetto Supported systems – Tatura, Palmette
  • 31. Open Center Delayed vase Peach Training Systems Quad - V Tri - V
  • 32. Perpendicular - V Central leader Peach Training Systems Fusetto (Slender spindle)
  • 33. Yield - bushels/acre (48 lb/bu) Annual yield for ‘Norman’ peaches as influenced by tree density 600 HIGH (299) 500 'Norman' peach, planted 1988 HIGH - LOW LOW (150) 400 300 200 100 0 1991 1992 1993 Year 1995 1996 From Marini and Sowers, 2000, HortSci 35:837-842; crop loss from freeze in 1994 Trees trained to central leader and open vase; yield not affected by training form; HIGH – LOW treatment reduced from 299 t/ac to 150 t/ac in 1994.
  • 34. From R. Marini and D. Sowers. 2000. HortSci. 35:837-842.
  • 35. Yield for ‘Redglobe’ peaches planted in three training systems in Georgia 350 'Redglobe'/Lovell, planted 1999 Yield - lbs/tree or bushels/acre 300 OC - (134) 250 Quad - V - (269) 200 Perp. - V - (403) a ab b 150 b c 100 a ab c 50 0 a 2001 2002 Yield per tree From Taylor, K. 2003 PA Fruit New s 83(6):19-24 2001 2002 Yield per acre
  • 36. Average tree, pruning, and thinning costs and gross/net income for ‘Redglobe’ peaches grown in three training systems Training system Average tree costs ($) Total pruning and thinning costs/acre ($) Gross income ($) Net income ($) Open center 278 825 4526 3425 b Quad – V 558 1815 9112 6699 a Perp. – V 836 1405 8392 6151 a Pruning and thinning costs over 3 year period; income costs over 2 years. Open center = 134 trees/ac, Quad – V = 269 t/ac, and Perp.- V = 403 t/ac. From K. Taylor, PA Fruit News 83(6):19-24, 2003
  • 37. Average yield for three varieties in six training systems in New York 2500 Open Cneter Quad - V Tri - V 1500 Perpendicular V Cumulative Yield bushels/acre 2000 Central Leader Fusetto 1000 500 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Year ‘Allstar’ and ‘Blushingstar’ peach and ‘Flavortop’ nectarine From S. Hoying, T. Robinson, and R. Anderson. 2007. NY Fruit Quart 15(4):13-18 2006
  • 38. Effect of six planting systems on fruit size, color and farm gate value for two peaches and a nectarine grown in New York over 6 years Tree density Av. Fruit size (g) Fruit red color (%) 2004 Open Center 156 182 a 46 b 6,057 d Quad - V 218 179 a 62 a 9,987 c Tri - V 366 172 b 57 a 11,572 b Perpendicular V 641 161 c 61 a 15,667 a Central Leader 444 170 b 62 a 11,568 b Fusetto 748 168 b 60 a 14,658 a System Farm gate vlaue does not include picking, storage and packing costs From S. Hoying, T. Robinson, and R. Anderson. 2007. NY Fruit Quart 15(4):13-18 Cumulative farm gate crop value/acre ($)
  • 39. Yield per Acre for Three Peach Tree Growth Habits Planted at a Recommended Spacing in West Virginia (AFRS) 1600 Yield - bushels/acre 1400 Pillar (622) 1200 Upright (419) Standard (109) 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2000 First leaf- 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 Spacing: P = 5’ x 14’; UP = 6.5’ x 16’; S = 20’ x 20’ Yields based on mean yields over 4 in-row spacings and 2 training forms 2005 Frost damage 2002
  • 40. Performance in the 5th, 6th, and 7th seasons: Pillar UP Number of trees per acre 622 419 109 Avg. yield, bus./ac (48 lb bu) 736 721 406 Fruit diameter (in) 2.7 2.8 2.5 41.1 36.6 22.1 Dormant pruning (hrs./ac) Standard *spacing - Pillar = 5’ x 14’, UP = 6.5’ x 16’, ST = 20’ x 20’ Yields based on actual yields for designated in-row spacing for each growth habit; dormant pruning time based on 2003 & 2004 seasons only.
  • 41. Mean fruit size (diameter) for three peach tree growth habits planted at four in-row spacings over four harvest seasons at AFRS Mean fruit diameter - cm 7.5 7 6.5 5 6.5 13 In-row tree spacing in ft. 20 6 2002 2003 2004 2005 ‘Crimson Rocket’, ‘Sweet-N-UP’, and ‘Harrow Beauty’ planted in 1999
  • 42. Thank You QUESTIONS ?