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Nutrient Management for Apple Trees on
Dwarfing Rootstocks
Lailiang Cheng
Department of Horticulture
Cornell University
Outline
• Nutrient requirements
• Nutrient supply sources
• Tree nutrient status
• Management strategies
2
Trees on dwarfing rootstocks
Compared with trees on seedlings:
•Have a smaller and shallower root
system
•Crop earlier and have higher yield
3
Nutrient requirements
• Essential nutrients
– Macronutrients: N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S
– Micronutrients: B, Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Mo, Cl,
Ni.
• Seasonal patterns and magnitude
4
Determining nutrient requirements
• Six-year-old Gala/M.26 were grown in sand
culture at 1.07 X 3.35m spacing (186 trees/mu).
• Each tree received 30 g N in Hoagland’s solution
during the entire growing season.
• Cropload was adjusted to 8.2 fruit/cm2 TCA at 10
mm king fruit (~104 fruit/tree).
• Four trees were destructively sampled for
analysis at each key developmental stages.
5
6
Leaf and fruit nutrient status
Tissue N P K Ca Mg
Leaf 2.00 0.18 1.61 1.10 0.39
Fruit 0.25 0.06 0.80 0.05 0.04
Macronutrients (%)
Micronutrients (ppm)
Tissue B Zn Cu Mn Fe
Leaf 27.3 27.3 8.3 143.8 83.5
Fruit 21.8 3.5 3.8 7.8 25.3
7
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160180
Dryweight(kg/tree)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Whole tree
Fruit
shoots & leaves
Cropload: 8.2 frt/cm2TCA
Fruit#/tree: 104
Yield:18.8Kg/tree
Leaf area/fruit: 550 cm2/frt
Fruit size: 181 g/fruit
Fruit firmness: 16.8 lbs
Soluble solids: 14.5%
Dry matter accumulation of 6-yr-old Gala/M.26
8
Net dry matter gain and its partitioning
(Net DW gain: 4.3 kg)
Fruit
72.2%
Shoots and leaves
17.3%
Rest 10.5%
9
TotaltreeP(g)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotaltreeK(g)
0
10
20
30
40
50
TotaltreeCa(g)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
TotaltreeMg(g)
0
2
4
6
8
TotaltreeN(g)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalS(g)
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
Macronutrient accumulation patterns of whole tree
10
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotaltreeZn(mg)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
TotaltreeB(mg)
0
30
60
90
120
150
TotaltreeFe(mg)
0
100
200
300
400
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalMn(mg)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
Micronutrient accumulation patterns of whole tree
11
TotalP(g)
0
1
2
3
4
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalK(g)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
TotalCa(g)
0
3
6
9
12
15
TotalMg(g)
0
1
2
3
4
5
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalS(g)
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
TotalN(g)
0
5
10
15
20
25
New growth
Fruit
shoots and leaves
Macronutrient accumulation patterns in new growth
12
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalZn(mg)
0
10
20
30
40
50
TotalFe(mg)
0
30
60
90
120
150
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
TotalMn(mg)
0
30
60
90
120
150
TotalB(mg)
0
20
40
60
80
100
New growth
Fruit
Shoots & leaves
Micronutrient accumulation patterns in new growth
13
Gala/M.26 nutrient requirements
(52.5 t/ha or 3.5t/mu)
N P K Ca Mg
Net gain 3.78 0.62 6.76 2.68 0.82
New growth 3.84 0.61 6.55 2.08 0.75
Macronutrients (kg/mu)
Micronutrients (g/mu)
B Zn Cu Mn Fe
Net gain 17.40 11.35 9.08 34.81 28.00
New growth 16.65 6.81 3.78 25.73 24.21
14
Nutrient requirements in relation to yield
Yield (kg/mu) N P K Ca Mg S
1000 1.05 0.17 1.91 0.76 0.23 0.08
2000 2.11 0.35 3.82 1.51 0.47 0.17
3000 3.16 0.52 5.73 2.27 0.70 0.25
4000 4.21 0.70 7.65 3.02 0.93 0.34
5000 5.26 0.87 9.56 3.78 1.17 0.42
6000 6.32 1.05 11.47 4.53 1.40 0.51
Macronutrients (kg/mu)
15
Summary
 Nutrient requirements: N: 3.68, P: 0.61, K: 6.69, Ca: 2.64,
Mg: 0.82, and S: 0.30 kg/mu, and B: 17.4, Zn: 11.3, Cu:
8.6, Mn: 34.4, and Fe: 27.7g/mu at a yield of 3.5ton/mu.
 Highest N demand occurs from bloom to the end of
shoot growth, followed by a lower but steady demand;
many other nutrients shows relatively constant demand
from bloom to harvest.
 Differential requirements by fruit and leaves
– Timing: bloom to end of shoot growth for leaves; end of shoot
growth to fruit harvest for fruit;
– Amount: fruit needs more P, K, B, and Fe than leaves.
16
Nutrient Supply Sources
• Tree nutrient reserves
– Important for phloem-mobile nutrients
• Soil
• Fertilizers applied to soil or foliage
17
Contribution of reserve N to new growth
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
Ninshootsandleaves
(g)
0.0
2.5
5.0
7.5
10.0
12.5
15.0
Days after budbreak
0 20 40 60 80 100120140160
FruitN(g)
0.0
2.5
5.0
7.5
10.0
A B
Total N
Fertilizer N
Reserve N
18
Soil analysis
• Soil analysis provides pH and mineral nutrient
availability for preplant preparation and for
proper diagnosis of tree nutrient status.
However, only the optimal ranges for Ca, Mg, K,
P, B, and Al have been developed.
• Soil sampling
Late summer or in the fall after harvest
Separate topsoil (0 to 25cm) from subsoil (25-50cm)
Thorough sampling (10 to 20 sub samples per sample
for a 10-acre orchard)
19
Soil pH
pH = -log[H+]
• Optimal soil pH for apple: 6.0 to 6.5.
Colloid-H+
H+ (Solution)
20
---------------
-
- - - - - -
- - - - -
- - -
- - --
- --
- -
-
-
-
K+
Ca2+
H+
AI3+
Mg2+
Mn2+AI3+
Ca2+
H+
Mg2+
AI3+Ca2+
K+
H+
H+
K+
Mg2+ Na+
K+
Ca2+
K+Na+
NH4
+
Adsorption of cations by soil colloids
Acid-forming cations: H+, AI3+, Fe3+, Mn2+
Base cations: Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+
Fe3+
21
CEC and approximate needs for Ca, Mg and K
Soil texture
CEC
(meq/100g)
Ca (lbs/acre) Mg (lbs/acre) K (lbs/acre)
0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16”
Sand, gravel 5 3 1,500 800 185 100 150 100
Sandy loam 12 8 3,600 2,100 440 260 350 220
Loam, silty loam 18 12 5,500 3,200 660 385 525 335
Silty clay loam 20 14 6,100 3,700 740 450 580 370
Clay loam, clay 25 18 7,600 4,800 900 580 730 465
22
Soil test P values and rates of P2O5 application
Soil test value
(lb P/acre)
Pre-plant
P2O5 lb/acre
Established orchard
P2O5 lb/acre
<1 120 60
1-3 100 60
4-8 60 30
9+ 40 0
Preplant P2O5rate (lb/acre): (9-P) X 10 + 40
Established orchard P2O5 rate: (9-P) X 5 + 20
23
Soil test B levels and rates of B application
Relative
level
Loam, silt loam
B (lb/acre)
Sandy loam
B (lb/acre)
Loamy sand
B (lb/acre)
B(lb/acre)
to apply
Very high >2.4 >1.8 >1.2 0
High 1.6-2.4 1.2-1.8 0.7-1.2 1
Medium 0.8-1.6 0.6-1.2 0.4-0.7 2
Low <0.8 <0.6 <0.4 3
24
Al, Fe and Mn in relation to pH
Soil pH
4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0
AI(lb/acre)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
Soil pH
4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0
Fe(lb/acre)
0
20
40
60
80
100
200 lbs of Al or a combination of Al, Fe and Mn indicates a problem
25
Soil Zn and Cu
• Availability decreases as pH increases.
• Negatively affected by high soil phosphates.
• High organic matter may also decrease the
availability.
• Optimum range has not been established.
26
Benefits of liming
• Increase the availability of Ca, Mg, and P.
• Decrease AI, Fe, and Mn levels to avoid
toxicity problems.
• Promote microbial activity and improve
soil structure.
• Improve root growth and fertilizer use
efficiency.
27
Lime requirement
• Preplant
– Target pH: top soil 7.0; subsoil 6.5
– Based on CEC, base saturation at target pH
and Ca/Mg of 5 to 1.
• Maintenance
– Target pH: 6.0 to 6.5.
– 2 tons of lime per acre every 2 years based on
soil and leaf analysis.
28
Soil Organic Matter (SOM)
• Provides N, K, P, and many other nutrients
• Increases CEC, water-stable aggregates
and water holding capacity
• Supports diverse microbial community
• Reduces nutrient leaching.
29
Organic matter content in NY orchard soils
Soil organic matter (%)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Numberofsoilsamples
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
30
Diagnosis of Tree nutrients status via
tissue analysis
• Tissue analysis provides the actual concentration sof
nutrients in plants, which reflects demand-supply
relationship
• However, tissue nutrient concentrations are affected
by tree vigor and cropload, and therefore tissue
analysis alone is not enough for developing an
effective fertilization program
31
Tissue nutrient concentrations and tree growth and yield
32
Leaf sampling
• 60 to 80 days after petal fall (early August).
• 100 leaves with petiole from trees of a single cultivar
representative of a block (<10 acres).
• Leaves free of insect and disease damage.
• Taking notes on
– Shoot length and thickness
– Relative size and appearance of leaves
– Incidence of insect and disease damage
– Visual deficiency symptoms
– Crop load
– Pruning severity
– Effectiveness of weed control 33
Sample preparation
• Gently wash in mild detergent. Rinse 3
times with distilled water.
• Blot dry, dry on paper towels.
• Place loosely in paper bag for air drying.
• Store in a warm dry place until processing.
34
Interpretation of leaf analyses
• Compare analysis results with standards.
• Look at the balances between nutrients as
well as actual content.
• Take tree growth, cropload, soil nutrient
availability and other factors into
consideration.
35
Apple Leaf Nitrogen
Tree type Leaf N (%)
Young non-bearing apples 2.4 – 2.6
Young bearing apples 2.2 – 2.4
Mature soft varieties 1.8 – 2.2
Mature hard varieties 2.2 – 2.4
• Shoot growth: 10 to 16 inches (25 to 40 cm)
• Cropload: leaf N is higher on heavy cropped trees;
• Drought/weed competition decreases leaf N;
• More prone to biennial bearing when leaf N<2.2.
36
Other Nutrients
Nutrients Desired level
Phosphorus 0.13-0.33%
Potassium 1.35-1.85%
Calcium 1.3-2.0%
Magnesium 0.35-0.5%
Boron 25-50 ppm
Zinc 25-50 ppm
Copper 7-12 ppm
Manganese 50-150 ppm
Iron 50+ ppm
37
Leaf Phosphorus
• Optimum range: 0.13 to 0.33%.
• Low P often indicates low soil pH.
• High P often results from concentrating
effects of limited leaf expansion by Zn
deficiency.
38
Leaf Potassium
• Optimum range: 1.35 to 1.85%.
• N/K ratio: 1.00 ~ 1.25 for McIntosh and
1.25 ~ 1.5 for Delicious.
• Drought decreases leaf K.
• Inverse relationship with cropload.
39
40
From: Ferguson &Watkins 1992 JASHS 117:373
Leaf Calcium
• Optimum range: 1.3 to 2.0%.
• Low leaf Ca results from low soil pH, B or
Zn deficiency.
• High leaf Ca does not necessarily translate
into good fruit Ca status due to its
transpiration-driven distribution and low
phloem mobility.
41
Leaf Magnesium
• Optimum range: 0.35 to 0.50%.
• K/Mg should be 4 or less.
• Low leaf Mg may result from low soil pH or
high K.
• Dolomitic lime, Sulpomag, and foliar
application of MgSO4·7H2O.
42
Leaf Boron
• Optimum range: 25 to 50 ppm.
• Soil moisture affects B availability.
• When deficient, both soil and foliar
applications are essential.
• If soil test unavailable, soil application of 2
lbs B/acre is suggested when leaf
B<25ppm.
43
Leaf Zinc
• Optimum range: 25 to 50 ppm.
• P/Zn ration should be 100 or less.
• High pH, high phosphates, high organic
matter and low temperature.
• When deficient, foliar application of Zn
chelate is most effective.
44
Leaf Copper
• Optimum range: 7 to 12 ppm.
• High pH, high phosphates, and high
organic matter decrease Cu availability.
• Copper fungicides at green tip is most
effective. Copper sprays after flower cluster
opening can cause severe russeting of fruit.
45
Leaf Manganese
• Optimum range: 50 to 150 ppm.
• High soil pH (>6.3) leads to deficiency
whereas low pH (<5.6) leads to excess.
• When deficient, a single application of
manganese sulfate (4 lbs/100 gal) at first
cover is sufficient.
46
Fruit Analysis
• Two types: fruitlet in July or fruit at harvest.
• Purpose: diagnosis and/or prediction.
• Standards for Cox and Bramley fruit at harvest
(mg/100 g fresh fruit) for long term storage.
Variety N P K Mg Ca
Cox 50 - 70 11 (min) 130 - 170 5.0 5.0
Bramley 60 (max) 9 (min) 105 -115 5.0 5.0
47
Nutrient management strategies
• Conventional methods: timing and rate
• Fertigation (Fertilization + irrigation)
• Controlled release fertilizers
• Build up soil organic matter
48
Nitrogen supply
Fruit set
Fruit size
Yield
Biennial bearing
Fruit color
Fruit firmness
Storage ability
Nitrogen management
49
22 66 131 262lbsN/A
50
Return Bloom of Gala/M.26 Trees in
Response to N Supply
262
131
66
22 lbs/A
2007 2008
51
Ideal Pattern of Tree N Status
• Trees have relatively high N status early in the
season to promote rapid canopy development and
early fruit growth.
• As the season progresses, N status declines
gradually to guarantee fruit quality development
and wood maturity.
52
Apple leaf analysis standards for N
Tree type Leaf N (%)
Young non-bearing apples 2.4 – 2.6
Young bearing apples 2.2 – 2.4
Mature soft varieties 1.8 – 2.2
Mature hard/processing varieties 2.2 – 2.4
Soft varieties: Cortland, Empress, Goldens, Honeycrisp, Mac,
Jersermac, Jonagold, Jonamac, Jonathan, Macoun, Mutsu,
Paulared, Spartan and other early ripening varieties
Hard varieties: Delicious, Empire, Gala, Idared, Liberty, Melrose,
Rome, Stayman, York Imperial, and processing varieties
53
Days from budbreak
0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210
TreeNdemandorsupply
0
20
40
60
80
100 Demand
Res N
Soil N
Tree N Demand-Supply
54
Timing of N application
• Both early season (budbreak to petal fall) and late
N applications fit the patterns of tree N demand.
• For soils with low fertility or varieties not very
sensitive to N, multiple split applications during
spring-summer period may be appropriate.
55
Amount of N application
• Tree nitrogen requirement
• Natural supply of nitrogen from soil
• Uptake efficiency of applied fertilizers
56
Natural supply of N from soil
• Every 1% organic matter releases about
20 lb. N/acre per year
• N uptake efficiency is about 60%
• Every 1% organic matter contributes
about 12 lb N/acre to apple trees.
57
Amount of N to be applied
• The difference between N demand and
the supply from soil, with uptake
efficiency factored in.
• Site-specific
• As a rule of thumb, every 10% increase in
fertilizer results in 0.1% in leaf N
58
Estimating N Use Efficiency
in Shandong Orchards
• According to a survey by Dr. Jiang, the average N
rate used in Qixia in 2012 was 540kg/acre(198 ~
2556 kg/acre)
• At a yield of 30 tons/acre,N requirement is 30~36
kg/acre
• Assuming soil natural N supply contributed to 20% of
the requirement, the N fertilizer use efficiency would
be only 36 * (100 – 20)/540 ≈ 5% 59
It’s unlikely that N use efficiency is only 5%!
• Lon-term over-fertilization led to acidification of
orchard soil (Average pH5.5 in Qixia), and low
retention of fertilizers
• Very vigorous tree growth indicates N supply
exceeds tree needs
• At a N fertilizer use efficiency of 25%, N fertilizer
rate can be reduced to ¼ to 1/5 of the current rate
60
Foliar N application
• Foliar N application can help to meet the tree
N demand early in the season or to increase
tree N reserves in the fall.
• Early in the season: 0.4 to 0.6% urea. In the
fall: 3% urea.
61
Summary on N application
• Both early season (budbreak to petal fall) and late N
applications fit the patterns of tree N demand.
• The amount N you need to apply depends on tree N
status and natural N supply from soil.
• Foliar N application can help to meet the tree N demand
early in the season or to increase tree N reserves in the
fall.
62
Potassium Application
• Fall application
• Maintenance (80 to 100 lbs/acre) vs correction
(150 to 200 lb K2O /acre).
Yield
(bushels/acre)
K
(lbs/acre)
K2O
(lbs/acre)
500 27.7 33.3
1000 55.3 66.6
1500 83.0 100.0
2000 110.7 133.3
K removal in relation to Gala yield
From: Cheng and Raba, 2009 63
Calcium management
• Adjust soil pH for adequate Ca supply from
soil
• Promote and maintain root growth, and
uptake (B, Zn, water availability)
• Balance with N and K is important.
• Control tree vigor to mitigate competition
with fruit for Ca.
• Avoid low cropload situation
64
Calcium Sprays
• 3 to 4 sprays of 1 to 2 lbs of CaCl2 (78%) or its
equivalent per 100 gallons (dilute basis) at 14 day
intervals beginning 7 to 10 days after petal fall.
• 2 additional sprays of 3 to 4 lb per 100 gallons at 4
and 2 weeks prior to harvest.
This program provides 7.5-13.4 lbs of actual Ca
per acre
65
1. Delivers nutrients to the root zone at the right time
2. Reduces leaching and runoff of nutrients
Fertigation: Potential Advantages
66
• Incompatibility of chemicals resulting in precipitates.
– Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn and Cu should not be mixed with
phosphates or sulfates.
– High Fe content in the water can cause precipitate
problems.
• Solubility of Materials.
– Potassium fertilizers generally have low solubility.
– Heating water will increase solubility but be careful of
"salt out"
• Acidifying of the Soil.
– Soil under the emitters can become very acid if acidifying
nitrogen fertilizers are used.
– Banded lime applications along the trickle line are
required.
Potential Application Problems
67
pH Under Trickle Emitters After 6 Years
8 inches
16 inches
24 inches
32 inches
pH low ~4.5
(NH4)2SO4 + 4O2 = 2NO3
- + 4H+ + 2H2O
NH4NO3 + 2O2 = 2NO3
- + 2H+ + H2O
To neutralize the acidity:
1 lb NH4-N from NH4NO3 and
urea needs 1.8 lbs CaCO3
1 lb NH4-N from (NH4)2SO4
needs about 3.6 lbs of CaCO3
68
Distribution of Nutrients in the Soil
20 cm
40 cm
60 cm
80 cm
N
K
ZnP
B
69
• Nitrogen
– NH4NO3 (acidifying)
– (NH4)2S2O3 (liquid)
– KNO3 (low solubility)
– Urea (not readily available)
– Ca (NO3)2 (incompatibility with phosphates)
– Urea/Ammonium Nitrate combinations (URAN) (liquid)
• Potassium
– KCl (Moderate Solubility)
– KNO3(Low Solubility but good source of Nitrogen)
– K2SO4 (Low Solubility)
– Liquid Potassium fertilizers have low concentrations of potash
N and K Fertilizers Applied by Fertigation:
70
• Phosphorus
– NH4H2PO4 (MAP) (low solubility)
– (NH4PO3)n (APP) (liquid)
– Phosphorus is best applied preplant with apples.
• Calcium
– Ca (NO3)2 (incompatibility with phosphates)(Ca content too low)
• Magnesium
– MgSO4·7H2O (highly soluble but incompatible with phosphates)
• Boron
– Solubor (highly soluble and accurately applied by trickle)
• Zinc
– Zinc Chelates (effective but rates required are not economical)
Other Fertilizers Applied by Fertigation:
71
1. Constant concentration of nutrients in all irrigation water.
– With light textured soils
• N=100ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees
• K=10ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees
– With heavier textured soils
• N=50ppm on young trees and 30ppm on mature trees
• K=10ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees.
– Advantages with this strategy
• Tree roots are exposed to a constant concentration of
fertilizer in the soil solution.
– Problems with this strategy
• Dependence of amount of fertilizer on water demand.
• In wet years less fertilizer is applied.
• In dry years more fertilizer is applied.
Application Strategies :
72
2. Weekly Dose of Fertilizer (NY strategy)
– Total amount of fertilizer to be applied per year is divided by
number of weeks over which fertilizer is to be applied. (e.g. 10
weeks)
– The weekly dose is applied in one irrigation cycle on one day of
the week.
– If additional water is needed it is applied without dissolved
fertilizers.
– Advantages with this strategy
• Amount of fertilizer applied is independent of amount of
irrigation water used
– Disadvantages with this strategy
• The concentration of fertilizer in the soil solution declines when
non fertilized water is applied.
NY Application Strategy
73
• With light textured soils
– Young trees
• N=60-100 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (6-10 lb/acre/week)
• K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (4 lb/acre/week)
– Mature trees
• N=40-60 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (4-6 lb/acre/week)
• K2O=100 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (7 lb/acre/week)
• With heavier textured soils
– Young trees
• N=40-60 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (4-6 lb/acre/week)
• K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (4 lb/acre/week)
– Mature trees
• N=20-40 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (2-4 lb/acre/week)
• K2O=80 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (5 lb/acre/week)
Weekly Dose Strategy
74
• Liquid Nitrogen
– CAN 17 (liquid)
– N=60-100 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks
or 6-10 lb/acre/week
• Potassium beginning in year 2
– K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks
or 4 lb/acre/week
• Small amounts of water applied twice
weekly.
– 5 gallons per tree per week in year 1
– 10 gallons per tree per week in year 2
Fertigation Strategy First 3 Years:
Venturi Injector
75
Effect of Fertigation on Growth and Yield of Empire, Mutsu
and Delicious Trees
Shoot Shoot Av.
Growth Growth Yield/ Yield/ Fruit
yr. 1-3 yrs4-5 tree yr. tree yr. Size
Treatment (m) (m) 2-4 (kg) 5-6 (kg) (g)
(% of Control)
Unirrigated 100 b 100 b 100 b 100 b 100 b
Trickle Irrigation 160 a 139 a 145 a 160 a 107 a
Fertigation 153 a 134 a 140 a 135 a 108 a
76
• Fertigation is an efficient way to deliver
Nitrogen and Potassium fertilizers to apple.
• Fertigation improves early tree growth and early
yield.
• Fertigation can in some cases give larger fruit
size and greater yield of mature trees.
Conclusions on Fertigation
Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRFs)
Controlled release fertilizers with different
proportions of N-P2O5-K2O have been tested in
apple orchards in Shandong by Drs Zhang Min,
Jiang Yuanmao and others. These CRFs provide an
effective way to match nutrient supply with tree
nutrient demand, improve fertilizer use efficiency,
and reduce leaching of nutrients
78
Build up soil organic matter
• Manure and compost applications
• Straw-mulching in the row, and growing
grasses between rows
• Cover crops, such as legumes
79

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Ppt fruit-apple-nutrition-cheng-cornell-2014-eng

  • 1. Nutrient Management for Apple Trees on Dwarfing Rootstocks Lailiang Cheng Department of Horticulture Cornell University
  • 2. Outline • Nutrient requirements • Nutrient supply sources • Tree nutrient status • Management strategies 2
  • 3. Trees on dwarfing rootstocks Compared with trees on seedlings: •Have a smaller and shallower root system •Crop earlier and have higher yield 3
  • 4. Nutrient requirements • Essential nutrients – Macronutrients: N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S – Micronutrients: B, Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Mo, Cl, Ni. • Seasonal patterns and magnitude 4
  • 5. Determining nutrient requirements • Six-year-old Gala/M.26 were grown in sand culture at 1.07 X 3.35m spacing (186 trees/mu). • Each tree received 30 g N in Hoagland’s solution during the entire growing season. • Cropload was adjusted to 8.2 fruit/cm2 TCA at 10 mm king fruit (~104 fruit/tree). • Four trees were destructively sampled for analysis at each key developmental stages. 5
  • 6. 6
  • 7. Leaf and fruit nutrient status Tissue N P K Ca Mg Leaf 2.00 0.18 1.61 1.10 0.39 Fruit 0.25 0.06 0.80 0.05 0.04 Macronutrients (%) Micronutrients (ppm) Tissue B Zn Cu Mn Fe Leaf 27.3 27.3 8.3 143.8 83.5 Fruit 21.8 3.5 3.8 7.8 25.3 7
  • 8. Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160180 Dryweight(kg/tree) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Whole tree Fruit shoots & leaves Cropload: 8.2 frt/cm2TCA Fruit#/tree: 104 Yield:18.8Kg/tree Leaf area/fruit: 550 cm2/frt Fruit size: 181 g/fruit Fruit firmness: 16.8 lbs Soluble solids: 14.5% Dry matter accumulation of 6-yr-old Gala/M.26 8
  • 9. Net dry matter gain and its partitioning (Net DW gain: 4.3 kg) Fruit 72.2% Shoots and leaves 17.3% Rest 10.5% 9
  • 10. TotaltreeP(g) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotaltreeK(g) 0 10 20 30 40 50 TotaltreeCa(g) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 TotaltreeMg(g) 0 2 4 6 8 TotaltreeN(g) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalS(g) 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 Macronutrient accumulation patterns of whole tree 10
  • 11. Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotaltreeZn(mg) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 TotaltreeB(mg) 0 30 60 90 120 150 TotaltreeFe(mg) 0 100 200 300 400 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalMn(mg) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Micronutrient accumulation patterns of whole tree 11
  • 12. TotalP(g) 0 1 2 3 4 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalK(g) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 TotalCa(g) 0 3 6 9 12 15 TotalMg(g) 0 1 2 3 4 5 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalS(g) 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 TotalN(g) 0 5 10 15 20 25 New growth Fruit shoots and leaves Macronutrient accumulation patterns in new growth 12
  • 13. Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalZn(mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 TotalFe(mg) 0 30 60 90 120 150 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 TotalMn(mg) 0 30 60 90 120 150 TotalB(mg) 0 20 40 60 80 100 New growth Fruit Shoots & leaves Micronutrient accumulation patterns in new growth 13
  • 14. Gala/M.26 nutrient requirements (52.5 t/ha or 3.5t/mu) N P K Ca Mg Net gain 3.78 0.62 6.76 2.68 0.82 New growth 3.84 0.61 6.55 2.08 0.75 Macronutrients (kg/mu) Micronutrients (g/mu) B Zn Cu Mn Fe Net gain 17.40 11.35 9.08 34.81 28.00 New growth 16.65 6.81 3.78 25.73 24.21 14
  • 15. Nutrient requirements in relation to yield Yield (kg/mu) N P K Ca Mg S 1000 1.05 0.17 1.91 0.76 0.23 0.08 2000 2.11 0.35 3.82 1.51 0.47 0.17 3000 3.16 0.52 5.73 2.27 0.70 0.25 4000 4.21 0.70 7.65 3.02 0.93 0.34 5000 5.26 0.87 9.56 3.78 1.17 0.42 6000 6.32 1.05 11.47 4.53 1.40 0.51 Macronutrients (kg/mu) 15
  • 16. Summary  Nutrient requirements: N: 3.68, P: 0.61, K: 6.69, Ca: 2.64, Mg: 0.82, and S: 0.30 kg/mu, and B: 17.4, Zn: 11.3, Cu: 8.6, Mn: 34.4, and Fe: 27.7g/mu at a yield of 3.5ton/mu.  Highest N demand occurs from bloom to the end of shoot growth, followed by a lower but steady demand; many other nutrients shows relatively constant demand from bloom to harvest.  Differential requirements by fruit and leaves – Timing: bloom to end of shoot growth for leaves; end of shoot growth to fruit harvest for fruit; – Amount: fruit needs more P, K, B, and Fe than leaves. 16
  • 17. Nutrient Supply Sources • Tree nutrient reserves – Important for phloem-mobile nutrients • Soil • Fertilizers applied to soil or foliage 17
  • 18. Contribution of reserve N to new growth Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 Ninshootsandleaves (g) 0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 Days after budbreak 0 20 40 60 80 100120140160 FruitN(g) 0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 A B Total N Fertilizer N Reserve N 18
  • 19. Soil analysis • Soil analysis provides pH and mineral nutrient availability for preplant preparation and for proper diagnosis of tree nutrient status. However, only the optimal ranges for Ca, Mg, K, P, B, and Al have been developed. • Soil sampling Late summer or in the fall after harvest Separate topsoil (0 to 25cm) from subsoil (25-50cm) Thorough sampling (10 to 20 sub samples per sample for a 10-acre orchard) 19
  • 20. Soil pH pH = -log[H+] • Optimal soil pH for apple: 6.0 to 6.5. Colloid-H+ H+ (Solution) 20
  • 21. --------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - -- - - - - - K+ Ca2+ H+ AI3+ Mg2+ Mn2+AI3+ Ca2+ H+ Mg2+ AI3+Ca2+ K+ H+ H+ K+ Mg2+ Na+ K+ Ca2+ K+Na+ NH4 + Adsorption of cations by soil colloids Acid-forming cations: H+, AI3+, Fe3+, Mn2+ Base cations: Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+ Fe3+ 21
  • 22. CEC and approximate needs for Ca, Mg and K Soil texture CEC (meq/100g) Ca (lbs/acre) Mg (lbs/acre) K (lbs/acre) 0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16” 0-8” 8-16” Sand, gravel 5 3 1,500 800 185 100 150 100 Sandy loam 12 8 3,600 2,100 440 260 350 220 Loam, silty loam 18 12 5,500 3,200 660 385 525 335 Silty clay loam 20 14 6,100 3,700 740 450 580 370 Clay loam, clay 25 18 7,600 4,800 900 580 730 465 22
  • 23. Soil test P values and rates of P2O5 application Soil test value (lb P/acre) Pre-plant P2O5 lb/acre Established orchard P2O5 lb/acre <1 120 60 1-3 100 60 4-8 60 30 9+ 40 0 Preplant P2O5rate (lb/acre): (9-P) X 10 + 40 Established orchard P2O5 rate: (9-P) X 5 + 20 23
  • 24. Soil test B levels and rates of B application Relative level Loam, silt loam B (lb/acre) Sandy loam B (lb/acre) Loamy sand B (lb/acre) B(lb/acre) to apply Very high >2.4 >1.8 >1.2 0 High 1.6-2.4 1.2-1.8 0.7-1.2 1 Medium 0.8-1.6 0.6-1.2 0.4-0.7 2 Low <0.8 <0.6 <0.4 3 24
  • 25. Al, Fe and Mn in relation to pH Soil pH 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 AI(lb/acre) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Soil pH 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 Fe(lb/acre) 0 20 40 60 80 100 200 lbs of Al or a combination of Al, Fe and Mn indicates a problem 25
  • 26. Soil Zn and Cu • Availability decreases as pH increases. • Negatively affected by high soil phosphates. • High organic matter may also decrease the availability. • Optimum range has not been established. 26
  • 27. Benefits of liming • Increase the availability of Ca, Mg, and P. • Decrease AI, Fe, and Mn levels to avoid toxicity problems. • Promote microbial activity and improve soil structure. • Improve root growth and fertilizer use efficiency. 27
  • 28. Lime requirement • Preplant – Target pH: top soil 7.0; subsoil 6.5 – Based on CEC, base saturation at target pH and Ca/Mg of 5 to 1. • Maintenance – Target pH: 6.0 to 6.5. – 2 tons of lime per acre every 2 years based on soil and leaf analysis. 28
  • 29. Soil Organic Matter (SOM) • Provides N, K, P, and many other nutrients • Increases CEC, water-stable aggregates and water holding capacity • Supports diverse microbial community • Reduces nutrient leaching. 29
  • 30. Organic matter content in NY orchard soils Soil organic matter (%) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Numberofsoilsamples 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 30
  • 31. Diagnosis of Tree nutrients status via tissue analysis • Tissue analysis provides the actual concentration sof nutrients in plants, which reflects demand-supply relationship • However, tissue nutrient concentrations are affected by tree vigor and cropload, and therefore tissue analysis alone is not enough for developing an effective fertilization program 31
  • 32. Tissue nutrient concentrations and tree growth and yield 32
  • 33. Leaf sampling • 60 to 80 days after petal fall (early August). • 100 leaves with petiole from trees of a single cultivar representative of a block (<10 acres). • Leaves free of insect and disease damage. • Taking notes on – Shoot length and thickness – Relative size and appearance of leaves – Incidence of insect and disease damage – Visual deficiency symptoms – Crop load – Pruning severity – Effectiveness of weed control 33
  • 34. Sample preparation • Gently wash in mild detergent. Rinse 3 times with distilled water. • Blot dry, dry on paper towels. • Place loosely in paper bag for air drying. • Store in a warm dry place until processing. 34
  • 35. Interpretation of leaf analyses • Compare analysis results with standards. • Look at the balances between nutrients as well as actual content. • Take tree growth, cropload, soil nutrient availability and other factors into consideration. 35
  • 36. Apple Leaf Nitrogen Tree type Leaf N (%) Young non-bearing apples 2.4 – 2.6 Young bearing apples 2.2 – 2.4 Mature soft varieties 1.8 – 2.2 Mature hard varieties 2.2 – 2.4 • Shoot growth: 10 to 16 inches (25 to 40 cm) • Cropload: leaf N is higher on heavy cropped trees; • Drought/weed competition decreases leaf N; • More prone to biennial bearing when leaf N<2.2. 36
  • 37. Other Nutrients Nutrients Desired level Phosphorus 0.13-0.33% Potassium 1.35-1.85% Calcium 1.3-2.0% Magnesium 0.35-0.5% Boron 25-50 ppm Zinc 25-50 ppm Copper 7-12 ppm Manganese 50-150 ppm Iron 50+ ppm 37
  • 38. Leaf Phosphorus • Optimum range: 0.13 to 0.33%. • Low P often indicates low soil pH. • High P often results from concentrating effects of limited leaf expansion by Zn deficiency. 38
  • 39. Leaf Potassium • Optimum range: 1.35 to 1.85%. • N/K ratio: 1.00 ~ 1.25 for McIntosh and 1.25 ~ 1.5 for Delicious. • Drought decreases leaf K. • Inverse relationship with cropload. 39
  • 40. 40 From: Ferguson &Watkins 1992 JASHS 117:373
  • 41. Leaf Calcium • Optimum range: 1.3 to 2.0%. • Low leaf Ca results from low soil pH, B or Zn deficiency. • High leaf Ca does not necessarily translate into good fruit Ca status due to its transpiration-driven distribution and low phloem mobility. 41
  • 42. Leaf Magnesium • Optimum range: 0.35 to 0.50%. • K/Mg should be 4 or less. • Low leaf Mg may result from low soil pH or high K. • Dolomitic lime, Sulpomag, and foliar application of MgSO4·7H2O. 42
  • 43. Leaf Boron • Optimum range: 25 to 50 ppm. • Soil moisture affects B availability. • When deficient, both soil and foliar applications are essential. • If soil test unavailable, soil application of 2 lbs B/acre is suggested when leaf B<25ppm. 43
  • 44. Leaf Zinc • Optimum range: 25 to 50 ppm. • P/Zn ration should be 100 or less. • High pH, high phosphates, high organic matter and low temperature. • When deficient, foliar application of Zn chelate is most effective. 44
  • 45. Leaf Copper • Optimum range: 7 to 12 ppm. • High pH, high phosphates, and high organic matter decrease Cu availability. • Copper fungicides at green tip is most effective. Copper sprays after flower cluster opening can cause severe russeting of fruit. 45
  • 46. Leaf Manganese • Optimum range: 50 to 150 ppm. • High soil pH (>6.3) leads to deficiency whereas low pH (<5.6) leads to excess. • When deficient, a single application of manganese sulfate (4 lbs/100 gal) at first cover is sufficient. 46
  • 47. Fruit Analysis • Two types: fruitlet in July or fruit at harvest. • Purpose: diagnosis and/or prediction. • Standards for Cox and Bramley fruit at harvest (mg/100 g fresh fruit) for long term storage. Variety N P K Mg Ca Cox 50 - 70 11 (min) 130 - 170 5.0 5.0 Bramley 60 (max) 9 (min) 105 -115 5.0 5.0 47
  • 48. Nutrient management strategies • Conventional methods: timing and rate • Fertigation (Fertilization + irrigation) • Controlled release fertilizers • Build up soil organic matter 48
  • 49. Nitrogen supply Fruit set Fruit size Yield Biennial bearing Fruit color Fruit firmness Storage ability Nitrogen management 49
  • 50. 22 66 131 262lbsN/A 50
  • 51. Return Bloom of Gala/M.26 Trees in Response to N Supply 262 131 66 22 lbs/A 2007 2008 51
  • 52. Ideal Pattern of Tree N Status • Trees have relatively high N status early in the season to promote rapid canopy development and early fruit growth. • As the season progresses, N status declines gradually to guarantee fruit quality development and wood maturity. 52
  • 53. Apple leaf analysis standards for N Tree type Leaf N (%) Young non-bearing apples 2.4 – 2.6 Young bearing apples 2.2 – 2.4 Mature soft varieties 1.8 – 2.2 Mature hard/processing varieties 2.2 – 2.4 Soft varieties: Cortland, Empress, Goldens, Honeycrisp, Mac, Jersermac, Jonagold, Jonamac, Jonathan, Macoun, Mutsu, Paulared, Spartan and other early ripening varieties Hard varieties: Delicious, Empire, Gala, Idared, Liberty, Melrose, Rome, Stayman, York Imperial, and processing varieties 53
  • 54. Days from budbreak 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 TreeNdemandorsupply 0 20 40 60 80 100 Demand Res N Soil N Tree N Demand-Supply 54
  • 55. Timing of N application • Both early season (budbreak to petal fall) and late N applications fit the patterns of tree N demand. • For soils with low fertility or varieties not very sensitive to N, multiple split applications during spring-summer period may be appropriate. 55
  • 56. Amount of N application • Tree nitrogen requirement • Natural supply of nitrogen from soil • Uptake efficiency of applied fertilizers 56
  • 57. Natural supply of N from soil • Every 1% organic matter releases about 20 lb. N/acre per year • N uptake efficiency is about 60% • Every 1% organic matter contributes about 12 lb N/acre to apple trees. 57
  • 58. Amount of N to be applied • The difference between N demand and the supply from soil, with uptake efficiency factored in. • Site-specific • As a rule of thumb, every 10% increase in fertilizer results in 0.1% in leaf N 58
  • 59. Estimating N Use Efficiency in Shandong Orchards • According to a survey by Dr. Jiang, the average N rate used in Qixia in 2012 was 540kg/acre(198 ~ 2556 kg/acre) • At a yield of 30 tons/acre,N requirement is 30~36 kg/acre • Assuming soil natural N supply contributed to 20% of the requirement, the N fertilizer use efficiency would be only 36 * (100 – 20)/540 ≈ 5% 59
  • 60. It’s unlikely that N use efficiency is only 5%! • Lon-term over-fertilization led to acidification of orchard soil (Average pH5.5 in Qixia), and low retention of fertilizers • Very vigorous tree growth indicates N supply exceeds tree needs • At a N fertilizer use efficiency of 25%, N fertilizer rate can be reduced to ¼ to 1/5 of the current rate 60
  • 61. Foliar N application • Foliar N application can help to meet the tree N demand early in the season or to increase tree N reserves in the fall. • Early in the season: 0.4 to 0.6% urea. In the fall: 3% urea. 61
  • 62. Summary on N application • Both early season (budbreak to petal fall) and late N applications fit the patterns of tree N demand. • The amount N you need to apply depends on tree N status and natural N supply from soil. • Foliar N application can help to meet the tree N demand early in the season or to increase tree N reserves in the fall. 62
  • 63. Potassium Application • Fall application • Maintenance (80 to 100 lbs/acre) vs correction (150 to 200 lb K2O /acre). Yield (bushels/acre) K (lbs/acre) K2O (lbs/acre) 500 27.7 33.3 1000 55.3 66.6 1500 83.0 100.0 2000 110.7 133.3 K removal in relation to Gala yield From: Cheng and Raba, 2009 63
  • 64. Calcium management • Adjust soil pH for adequate Ca supply from soil • Promote and maintain root growth, and uptake (B, Zn, water availability) • Balance with N and K is important. • Control tree vigor to mitigate competition with fruit for Ca. • Avoid low cropload situation 64
  • 65. Calcium Sprays • 3 to 4 sprays of 1 to 2 lbs of CaCl2 (78%) or its equivalent per 100 gallons (dilute basis) at 14 day intervals beginning 7 to 10 days after petal fall. • 2 additional sprays of 3 to 4 lb per 100 gallons at 4 and 2 weeks prior to harvest. This program provides 7.5-13.4 lbs of actual Ca per acre 65
  • 66. 1. Delivers nutrients to the root zone at the right time 2. Reduces leaching and runoff of nutrients Fertigation: Potential Advantages 66
  • 67. • Incompatibility of chemicals resulting in precipitates. – Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn and Cu should not be mixed with phosphates or sulfates. – High Fe content in the water can cause precipitate problems. • Solubility of Materials. – Potassium fertilizers generally have low solubility. – Heating water will increase solubility but be careful of "salt out" • Acidifying of the Soil. – Soil under the emitters can become very acid if acidifying nitrogen fertilizers are used. – Banded lime applications along the trickle line are required. Potential Application Problems 67
  • 68. pH Under Trickle Emitters After 6 Years 8 inches 16 inches 24 inches 32 inches pH low ~4.5 (NH4)2SO4 + 4O2 = 2NO3 - + 4H+ + 2H2O NH4NO3 + 2O2 = 2NO3 - + 2H+ + H2O To neutralize the acidity: 1 lb NH4-N from NH4NO3 and urea needs 1.8 lbs CaCO3 1 lb NH4-N from (NH4)2SO4 needs about 3.6 lbs of CaCO3 68
  • 69. Distribution of Nutrients in the Soil 20 cm 40 cm 60 cm 80 cm N K ZnP B 69
  • 70. • Nitrogen – NH4NO3 (acidifying) – (NH4)2S2O3 (liquid) – KNO3 (low solubility) – Urea (not readily available) – Ca (NO3)2 (incompatibility with phosphates) – Urea/Ammonium Nitrate combinations (URAN) (liquid) • Potassium – KCl (Moderate Solubility) – KNO3(Low Solubility but good source of Nitrogen) – K2SO4 (Low Solubility) – Liquid Potassium fertilizers have low concentrations of potash N and K Fertilizers Applied by Fertigation: 70
  • 71. • Phosphorus – NH4H2PO4 (MAP) (low solubility) – (NH4PO3)n (APP) (liquid) – Phosphorus is best applied preplant with apples. • Calcium – Ca (NO3)2 (incompatibility with phosphates)(Ca content too low) • Magnesium – MgSO4·7H2O (highly soluble but incompatible with phosphates) • Boron – Solubor (highly soluble and accurately applied by trickle) • Zinc – Zinc Chelates (effective but rates required are not economical) Other Fertilizers Applied by Fertigation: 71
  • 72. 1. Constant concentration of nutrients in all irrigation water. – With light textured soils • N=100ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees • K=10ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees – With heavier textured soils • N=50ppm on young trees and 30ppm on mature trees • K=10ppm on young trees and 50ppm on mature trees. – Advantages with this strategy • Tree roots are exposed to a constant concentration of fertilizer in the soil solution. – Problems with this strategy • Dependence of amount of fertilizer on water demand. • In wet years less fertilizer is applied. • In dry years more fertilizer is applied. Application Strategies : 72
  • 73. 2. Weekly Dose of Fertilizer (NY strategy) – Total amount of fertilizer to be applied per year is divided by number of weeks over which fertilizer is to be applied. (e.g. 10 weeks) – The weekly dose is applied in one irrigation cycle on one day of the week. – If additional water is needed it is applied without dissolved fertilizers. – Advantages with this strategy • Amount of fertilizer applied is independent of amount of irrigation water used – Disadvantages with this strategy • The concentration of fertilizer in the soil solution declines when non fertilized water is applied. NY Application Strategy 73
  • 74. • With light textured soils – Young trees • N=60-100 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (6-10 lb/acre/week) • K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (4 lb/acre/week) – Mature trees • N=40-60 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (4-6 lb/acre/week) • K2O=100 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (7 lb/acre/week) • With heavier textured soils – Young trees • N=40-60 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (4-6 lb/acre/week) • K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (4 lb/acre/week) – Mature trees • N=20-40 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks (2-4 lb/acre/week) • K2O=80 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks (5 lb/acre/week) Weekly Dose Strategy 74
  • 75. • Liquid Nitrogen – CAN 17 (liquid) – N=60-100 lb/acre/year over 10 weeks or 6-10 lb/acre/week • Potassium beginning in year 2 – K2O=60 lb/acre/year over 15 weeks or 4 lb/acre/week • Small amounts of water applied twice weekly. – 5 gallons per tree per week in year 1 – 10 gallons per tree per week in year 2 Fertigation Strategy First 3 Years: Venturi Injector 75
  • 76. Effect of Fertigation on Growth and Yield of Empire, Mutsu and Delicious Trees Shoot Shoot Av. Growth Growth Yield/ Yield/ Fruit yr. 1-3 yrs4-5 tree yr. tree yr. Size Treatment (m) (m) 2-4 (kg) 5-6 (kg) (g) (% of Control) Unirrigated 100 b 100 b 100 b 100 b 100 b Trickle Irrigation 160 a 139 a 145 a 160 a 107 a Fertigation 153 a 134 a 140 a 135 a 108 a 76
  • 77. • Fertigation is an efficient way to deliver Nitrogen and Potassium fertilizers to apple. • Fertigation improves early tree growth and early yield. • Fertigation can in some cases give larger fruit size and greater yield of mature trees. Conclusions on Fertigation
  • 78. Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRFs) Controlled release fertilizers with different proportions of N-P2O5-K2O have been tested in apple orchards in Shandong by Drs Zhang Min, Jiang Yuanmao and others. These CRFs provide an effective way to match nutrient supply with tree nutrient demand, improve fertilizer use efficiency, and reduce leaching of nutrients 78
  • 79. Build up soil organic matter • Manure and compost applications • Straw-mulching in the row, and growing grasses between rows • Cover crops, such as legumes 79