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Embree C.G.,Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Pruning is a major cost in apple production therefore an orchard design that utilizes a novel more efficient pruning system throughout the production cycle is an important advance. It is even more beneficial if the new pruning technique can convert trees with a vigorous rootstock into a precocious, productive, high density system. In 1985 an orchard management study was designed to e×plore the potential for using the vigour reducing characteristics of spur type 'McIntosh' strains and 'Empire' on vigorous and semi-dwarf rootstocks. 'Empire' and the Spur 'McIntosh' strains 'MacSpur', 'Hartenhof', 'Stirling' were grafted on each of the five self supporting rootstocks MM.106, MM.111, Alnarp 2, Kentville Stock Clone (KSC) 13 and KSC 3. Trees were encouraged to e×press apical dominance of the main trunk which eventually bent over to 90° and below because of the weight of heavy crops. After seven years and each year thereafter two or three of the largest limbs on the main trunk were completely removed with a slanted 20° cut. After eighteen years and across all combinations, trees on KSC 13 were the largest. No rootstock was consistently the smallest yet the highly spurred strains on MM. 106 did not fully occupy the allotted space. Tree canopy for 'Empire' was appro×imately mid range between that of the largest and smallest 'McIntosh' strain × rootstock combinations. Cumulative yields in each of three, si×-year age periods and on each rootstock are presented.

Fuller K.D.,Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Center | Embree C.G.,Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Center | Fillmore S.A.E.,Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Center | St. George E.,Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Apple trees grown under Nova Scotia's uniquely short, cool season conditions, tend to be about 25% smaller than trees grown in many other apple growing areas in North America. Local rootstock research as well as ad hoc field investigations in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, have pointed to opportunities for the use of rootstocks in the semi-dwarfing to semi-vigorous range. In this study, the performance Geneva® 30 (G.30) apple (M. domestica Borkh.) rootstock was evaluated at four grower sites within the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, over a period of 6 years. In Kingston and Rockland, G.30 was compared with the traditional rootstocks M.26 and MM.106 using 'Jonagold' as scion cultivar, in Morristown G.30 was compared with M.26 and M.7 using 'Royal Cort' and in Blomidon, G.30 was compared with M.26 and M.7 using 'Northern Spy'. At all sites, G.30 was found to be as vigorous as MM.106 and M.7 and approximately 30% larger than M.26 when trunk cross-sectional area was used as an index of canopy size. In addition, G.30 exhibited the early bearing characteristic trait of M.26, but ultimately out-yielded this rootstock at all four sites. At the Blomidon site, G.30 showed itself to be far superior to M.7 both with regard to early bearing as well as cumulative yield of 'Northern Spy', a cultivar known for it's long transitional phase and biennial tendencies. This rootstock can be recommended as a replacement for M.26 on droughty soils in the Annapolis Valley where it can be expected to produce a medium size tree. In more vigorous situations, it may well prove too robust for higher density plantings.

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