Effect of training systems and pruning methods on fruit quality in apple

Dallabetta, Nicola (2014) Effect of training systems and pruning methods on fruit quality in apple, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6366.
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The introduction of dwarfed rootstocks in apple crop has led to a new concept of intensive planting systems with the aim of producing early high yield and with returns of the initial high investment. Although yield is an important aspect to the grower, the consumer has become demanding regards fruit quality and is generally attracted by appearance. To fulfil the consumer’s expectations the grower may need to choose a proper training system along with an ideal pruning technique, which ensure a good light distribution in different parts of the canopy and a marketable fruit quality in terms of size and skin colour. Although these aspects are important, these fruits might not reach the proper ripening stage within the canopy because they are often heterogeneous. To describe the variability present in a tree, a software (PlantToon®), was used to recreate the tree architecture in 3D in the two training systems. The ripening stage of each of the fruits was determined using a non-destructive device (DA-Meter), thus allowing to estimate the fruit ripening variability. This study deals with some of the main parameters that can influence fruit quality and ripening stage within the canopy and orchard management techniques that can ameliorate a ripening fruit homogeneity. Significant differences in fruit quality were found within the canopies due to their position, flowering time and bud wood age. Bi-axis appeared to be suitable for high density planting, even though the fruit quality traits resulted often similar to those obtained with a Slender Spindle, suggesting similar fruit light availability within the canopies. Crop load confirmed to be an important factor that influenced fruit quality as much as the interesting innovative pruning method “Click”, in intensive planting systems.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Dallabetta, Nicola
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Malus domestica Borkh., Slender Spindle, Bi-axis, PlantToon®, fruit variability, crop load, light distribution.
Data di discussione
8 Maggio 2014

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