THE EFFECT OF ROOT PRUNING ON POSTHARVEST WATER LOSS IN 'CLARA FRIJS' PEARS
Changes in harvested fruit include ripening as well as some deterioration in quality. Fruit quality at harvest determines storage and shelf life potential. Water loss contributes significantly to quality deterioration, especially once fruit is removed from cold storage. Pears were harvested on the same day from trees that were either root-pruned (RP) or non-root pruned (NP) and were part of a larger experiment undertaken in the orchards at Aarhus University, Aarslev, Denmark. To determine the effect of delayed harvest on quality, fruit from the non-root pruned trees were harvested two weeks later (LNP). Fruit were stored at 0.5°C for 32 days. Water loss was measured upon transfer to 16°C and 99% humidity for 0, 2, 4 or 7 days. Changes in fruit colour and firmness were also observed. A higher crop load but smaller fruit were obtained from the RP trees than from NP trees. Delaying the harvest by 14 days produced bigger fruit. Pears from the NP treatment however, lost consistently more water than fruit from the RP or LNP trees. Significant differences in colour and firmness were also observed with fruit from LNP treatment being the greenest and having the highest firmness value even on the 7th day at 16°C.
Travers, S. and Bertelsen, M.G. (2013). THE EFFECT OF ROOT PRUNING ON POSTHARVEST WATER LOSS IN 'CLARA FRIJS' PEARS. Acta Hortic. 1012, 207-211
harvest maturity, crop load, ripening, deterioration, colour, firmness