TRAINING SYSTEM AND TREE DENSITY AFFECT COST:BENEFIT RATIO, BUT HAVE LITTLE IMPACT, RELATIVE TO SEASON, ON FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF 'LAPINS' IN TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
The objective of this study was to investigate yield, fruit quality and cost of production for Lapins/Colt sweet cherry trained to intensive Spanish bush (1,111, 1,481, and 2,222 trees/ha), Tatura trellis (1,481 and 2,222 trees/ha) and V-axis (2,962 and 4,444 trees/ha). The trial was established in 2003 and fruit data were collected between the 2005/2006 and 2008/2009 seasons. Yields were low in 2005/2006 and 2008/2009 due to frost damage. A radiative frost event in 2008/2009 affected Tatura-trained trees to a greater extent than other training systems. Highly intensive Spanish Bush (1,481 and 2,222 trees/ha) was relatively productive in 2005/2006 (ca. 10 ton/ha cf. > 5 ton/ha; 2 years after orchard establishment) but Tatura trellis and V-axis were more productive in non-frost years. Across all seasons, there were no differences among systems or tree densities in yields, which ranged from 9 to 14 ton/ha. Fruit quality was high with 74-80% rated as grade one (defined as export quality fruit of dark mahogany hue, unblemished and intact pedicel) and, of these fruit, around 80% were 28 mm or larger in diameter. Training system and tree density had no effect on fruit size distribution. Orchard development costs were relatively high for Tatura trellis and V-axis and, therefore, the internal rate of return was greatest for intensive Spanish bush at 1,481 trees/ha (185%). The other systems had similar rates of return of ca. 125%. Overall, our results suggest that factors other than training system and tree density (e.g., environment and management) have a greater impact on system profitability, for Lapins/Colt within the range tested herein.
Close, D., Whiting, M., Jotic, P. and Oakford, M. (2014). TRAINING SYSTEM AND TREE DENSITY AFFECT COST:BENEFIT RATIO, BUT HAVE LITTLE IMPACT, RELATIVE TO SEASON, ON FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF 'LAPINS' IN TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA . Acta Hortic. 1020, 463-469
Prunus avium, sweet cherry. canopy architecture