High density pear planting in Belgium
In pear growing there is a clear evolution towards intensive planting systems with 2,500-3,000 trees ha-1. Most of the pear trees are grafted on 'Quince C' rootstock or on quince 'Adams' when more vegetative growth is needed on replant orchards. New quince selections like quince 'Eline' are in development recently and show interesting differences in frost susceptibility. There is a growing interest in trellis training systems with many orchards trained as a V system with four fruiting branches developing on one central stem. In the fruit tree nursery, well-feathered two-year-old trees are developed specifically for this planting system with 4 leaders. The trees must be headed back at 70-80 cm height after the first year of growing, resulting in a strong growth reaction on the trees during the second year in the fruit tree nursery and the development of 4 equal vigor leaders. Differences in flower bud quality are present on the trees. The use of gibberellins for the improvement of the crop regularity even without frost interference is common. The effect of GA3 on fruit set improvement of 'Conference' pear trees is stronger than the effect of GA4+7, applied at a comparable dose alone or in combination with 6-benzyladenine. Different measures for vegetative growth control on pear trees in high-density plantings are used: grafting height in the fruit tree nursery, root pruning, and regulated deficit irrigation.
Deckers, T., Schoofs, H., Verjans, W., Bylemans, D. and Janssens, P. (2017). High density pear planting in Belgium. Acta Hortic. 1177, 121-126
Pyrus communis, orchard systems, growth control, flower bud quality, fruit set, deficit irrigation