SUMMER AND ROOT PRUNING OF SPLIT-ROOT POTTED PEACH TREES

D. Neri, S. Sansavini, N. Sugiyama
Two-year-old ‘Independence’ peach trees grafted on GF305 were split-root potted April 1990 at the Cadriano Research Station of Bologna Uniersity, Italy. Two months later they were assigned to the following six treatments: a) irrigation of whole root system without summer pruning; b) irrigation of whole root system with summer pruning; c) irrigation of half the roots without summer pruning; d) irrigation of half the roots with summer pruning; e) root-pruning of half the roots without summer pruning; and f) root-pruning of half the roots with summer pruning. Irrigation was applied daily to saturation point, and the canopy was summer-pruned to about half its number of shoots. It was found that CO2 assimilation was reduced by summer pruning in the first 5 days following treatment. After this transient period, assimilation, transpiration and water use efficiency were higher in the summer-pruned trees. Root pruning reduced transpiration in the afternoon of the day after pruning; watering half of the root system induced decreased transpiration that started 1 week after treatment and was recorded only on the hottest days. Summer pruning induced regrowth of the shoots and lateral shoot formation only when the whole root system was well irrigated. When the roots were only partially irrigated, the shoots did not regrow, even though lateral shoot formation was stimulated. Summer and root pruning induced neither regrowth nor lateral shoot formation. At the end of the season, the dry weight of summer-pruned trees with a well-irrigated root system was similar to the control. Summer- and root-pruned trees were the smallest; their dry weight reduction was 37%. These findings show that a combined use of summer and root pruning may dwarf trees without affecting final shoot length and feathering, which are important for the production of high quality fruit in peach.
Neri, D., Sansavini, S. and Sugiyama, N. (1992). SUMMER AND ROOT PRUNING OF SPLIT-ROOT POTTED PEACH TREES. Acta Hortic. 322, 177-190
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1992.322.20
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1992.322.20

Acta Horticulturae