SPUR PRUNING ‘DELICIOUS’ APPLE FOR IMPROVED SPUR QUALITY AND YIELD
Detailed spur pruning has been done to limit the number of buds developing on a spur complex, to cause further bourse-shoot development, to result in additional shoot development along a limb, and to rejuvenate spurs. Reducing spur bud number may reduce local competition among flower clusters for assimilates and nutrients. Additional bourse-shoot leaf area and shoot leaf area development may enhance fruit growth. Spur rejuvenation would resut from the removal of the oldest spurs and new spurs forming on shoots developed after pruning. In the last half of the season, shoot leaves are important for continued fruit growth (Rom and Ferree, 1984), and younger spurs are of better quality and produce larger fruit than older spurs (Rom and Barritt, 1990).
The objectives of the studies presented herein were to test methods of spur pruning alone and in combination with other treatments to determine if such treatments have potential to improve spur quality, fruit quality, and yield of mature, spur-bound ‘Delicious’ apple trees.