GROWTH PATTERN OF ´BÚLIDA´ APRICOT TREES IN MEDITERRANEAN CONDITIONS
The knowledge of crop response to irrigation is essential in order to manage water resources, especially in areas where water supply is limited, as in the region of Murcia. Under these conditions, better uniformity of water application, by using improved systems such as drip irrigation, together with an irrigation scheduling coupled with the plant physiology, can help to optimise water use. Also, a good knowledge of the critical periods in which water stress can considerably reduce yield and/or fruit quality is required. For that, it is important to define precisely the phenological plant processes. This experiment was conducted in a mature apricot tree orchard (Prunus armeniaca L. Búlida, on Real Fino apricot rootstock), with trees spaced at 8 x 8 m and grown under drip-irrigation conditions, in a loamy-textured soil with a Mediterranean climate. Irrigation scheduling was based on crop coefficients and reference crop evapotranspiration, as determined from data of a class A evaporation pan. The predominant dates of fruit stages are described, according to the BBCH General Scale, using a scale in days from full bloom, as the number of accumulated growing degree hours (GDH). The annual pattern of vegetative and fruit growth is described. A clear distinction could be made between the main periods of shoot and fruit growth in apricot trees, which may be considered an advantageous characteristic for the application of deficit irrigation. The study will improve apricot culture by expressing the timing of most agricultural operations on a standardised scale.
Pérez-Pastor, A., Domingo, R., Torrecillas, A., Nortes, P.A., Pérez-Abellan, J.P. and Ruiz-Sanchez, M.C. (2006). GROWTH PATTERN OF ´BÚLIDA´ APRICOT TREES IN MEDITERRANEAN CONDITIONS. Acta Hortic. 717, 59-62
growth pattern, phenological stages, Prunus armeniaca L.