ASSESSMENT OF POLLINATION STRATEGIES IN CHERIMOYA
Commercial cherimoya production in Spain depends on hand pollination, due to the extreme dichogamy and the lack of pollinators. Spanish cherimoya production is based on only one cultivar - Fino de Jete, and most growers carry out hand pollination during the full bloom period in June. This leads to market oversupply and consequently low prices during the main season in November. However, cherimoya flowering extends longer and it could be possible to stagger the pollination operations within the whole orchard or even within the same tree. In the present work we compared the yield and the fruit quality in trees completely pollinated in either May (My), June (Jn) or July (Jl) with trees in which hand pollination was performed at the same level, but staggered, during May, June and July (MJJ). The most productive treatments were Jn and MJJ with 99 and 90 kg tree-1, respectively, while the My treatment resulted in 75 kg tree-1. On the other hand, due to the low availability of flowers, yield was diminished in Jl to just 46 kg tree-1. The quality of the fruit was quite similar in the treatments studied; but in Jl the fruits were misshaped although having the lowest number of seeds. In MJJ treatment, the fruits which were pollinated in May, were the most interesting, being larger and heavier with a seed index of 8.5 (p<0.0001), in contrast with those pollinated in Jl which did not achieve the proper commercial quality. The post harvest evolution of fruits which were pollinated at various times and harvested at the same maturity state, were very similar. According to these results the staggered pollination during May and June is feasible, allowing the extension of the harvest period without decrease in the fruit quality. The pollination strategy should be decided according to the interest of each grower, aiming towards the optimal orchard management.
González, M., Hueso , J.J. and Alonso, F. (2012). ASSESSMENT OF POLLINATION STRATEGIES IN CHERIMOYA . Acta Hortic. 928, 105-111
Annona cherimola, staggered pollination, fruit quality