FRUIT SIZE OF HIGH DENSITY PEACHES IS SMALLER THAN LOW DENSITY SYSTEMS
A replicated field trial was planted in 1999 at Olcott, New York, where we compared six peach training systems [Open Center (384 trees/ha), Quad-Vee (538 trees/ha), Tri-Vee (905 trees/ha), Bi-Vee (1583 trees/ha), Central Leader (1098 trees/ha) and Fusetto (1922 trees/ha)] with 3 cultivars [Allstar (yellow peach), Blushing Star (white peach) and Flavortop (nectarine)] all on Bailey seedling rootstock. Tree size (trunk cross-sectional area) after 10 years was negatively correlated with planting density. The Central Leader and the Slender Spindle systems which had the least pruning at planting, had the highest yield in the 2nd year while all of the other four V-shaped systems, which required severe heading at planting, had very low 2nd year yield. Cumulative yields and cumulative crop value after 10 years were positively related to planting density; however, each of the 3 V-shaped systems had higher yield and crop value than expected from their density while the 2 central leader systems had lower cumulative yield and crop value than predicted from their density. Maximum cumulative crop value was at a tree density of 1,300-1,500 trees/ha. Average fruit size was negatively related to planting density. After removing the effect of crop load, adjusted fruit size (independent of crop load) was still negatively related to tree density with the highest density systems producing the smallest fruit size even when adjusted for crop load.
Robinson, T., Hoying, S., Reginato, G. and Kviklys, D. (2012). FRUIT SIZE OF HIGH DENSITY PEACHES IS SMALLER THAN LOW DENSITY SYSTEMS. Acta Hortic. 962, 425-432
Prunus persica, training system, yield, crop load, fruit color, crop value