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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED ORCHARD MANAGEMENT AND AUTOMATION FOR DECIDUOUS TREE FRUIT PRODUCTION

Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Title: Long-term effects of sod competition on peach production for standard and pillar growth types on yield and economic parameters

Authors
item Glenn, D Michael
item Tworkoski, Thomas
item Scorza, Ralph
item Miller, Stephen

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 14, 2011
Publication Date: December 8, 2011
Citation: Glenn, D.M., Tworkoski, T., Scorza, R., Miller, S.S. 2011. Long-term effects of sod competition on peach production for standard and pillar growth types on yield and economic parameters. HortTechnology. 21(6):720-725.

Interpretive Summary: Peach trees are naturally very vigorous in their growth, producing long shoots that shade the interior of the tree and reduce fruit quality. We examined different pruning strategies and grass ground cover practices with a well-known peach cultivar, 'Loring', in addition to a less vigorous and upright 'pillar peach' selection. The use of grass ground covers did reduce pruning time and costs, but the reduction of crop load reduced net return. High density plantings had greater economic return than low density plantings. The pillar peach tree demonstrated significant horticultural and economic benefit in a high density peach production system and is likely the peach production system of the future.

Technical Abstract: The lack of dwarfing rootstocks for peach has led to cultural and genetic approaches that reduce tree size and vegetative growth to establish high-density plantings. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the interactions of pruning strategies and ground cover management with tree densities and compare the productivity of a standard peach architecture with pillar peach architecture. The use of sod management did reduce pruning time and costs, but the reduction of crop load reduced net return. High density plantings had greater economic return than low density plantings. The pillar peach tree demonstrated significant horticultural and economic benefit in a high density peach production system.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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