Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pecan cultivars are recommended, grown and developed with essentially no consideration for horticultural traits dealing with canopy morphology. This means that the efficiency of cultural and management strategies is limited from the lack of light adapted cultivars for such factors as sunlight utilization, pest control, etc. Essentially all important cultivars (83) were characterized for canopy form, height, diameter, eccentricity, stems per tree, volume, inclination angle of scaffold limbs, limb form and inclination angle of lateral shoots. This information can be used to improve inter-tree spacing, pest control strategies, sunlight utilization, and to reduce the tendency for alternate bearing. It is also useful for the breeding efforts to develop improved pecan cultivars.
Technical Abstract: Comparisons of canopy morphology of 83 pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] cultivars showed differences in structural, size, and form characteristics. Cluster analysis identified 2-5 distinct classes for canopy height and diameter and their ratio; inclination angles for both major limbs and young shoots with lower order structures; branch types; and canopy form and volume. The level of cultivar related variability in these traits shows potential for the improvement of pecan cultivars for factors such as light interception, cooling, air movement, and fruiting; thus, identifying potential for the development of canopy characteristics adapted to specific site conditions or cultural/management strategies.