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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #174423

Title: Performance of peach rootstocks propagated as seedlings vs. cuttings

Author
item Beckman, Thomas - Tom
item Nyczepir, Andrew
item Myers, S

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Beckman, T.G., Nyczepir, A.P., Myers, S.C. 2006. Performance of peach rootstocks propagated as seedlings vs. cuttings. Acta Horticulturae. 713:289-294.

Interpretive Summary: Guardian (BY520-9) peach rootstock was released for commercial trial in 1993. Its chief attribute was its superior peach tree short life tolerance. However, its initially poor seed germination loomed large as a major obstacle to its adoption. Rooted cuttings were proposed as a possible alternative. This trial was undertaken to compare the field performance of Cresthaven peach trees budded onto rooted cuttings of Guardian and Lovell peach rootstocks to that of Cresthaven peach trees budded onto seedlings of Guardian, Lovell and Nemaguard peach rootstocks. During a 7-year field trial there were no significant differences in the vigor, yield, harvest date and average fruit weight of Cresthaven trees on Guardian cuttings compared to those on Guardian seedlings. At this time there is no clear horticultural advantage or disadvantage to the use of Guardian cuttings compared to Guardian seedlings.

Technical Abstract: Following the release of Guardian (BY520-9) peach rootstock in 1993, nurseries experienced significant problems with seed germination when fall-planted directly into the nursery. Rooted cuttings were proposed as a possible alternative. 'Cresthaven' peach trees budded onto Nemaguard seedlings, Guardian cuttings and seedlings, and Lovell cuttings and seedlings were established in 1997 in a high density orchard and trained to a 2-arm open center system. Through 2003, trees on Nemaguard seedlings displayed the highest vigor when measured as trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA). Trees on Lovell seedlings displayed the smallest TCSA. There was no significant difference in the TCSA observed in trees propagated on Guardian cuttings vs. Guardian seedlings. Through three harvest seasons, trees on Guardian cuttings produced the largest cumulative yield but were not significantly different from that observed on Guardian or Lovell seedlings. Trees on Lovell cuttings had the smallest cumulative yield. Trees on Lovell seedlings displayed significantly higher cumulative yield efficiency than all other rootstock treatments. Trees on Nemaguard seedlings displayed significantly lower cumulative yield efficiency than all other rootstock treatments except Lovell cuttings. There was no significant difference in the cumulative yield efficiency of trees on Guardian cuttings and those on Guardian seedlings. There appears to be no clear horticultural advantage or disadvantage to the use of Guardian cuttings over Guardian seedlings at this time.