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Effects of postharvest topping, autumn cincturing, and paclobutrazol on growth, yield, and fruit quality of the low chill nectarine cv. Sundowner in subtropical australia
Combinations of 3 methods of controlling tree size (use of the growth retardant paclobutrazol, postharvest topping, and autumn cincturing) were evaluated for their effects on growth, yield, and fruit quality of the low chill nectarine cv. Sundowner in subtropical Australia.
Compared with controls over 3 seasons, paclobutrazol used alone reduced tree size by 34-52%, with further reductions when combined with light and severe postharvest topping (by 5-25 and 58-71%, respectively). Yield efficiency (as measured by yield per unit canopy volume) was significantly improved by paclobutrazol and was doubled when paclobutrazol was combined with severe postharvest topping. Although this combination reduced time associated with pruning, thinning, and harvesting, it had the disadvantage of delaying flowering and, consequently, fruit maturity in the subsequent harvest season. Light postharvest topping and autumn cincturing used with paclobutrazol had little effect on yield efficiency, fruit quality, or harvest period. The seasonal pattern of starch reserves for twigs was similar for all treatments, with starch levels falling to a minimum during the early harvest period. Measurements of starch in the major tree organs showed that at very low harvest increments (< 10) there was little or no depletion of starch from the twigs and leaves, but as harvest increments increased (range 10-40), there was increasing starch depletion, in order of priority, from the roots, trunks, and limbs.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
Place of publication150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066
Rights statementCopyright 1993 CSIRO