Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




The effects of 5 crop load levels (all fruit removed and 10, 20, 30, and 40 fruit per tree) in the second growing year on vegetative growth, productivity, and fruit quality were studied in apple cultivars Gala and Braeburn on M9 rootstock in the second and the third leaf. An increase in vegetative growth was observed on the defruited trees in the second growing year. The highest crop load of 40 fruits per tree reduced average fruit weight by 18.7% in Gala compared to those obtained on the trees carrying the lowest crop load (10 fruits per tree). The reduction in average fruit weight was compensated by the increase in yields. Yield per tree in the treatment with the highest crop load was 2.4-fold higher in Gala and 2.7-fold higher in Braeburn than the treatment with the lowest crop load. Yield efficiency (kg cm^{–2} trunk cross-section area) in both tested cultivars ranked the highest on the trees carrying the heaviest crop. The highest crop load in the second growing year did not have negative consequences on the yield and fruit quality obtained in the third growing year.


Crop load, fruit characteristics, return bloom, tree growth, yield

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