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The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology

Vol. 80 No: 5

Title:
Suitability of the dwarf (dw/dw) habit for the peach industry

Authors:
D. GIOVANNINI and A. LIVERANI

pp: 605-610

Abstract:
The suitability of using dwarf (dw/dw) peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] to establish efficient commercial orchards, completely manageable from the ground with low labour requirements, was studied by training ´Valley Red` trees to the Palmette,Vase and Y systems, the most common training systems in the peach industry, and to the Globe, a shape that dwarf peach trees assume naturally. Fruit quality (size, colour, soluble solids content and titratable acidity) was not affected by the training system and was, in general, low. Low fruit quality was largely due to difficulties in optimising fruit thinning and harvesting associated with the very dense canopy of the dwarf genotype. Yields from the Y and Globe systems, while highest in this trial, were not much higher than those obtained from commercial peach orchards in the same growing area. Our results indicated a 20% reduction in labour inputs in the dwarf orchards vs. standard orchards with comparable yielding capacity. Further manipulation of growth habit traits will be necessary to produce trees of reduced size with high fruit quality without the negative aspects of the dwarf habit

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