The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 87 No: 5
Effects of grafting height of MM106 rootstock on growth, lateral shoot formation and yield in apple trees
HUSEYIN KARLIDAG and AHMET ESITKEN
Between 2004 and 2008, the effects of different grafting heights on sylleptic shoots were tested in the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) cultivars ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’, and cumulative fruit yields were evaluated.
MM106 apple rootstocks were grafted 10, 20, 40, or 60 cm above soil level in August 2004. The results showed that an increased grafting height significantly decreased tree height in both cultivars.
The tallest and shortest trees were observed at grafting heights of 10 cm (153.0 and 170.0 cm) and 60 cm (141.3 and 143.5 cm) in ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’, respectively.
Among the various grafting heights tested, 60 cm in ‘Granny Smith’ and 20 cm in ‘Gloster’ gave the largest stem diameters (17.6 mm and 16.8 mm, respectively). The number of lateral shoots increased significantly with increased grafting height in both cultivars.
The largest numbers of lateral shoots in ‘Granny Smith’ (10.75) and ‘Gloster’ (2.00) were obtained from a grafting height of 60 cm, while 2.55 and zero lateral shoots occurred at 10 cm grafting height in ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’, respectively.
Shoot lengths decreased significantly by increasing the grafting height.
Grafting heights of 10 cm and 60 cm resulted in the tallest and shortest shoots in both cultivars.
Cumulative fruit yields were significantly affected by grafting height in both cultivars.
The highest yield was found for a 60 cm grafting height in both ‘Granny Smith’ (11.295 kg tree-1) and ‘Gloster’ (4.818 kg tree-1). The results of this study suggest that grafting heights of 40 cm and 60 cm have the potential to promote branching and early bearing for apple fruit production in sustainable and organic agricultural systems.
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