The effect of in-row spacing on the vegetative and productive performance of 4-year-old ‘Conference’ (CON) and ‘Williams’ (WIL) pear trees was studied. Analysis of digital images was used to estimate canopy growth and conformation. Fruit quality was determined by measuring fruit weight, flesh firmness, peel color, soluble solid content, and titratable acidity. WIL produced more and more efficiently than CON, especially at closer spacings. WIL canopies were generally bigger than CON canopies, and reduced spacing penalized stem growth and influenced canopy conformation. Root growth and conformation was similar for both cultivars, whereas decreasing in-row spacing reduced root dry weight, length, volume, and spread area only in WIL. Also, WIL trees partitioned more to fruit and leaves compared to CON, and increasing spacing resulted in a relative shift toward vegetative growth. CON fruit was smaller but sweeter and less acidic than WIL fruit. Increasing spacing influenced negatively WIL fruit quality parameters, with the only exception of fruit weight, which was increased. For the range of in-row spacing considered, our results indicate that WIL may represent a more efficient and competitive option than CON for high-density plantings, at least in the early stages of orchard life.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2006|
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