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To cut or not to cut: the role of extension growth in fruit quality


Measham, PF and MacNair, N and Bound, SA and Quentin, A, To cut or not to cut: the role of extension growth in fruit quality, Acta Horticulturae, 23-27 June 2013, Plasencia, Spain, pp. 627-632. ISSN 0567-7572 (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 ISHS

DOI: doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1161.100


    Cherries are a sweet fruit, with total soluble solids being a key determinant of quality in most fruit quality studies. It is also well known that leaves play a role in delivering assimilates to fruit, and that fruits are strong sinks. Less well known is the role of extension growth (current season shoot growth) on fruit quality.
    Extension growth occurs throughout the fruit growing season and has the potential to be a strong source of assimilates. However, while growing they can also be a strong sink; hence the question; to cut or not to cut? Summer pruning can be useful to reduce vigour, or promote light interception but can it also be used to reduce competition for assimilates between growing fruit and extension growth?
    Trials assessing fruit quality from trees (cvs. ‘Kordia’, ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Satonishiki’) which had been pruned at various times throughout the growing season were undertaken. Timing had a significant impact on fruit quality with pruning after, but not at, Stage II increasing fruit sugars (TSS). Pruning at most stages had no impact on sugars in newly developing buds. Pruning during Stage III increased current season fruit sugars. Pruning did not affect the uniformity of bud burst or yield in the following season. Therefore, used appropriately, summer pruning of extension growth may be a useful tool in promoting sugar assimilation.
    Furthermore, pruning during rainfall in the three weeks prior to harvest maturity reduced fruit cracking, while pruning prior to rainfall in the same period did not impact on cracking. This implicates a role of extension growth leaves in the supply of excess water to the fruit reducing both yield and quality such that pruning could increase both yield and quality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:plant physiology, fruit quality, summer pruning, sugars
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Horticultural crop growth and development
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Stone fruit (excl. avocado)
UTAS Author:Measham, PF (Dr Penny Measham)
UTAS Author:MacNair, N (Mr Nicholas MacNair)
UTAS Author:Bound, SA (Dr Sally Bound)
ID Code:102959
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-09-12
Last Modified:2018-08-29

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