Training system and tree density affect cost:benefit ratio, but have little impact, relative to season, on fruit yield and quality of 'Lapins' in Tasmania, Australia
Close, D and Whiting, M and Jotic, P and Oakford, M, Training system and tree density affect cost:benefit ratio, but have little impact, relative to season, on fruit yield and quality of 'Lapins' in Tasmania, Australia, Acta Horticulturae 1020: VI International Cherry Symposium, 15-19 November 2009, Santiago, Chile, pp. 463-469. ISSN 0567-7572 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]
The objective of this study was to investigate yield, fruit quality and cost of production of ‘Lapins’/’Colt’ sweet cherry trained to intensive Spanish bush (1111, 1481, and 2222 trees/hectare, ha), Tatura trellis (1481 and 2222 trees/ha) and V-axis (2962 and 4444 trees/ha) . The trial was established in 2003 and fruit data were collected between the 2005/2006 and 2008/2009 seasons. Yields were low in 2005/2006 and 2008/2009 due to frost damage. A radiative frost event in 2008/2009 affected Tatura-trained trees to a greater extent than other training systems. Highly intensive Spanish Bush (1481 and 2222 trees/ha) was relatively productive in 2005/2006 (ca. 10 ton/ha cf. > 5 ton/ha; 2 years after orchard establishment) but Tatura trellis and V-axis were more productive in non-frost years. Across all seasons, there were no differences among systems or tree densities in yields, which ranged from 9 to 14 ton/ha. Fruit quality was high with 74-80% rated as grade one (defined as export quality fruit of dark mahogany hue, unblemished and intact pedicel) and, of these fruit, around 80 % were 28 mm or larger in diameter. Training system and tree density had no effect on fruit size distribution. Orchard development costs were relatively high for Tatura trellis and V-axis and, therefore, the internal rate of return was greatest for intensive Spanish bush at 1481 trees/ha (185%). The other systems had similar rates of return of ca. 125 %. Overall, our results suggest that factors other than training system and tree density (eg., environment and management) have a greater impact on system profitability, for ‘Lapins’/’Colt’ within the range tested herein.
Refereed Conference Paper
Prunus avium, sweet cherry, canopy architecture, training systems, density, fruit quality, yield