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Effect of root age on growth and yield of red raspberries grown under high tunnel and open field in northern Canadian climate

Xu, Q. H., Qiu, Ch. P., Gaudreau, L., Gosselin, A., Desjardins, Y., Gauthier, L., Van Sterthem, A.
Acta horticulturae 2016 no.1133 pp. 177-182
Rubus idaeus, canes, climate, flowering, fruit yield, growing season, leaf area, root systems, roots, Quebec
High tunnel is rapidly and widely adopted to prolong the growing season of red raspberries throughout Canada. Floricane-fruiting red raspberries have a perennial root system, with above-ground biennial flowering canes. For a better plant management, it is necessary to monitor the marketable fruit yield of plant with different root age. An experiment was conducted in 2014 on Ile d'Orléans, Québec, Canada to determine the effects of growing conditions (high tunnel or open field) and age of root system (2-year-old or 4-year-old) on fruit yield, leaf area and dry weight of floricane-fruiting red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) 'Jeanne d'Orleans'. The results demonstrated that the growing conditions significantly influenced marketable fruit yield. Red raspberry plants grown under high tunnel produced about 1.6 or 3.0 times more marketable fruit yield than those grown in open field, respectively grown with 2-year-old or 4-year-old roots. In open field, plants grown with 2-year-old roots can produce 36.3% more marketable fruit yield than those grown with 4-year-old roots. However, under high tunnel, fruit yield of plants with 2-year-old roots was 25.4% lower than those with 4-year-old roots. Similar results were found for leaf area. As to shoot dry weight, both plants with 2-year-old and 4-year-old roots accumulated similar above-ground dry matter under high tunnel, but in open field, plants with 2-year-old roots can accumulate 48.3% more dry matter than those with 4-year-old roots.