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Patterns of vegetative growth and reproductive behavior of two olive cultivars 'Koroneiki' and 'Chemlali' with different crop loads

Mezghani, A., Gouta, H., Zouari, I., Laaribi, I., Labidi, F., Annabi, K., Ghribi, M., Bouaza, A.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1160 pp. 159-164
Olea europaea, alternate bearing, branches, canopy, cultivars, flowers, mature plants, olives, reproductive behavior, shoots, tree yields, trees, vegetative growth
The olive tree is a well-known alternate-bearing species. Because of competition between vegetative growth and fruit development processes, a high yield year is generally followed by a low yield year. In order to elucidate this phenomenon, the patterns of vegetative growth and the reproductive behavior were studied on three fruit bearing trees (on trees) and three non-bearing trees (off trees) of two olive cultivars; 'Koroneiki' and 'Chemlali'. Due to the large plant size and complexity of the adult trees, five-year old branches served as canopy units to represent whole-trees. The shoot number, size and flower and fruit locations were recorded. The total shoot number and the shoot number of each order for the studied cultivars, were more important for non-bearing-trees (off tree) than for the bearing ones (on tree), and 'Koroneiki' had the most shoots. The shoot length distribution was skewed toward the shortest length categories (0-10 cm). For the 'Koroneiki' cultivar, there were about twice as many shoots for the class 10-20 cm in on trees as the off trees. Furthermore, there was a very close relationship between the fruit-bearing branch section, the flower number and the fruit load. About 80% of the tree yield occurred on the two peripheral branch orders of which the length was less to 10 cm. Finally, the 'Koroneiki' cultivar demonstrated the highest fruit number amongst all branch orders.