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Evaluation of biometric parameters of 'Belona', 'Guara' and 'Lauranne' cultivars in a superhigh density orchard
- Dias, A. B., Caeiro, L., Félix, G., Falcão, J. M.
- Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1219 pp. 73-78
- almonds, biometry, breeding programs, canopy, cultivars, farmers, harvesting, orchards, shoots, summer, tree height, trees, Portugal
- In Portugal, the first almond superhigh density (SHD) orchard was planted in 2012. The trees were trained to obtain a hedge with dimensions controlled to allow the use of over-the-row machinery for harvesting. In this orchard most of the cultivars used, are from foreign almond breeding programs. Although the lack of knowledge about the behaviour of almond cultivars in SHD orchard, a lot of new plantations were made. This study shows some biometric parameters of 3 almond cultivars registered in the first season after plantation. The SHD orchard was established in September 2014 at the Herdade da Torre das Figueiras, Monforte, Portalegre, Portugal (39°04’N; 07°29’W). The orchard is planted in a 5×1,5 m array with East-West orientation. ‘Belona’, ‘Guara’ and ‘Lauranne’ were the cultivars used in this study. In each cultivar, 3 lines of 93 trees were randomly selected. From each line, 3 plots of 10 trees were randomly chosen in order to measure biometric parameters. In April 2015, July 2015 and March 2016 the following measurements were made: trunk diameter, tree height, height and width of the canopy. Green pruning intervention was performed by the farmer in July and September 2015 to control canopy dimension and to increase the number of shoots inside the canopy. It consisted in mechanically topping the canopy parallel to the ground and hedging each side of the canopy. These measurements allow to verify that ’Lauranne’ registered the higher trunk diameter and canopy dimension before summer pruning. Summer pruning seems to be an efficient solution to get an adequate canopy for the harvesting machine.