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Effect of pruning severity on yield and fruit quality of two mandarin cultivars
- Hamdy, A. E.
- Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1216 pp. 135-144
- Citrus limonia, Citrus reticulata, alternate bearing, cultivars, fruit quality, fruit yield, fruits, lemons, orchards, rootstocks, shoots, tree mortality, trees, Egypt
- The present work was carried out during two consecutive seasons (2014 and 2015) in a private orchard located in Wadi Almollak, Ismailia Governorate, Egypt on 5-year-old trees. The study involved two mandarin cultivars, namely ‘Murcott’ and ‘Fremont’ (Citrus reticulata Blanco) grown on ‘Volkamer’ lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.) rootstock. ‘Murcott’ trees are prone to alternate bearing that can result in tree death as well as small fruit size. Pruning could reduce the crop size and the remaining crop should show an increase in fruit size. The small fruit size of ‘Fremont’ may make it unsuitable for cooler production areas. The trees of the two mandarin cultivars were pruned during the growth part of the season in January such that 25 (light pruning), 50 (moderate pruning) and 75% (heavy pruning) of the two-year-old shoots remained to bear the total yield tree-1, while the control plant was not pruned. The results showed that ‘Fremont’ mandarin showed the higher fruit yield compared to ‘Murcott’. Light pruning (25%) caused a significant higher yield than the control. Moderate pruning (50%) gave the highest increase in yield in the two seasons. ‘Fremont’ TSS (%) and TSS/acid ratio was superior to those of ‘Murcott’ in the control plant. All pruning treatments significantly increased TSS (%) and TSS/acid ratio in both ‘Fremont’ and ‘Murcott’ mandarin fruit. The results showed that light and moderate pruning of ‘Murcott’ and ‘Fremont’ produced acceptable yield as well as high desirable fruit quality.