II. Horticultural performance of ‘Honeycrisp’ grown on a genetically diverse set of rootstocks under Western New York climatic conditions
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Robinson, Terence L.
A field experiment with 31 rootstocks representing a genetically diverse group of rootstocks featuring ‘Honeycrisp’ as the scion was planted in 2010 at Geneva, NY USA. Rootstocks included three from the Malling series (UK), nine from the Budagovsky series (Russia), 16 from the Cornell Geneva series (USA) and three from the Pillnitz series (Germany). Over the first 8 years (2010–2017) we measured final tree size (trunk cross-sectional area: TCA) and cumulative yield. In the last 4 years we measured fruit soluble solids, bitter pit incidence, biennial bearing, and leaf zonal chlorosis. Tree size varied dramatically with the largest trees on B.70-20-20 and smallest trees on B.71-7-22. Setting the most vigorous rootstock at 100% we categorized rootstocks into 5 size categories: sub-dwarfing class (10–25%), dwarfing class (25–35%), semi-dwarfing class (35–50%), semi-vigorous category (50–70%) and vigorous class (70–100%). Cumulative yield varied 8 fold between the highest yielding rootstock (CG.3001) and the lowest yielding rootstock (B.71-7-22). We calculated theoretical yield per ha by multiplying cumulative yield per tree by a theoretical optimal tree density (trees/ha) based on tree size (TCA). The dwarfing rootstocks G.814, G.41TC, G.11 and B.10 had the highest yields per hectare while the most vigorous rootstocks B.70.20.20 and B.71-7-22 were the least productive. Theoretical cumulative yields varied from a high of 400 t/ha to a low of 50 t/ha, an 8-fold difference. Rootstock also influenced the incidence of bitter pit with the lowest levels of bitter pit with the rootstocks B.10, CG.2034, B.71-7-22, G.41N, CG.4003, G.202N, G.214, and Supporter 3. Considering bitter pit, yield, and optimum tree density, the theoretical yield of bitter pit free fruit varied from a high of 340 t/ha to a low of 35 t/ha, almost a 10-fold difference. The dwarfing rootstocks B.10, G.11, G.41TC, G.214 and G.814 had the highest yields per hectare of bitter pit free fruit. Rootstocks B.9 and M.26 had significantly lower cumulative bitter pit free yield/ha. These data indicate that rootstock not only has a large influence on mature tree cumulative yield but also bitter pit incidence which combine to create a large economic impact of rootstock choice on the long-term economic result of an orchard. This leads to the need for “designer rootstocks” which combine the rootstock characteristics needed to maximize the economic potential of each scion cultivar.
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Lordan, Jaume, Gennaro Fazio, Poliana Francescatto, and Terence L. Robinson. 2019. "II. Horticultural Performance Of ‘Honeycrisp’ Grown On A Genetically Diverse Set Of Rootstocks Under Western New York Climatic Conditions". Scientia Horticulturae 257: 108686. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2019.108686.
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