The effect of orchard floor management and nitrogen fertilization on nutrient uptake and fruit quality of cultivar golden delicious apple malus domestica trees
Neilsen, G.H.; Meheriuk, M.; Hogue, E.J.
HortScience 19(4): 547-550
Mature 'Golden Delicious' apple trees were subjected for 3 yr to factorial combinations of 3 rates of N fertilization applied in April and 3 degrees of orchard floor management. Tree N nutrition was affected more by vegetation management than by rate of N fertilizer applied. Significant reduction in leaf N and trunk diameter and superior fruit skin color and firmness at commercial harvest occurred consistently when the orchard floor was sod. Increased leaf N and reduced fruit skin color and firmness at harvest were measured at the highest N (180 kg N ha-1) in only 1 yr while tree growth was not increased by this rate of N. Increased fruit Ca associated with smaller fruit and increased leaf Mg and leaf K were measured under sod in 2 of 3 yr. Leaf Mn was affected only by rate of N fertilization and was consistently high at 180 kg N ha-1.