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The effects of regulated water deficits on pear prunus communis cultivar bartlett tree growth flowering fruit growth and yield



The effects of regulated water deficits on pear prunus communis cultivar bartlett tree growth flowering fruit growth and yield



Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 109(5): 604-606



Three levels of water deficit generated by 3 levels of irrigation applied at times of rapid vegetative growth and/or slow fruit growth were compared to determine their suitability for restricting vegetative growth on 5-yr-old 'Bartlett' trees trained to a Tatura Trellis. For the period of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI), the amount of water applied replaced 92%, 47% and 23% of the evaporation calculated over the planting square (Eps). In the subsequent period of rapid fruit growth until harvest, all trees were irrigated with 150% Eps to ensure that the wetting pattern from the trickle system wetted the entire zone. Shoot and frame growth declined in proportion to the water deficit. Fruit tended to grow more slowly on the 23% than 46% treatment during RDI, but growth on the 46% and 92% Eps treatments was similar. In the subsequent period of full irrigation, fruit growth initially was significantly faster on the but RDI treatments, and the same trend was maintained for most of the remainder of fruit growth. The net result was that yield was marginally increased by RDI treatments. In the subsequent season, flowering was increased on trees receiving RDI in the previous season.

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